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What Types of Injuries are Compensable?

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What Types of Injuries are Compensable Under New York Workers’ Compensation?

Leading NYC Injury Lawyer Fights for Fair Compensation Injuries Compensable Under NYC Workers’ Compensation Law

NYC employers are almost always required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance for employees injured at work.  Despite this, establishing whether your injury is compensable under the workers’ compensation system can become complicated by a number of factors.  You might face challenges to your employment status or whether your injury was truly “work-related”.

At Proner & Proner, our team includes some of the leading workers’ compensation lawyers in NYC.  We have been helping injured workers recover full compensation for their injuries for over 50 years—so we know the system and how it works inside and out.

If you or a loved one are facing challenges to a workers’ compensation claim or are wondering whether your injuries are compensable under NYC workers’ compensation laws, we’re here to help.  Schedule a free case review by calling our office or filling out this online contact form today.

Types of Injuries Compensable Under NYC Workers’ Compensation Law

One of the key elements of determining whether your injury is compensable under NYC workers’ compensation law is whether you were an employee.  While almost all employers are responsible for providing workers’ compensation benefits, the following individuals may be ineligible for benefits if injured at work:

  • Independent contractors,
  • The owner of the business,
  • Volunteers,
  • Certain casual workers in private homes (such as nannies and babysitters),
  • Farmers,
  • Certain maritime employees,
  • Railroad workers.

Injuries sustained in work accidents are compensable under NYC workers’ compensation law.  For example, you should be entitled to benefits as an employee if you:

“Occupational diseases” are also compensable work injuries under NYC workers’ compensation rules.  Occupational diseases are those that form over time based on job-related functions or the work environment itself, rather than in a specific work accident.  They can include:

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome,
  • Lung damage from asbestos exposure or exposure to smoke or other elements at work over time,
  • Health problems caused by exposure to toxic chemicals,
  • Hearing loss caused by exposure to repeated noise at work.

You may even be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for a pre-existing injury or illness that was aggravated by something that happened at work.

Because occupational diseases don’t occur at a fixed point in time—as is the case with a work accident—NYC workers’ compensation rules contain specific timelines that must be followed for these types of injuries to be compensable.  The time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim for an occupational disease is the later of:

  • Two years from the date you became disabled, or
  • Two years from the date that you either knew, or reasonably should have known, that the disease was caused by something in the nature of your work.

Different NYC Workers’ Compensation Benefits Structures for Permanent vs. Temporary Disability

You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits whether your injury results in total or partial disability and whether your injury is temporary or permanent.  If your injuries were permanent and total, you may continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits indefinitely. However, if you are able to work, your workers’ compensation benefit and weekly wage cannot exceed the maximum weekly workers’ compensation benefit set by law.

In the case of permanent partial disability, your benefit will depend upon the body part that was permanently impaired.  Injuries that fall into the following categories will be compensated based upon a Schedule Loss of Use (SLU):

  • Upper extremity injuries, such as the arms, shoulders, wrists, fingers and hands,
  • Lower extremity injuries, such as the legs, feet, knees, ankles and toes,
  • Hearing loss,
  • Vision loss.

Other types of permanent partial disability, such as injury to the lungs, heart or spine, are “non scheduled” and are paid based on your loss of earning capacity for a certain number of weeks (for example, if your earning capacity was diminished by more than 95%, benefits will be available for 525 weeks).

Potential Complications Getting NYC Workers’ Compensation Benefits for Injuries Not Sustained “At Work”

Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that are “work-related.” In some cases, you might be injured while at work, but not necessarily on the job site.  Compensation for your injuries may be available if:

  • You were injured while driving for work (but not while commuting to and from work),
  • You were injured at a work party held off-site,
  • You were injured while at lunch with a client.

Although injuries sustained in work accidents while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol are usually not compensable under workers’ compensation laws, exceptions do exist.  For example, if your employer actually provided the alcohol, your injuries may be covered so long as the events occurred at a work event.

Call Proner & Proner Today for a Free Consultation to Discuss Whether Your Injuries are Compensable Under NYC Workers’ Compensation Laws

If you have questions about whether your injuries or illness are compensable under NYC workers’ compensation law, speak with an experienced labor lawyer as soon as possible.  At Proner & Proner, we offer a free, no-obligation case review where we can discuss the specific details of your case. Call or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Compensable Injuries Under New York Workers’ Compensation Law

FAQ: What if I was injured while working from home. Are my injuries compensable under NYC workers’ compensation laws?

Possibly. In some cases, even injuries suffered while working from home while using your own computer or phone can give you the right to workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if you fell down the stairs while talking to your boss on the phone, you may be entitled to benefits. The key questions to ask is whether the injury was sustained within the “course and scope” of your employment or whether you were furthering your employer’s work agenda at the time of the injury.

FAQ: What if I went out with my boss for drinks after work and was injured. Can I receive workers’ compensation benefits?

Probably not. Even if your boss paid for the drinks, if it was not an official company-sponsored event, workers’ compensation benefits will likely not be available.

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