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Workers’ Compensation in NY, Is It Enough?

Workers' Compensation Lawyer New York, NY

Getting sick in America can be a tricky business. And not just because of the high cost of medical expenses and insurance policies, but also because, in some states, the employer is not required to pay the employee if he or she misses time from work, even if the employee has a legitimate health problem.

In New York, there are legislations such as Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law that require employers to pay workers when they are absent from the workplace for health reasons. However, these laws are limited; for example, for every year worked, employees have the right to be paid up to 40 hours of absence. This means that the employer only has the obligation to pay the employee up to one week of sick leave for every 365 days.

However, the situation is different when the accident or illness occurs as a consequence of laborious activity in the workplace, such as when a worker falls down during the work hours. In cases like this, the law protects the employer from having to pay the employee outright. Instead, he or she would be required to provide the employee with workers’ compensation for wage replacement and medical benefits. But is the money from workers’ comp enough to cover the employee’s actual losses?

The answer to this question hurts, but we cannot lie: generally, workers do not recover all medical expenses, lost wages and damages caused by the pain and suffering of a work accident.


The first thing to understand is that compensation comes from the policies that employees must buy from insurers. And insurance companies, as they are a business, will do everything they can to pay the least amount of money possible.

Although the medical expenses related to a specific workplace accident or illness are covered by workers’ compensation, the insurers do not pay for future medical expenses beyond the scope of that single incident.

Let’s suppose that John fell off a scaffold and broke his leg, he then had a surgical procedure that caused him to miss work for several months. The insurance must cover all costs that are the product of the fractured leg, but if in a few years John’s leg continues to hurt and he must go to therapy, he will not be able to reopen the case for workers’ compensation to continue. Or at least not without the help of an experienced attorney like those at Proner & Proner.

As for lost wages: workers’ compensation does not cover 100 percent of what a worker normally earns. For each week out of work, the insurance only pays two thirds of what a worker used to earn in a week in the immediately preceding year.

For example, if John’s accident occurred in 2019, the insurance must give him – for each week of absence – two-thirds of what he earned in a week in 2018. In this way, if in 2018 he earned $700 per week, the insurance will give him $ 466.66 for each week without work.

In very serious cases of work-related injuries (especially those that are catastrophic or cause disabilities for life), the amount of compensation may increase several zeros to the right.

Even so, it is still possible that the benefits of workers’ compensation may not cover all the employee’s expenses and losses.

Therefore, regardless of the circumstances surrounding your case, if you become ill due to work or have an accident on the job, you should immediately contact an experienced personal injury attorney from the law office of Proner & Proner.

Do not let time pass. These types of claims have limits and the Workers’ Compensation Board is strict with expiration dates. Call us today at 1-800 627 9627! Or fill out our convenient online contact form for more information. The consultation is free and we only get paid if you win the case.

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