NYSGC Changes Workers’ Compensation Rules

NYSGC Changes Workers’ Compensation Rules

After two straight years of playing chicken with jockeys and trainers, the New York State Gaming Commission wants to make its workers’ compensation system more stable (no pun intended).

In both 2014 and 2015, the Jockey Injury Compensation Fund missed a November 15 deadline to submit a new plan that takes effect the following January 1. This November, if the same thing happens, the NYSGC can implement a “default subsequent year plan” that automatically takes effect. In the past, the Gaming Commission made a counteroffer that increased costs and spurred (one again, no pun intended) the JICF into action. Now, that counteroffer will be permanent, and jockeys will be stuck with higher costs and/or lesser benefits.

Since no agreement means no thoroughbred racing at New York Racing Association tracks, officials at the NYSGC said they did not want to be forced into yet another “emergency situation” in 2017.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Injured workers do not have to prove fault to obtain cash compensation for lost wages and medical expenses.

To determine the amount of lost wages, the Workers’ Compensation Board uses a very subjective formula that considers two-thirds of the average weekly wage (AWW) and the percentage of disability. The amount is easy to calculate if the injured worker was at the same job and the same pay for the last 52 consecutive weeks and was permanently and totally disabled, perhaps due to paralysis. But in all other cases, there are intricacies involved.

Many workers change jobs frequently, while others relocate from state to state, and there is a difference between operating a crane in Buffalo and a crane in Manhattan. So, comparing past wages to current and future wages is not always an apples-to-apples comparison.

Furthermore, the insurance company nearly always disputes the percentage of disability. It is important to have an experienced attorney who can partner with doctors and other experts who are experienced in these cases and can give a well-qualified opinion.

Injured workers are also entitled to comprehensive medical expenses, because they must receive treatment that is designed to fully restore their health. These costs include:

  • Hospital bills,
  • Diagnostic tests,
  • Medical devices,
  • Prescription drugs,
  • Rehabilitation expenses, and
  • Other medical-related costs.

Once again, the insurance company typically argues that not all the bills and treatments were medically necessary.

Injured workers are entitled to cash benefits. For a free consultation with attorneys who are committed to your recovery, contact our office. We do not charge upfront legal fees in workers’ compensation cases.

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Last year we recovered over $15 million for our clients. With that money, our clients are able to pay their medical bills. They are getting their lives back on track after serious injuries and they are holding to account the people who wrongfully injured them.

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$1,100,000.00 - Female, 35: Motorcyclist hit by oncoming traffic


Our client was riding on the back of a motorcycle going south when the defendant heading north made a left hand turn in front of the client, causing the accident.
Injuries: Fractured left leg which required surgery

We understand motorcyclists because we ride

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$5,100,000.00 - Female, 43: Cyclist hit by truck


Our client was riding her bicycle when a truck was turning and came up onto the sidewalk. Our client went to back up and the truck struck her.
Injuries: Catastrophic injuries to entire right side of body below the waist resulting in amputation of the right leg and hind quarter; bladder rupture; multiple rib and spinal fractures.

$3,500,000.00 - Female, 33: Serious personal injury


Our client fell down the stairs and was knocked unconscious at a New York City
subway station.
Injuries: Fractured skull, subsequent seizure disorder.

$4,300,000.00 - Male, 63: Pedestrian hit by bus


Our client was crossing a street when a bus hit a car and the car spun and hit him.
Injuries: Traumatic brain injury; fractured shoulder.

$750,000.00 - Male, 35: Workers' compensation


Our client was changing a pump strainer on a hot air furnace when he stepped on a board and fell through the ceiling.
Injuries: Herniated disc which required surgery.

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