Workers’ Compensation

The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. is partners with the Workers’ Compensation Law Firm of Dearie, Riordan & Donohue, LLP. The attorneys at Dearie, Riordan & Donohue, LLP have significant experience handling Workers’ Compensation cases for any type of on-the-job injuries. To speak to an experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer, Contact Us or call 1-800-2-DEARIE.

General

Under New York Workers’ Compensation Law, an employee injured while working is entitled to be compensated for any medical expenses and a percentage of his salary if he is forced to miss work.   However, the injured worker is barred from suing his employer for his work-related injuries.

Click here to read about when a Third-Party Lawsuit can be brought, in addition to a Workers’ Compensation claim, After a Work-Related Accident

Time Requirements of Filing a Workers’ Compensation claim

Notifying employer

Immediately after the accident, you should tell your employer or supervisor how, when and where you were injured, and you should obtain medical treatment.

As soon as possible, but within 30 days, you must submit written notice to your employer that you were injured.

Employer notifying Workers’ Compensation Board

Within 10 days of being notified of your injury, your employer must notify the Workers’ Compensation Board and the insurance company.

Insurance company contacting injured worker

Within 14 days of being notified by your employer of your injury, the insurance company must provide you with a written statement of your rights under Workers’ Compensation Law.

Insurance company payments to you

Within 18 days of notification by your employer of your injuries, the insurance company must begin payment of benefits to you, if your lost time from work exceeds seven (7) days.

Filing “Employee Claim” Form with Workers’ Compensation Board

Within two (2) years of the date of your jobsite accident, or within two (2) after you knew or should have known that your injury or illness was related to employment, Form C-3 must be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Board.

The information submitted in Form C-3 cannot be changed after submission. It is therefore very important that you speak to a Workers’ Compensation lawyer before Form C-3 is submitted.

Maximum Number of Weeks You Can Receive Benefits

If your work-related accident or date of disability occurred on or after March 13, 2007, the maximum number of weeks you can receive Workers’ Compensation benefits is as follows:

525 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 95%
500 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 90% thru 95%
475 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 85% thru 90%
450 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 80% thru 85%
425 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 75% thru 80%
400 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 70% thru 75%
375 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 60% thru 70%
350 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 50% thru 60%
300 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 40% thru 50%
275 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 30% thru 40%
250 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of greater than 15% thru 30%
225 weeks for loss of wage earning capacity of 15% or less.

Workers’ Compensation Disability Classifications

Your health care provider will determine the extent of your disability due to your injuries. There are four (4) disability classifications:

  1. Temporary Total Disability – Your wage-earning capacity is lost totally, but only on a temporary basis.
  2. Temporary Partial Disability – Your wage-earning capacity is lost only partially, and on a temporary basis.
  3. Permanent Total Disability – Your wage-earning capacity is permanently and totally lost.
  4. Permanent Partial Disability – Part of your wage-earning capacity has been permanently lost.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

If you are deemed totally or partially disabled and are unable to work for more than seven (7) days, you will receive cash benefits.

The amount that you receive is based on your average weekly wage for the previous year. This is the formula used to calculate benefits:

2/3 average weekly wage x % of disability = weekly benefit

Example 1: Injured worker was earning $500 per week before his accident and is 100% disabled. That worker would receive $333.33 per week.

Example 2: Injured worker was earning $500 per week before his accident and is 50% disabled. That worker would receive $166.67 per week.

The maximum weekly dollar benefit amount adjusts every July 1st. It is based on the New York State Average Weekly Wage for the previous calendar year.

Currently, through July 30, 2016, the maximum weekly benefit is $844.29.

No Need to Show Fault

Unlike in a Third-Party Lawsuit, a worker injured in the course of his employment DOES NOT have to show that it was someone’s fault that he was injured in order to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits. If a worker is injured while working and is forced to miss work, he is entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Difference Between a Workers’ Compensation claim and a Third-Party Lawsuit

A Workers’ Compensation claim is not a lawsuit. No one is being sued. Rather, it is a claim to the State Workers’ Compensation Board. This is in contrast to a Third-Party Lawsuit, in which a specific person or business is being sued. The box below explains some of the main differences between a Workers’ Compensation claim and a Third-Party Lawsuit.

Third-Party Lawsuit vs. Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you are injured in the course of your employment, and forced to miss time from work because of your injuries, you are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. However, you are not necessarily entitled to file a Third-Party Lawsuit, or in other words, to sue someone. Here are the main differences between the two actions:

Burden of Proof

The biggest difference between a Third-Party Lawsuit and a Workers’ Compensation claim is, simply, FAULT.

You are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits without showing that it was someone else’s fault that you were injured. For example: Jim is working as a plumber on a construction site and trips over a wrench, breaking his ankle, and he is forced to miss work for some time. Jim is entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits without having to show that it was someone’s fault that he tripped over the wrench.

On the other hand, in order to sue (to file a lawsuit), you must show that someone was negligent…that someone was at fault. For example: Jim is walking down the street with his family on a Saturday afternoon and trips on a cracked sidewalk. For Jim to file a lawsuit, it must be shown that the person responsible for that sidewalk was negligent in maintaining the sidewalk, including that they knew about that crack before you fell.

Click here to read about Premises Liability lawsuits involving Sidewalk Trip and Fall Accidents

Damages

While an injured worker does not have the burden of showing fault in a Workers’ Compensation claim, the money damages recoverable are different in Workers’ Compensation and a Third-Party lawsuit.

If you are injured while working, Workers’ Compensation will pay for your medical expenses related to that injury, a percentage of your weekly compensation and vocational rehabilitation.

In a Third-Party lawsuit, financial recovery can include those damages, as well as damages for past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, which can be significant dollar amounts.

Why?

Workers’ Compensation laws were passed as a result of bargaining between Labor and Employers.

Pursuant to negotiations, injured workers would receive compensation for medical expenses and lost earnings, without having to show that someone was at fault for their injuries

In exchange for giving workers fault-free compensation for their injuries, injured workers were barred from suing their employer and co-workers.

 

It is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible after a work-related injury. As explained above, there are several important deadlines to meet under Workers’ Compensation Law. If you, or someone you know, was injured in the course of their employment, speak to an experience Workers’ Compensation attorney at Dearie, Riordan & Donohue, LLP. Contact Us or call 1-800-2-DEARIE.