For the majority of people, their job is the life’s blood that feeds both themselves and their families. When people are unable to work, they start to fall behind in life. Income may stop coming in, but their bills do not stop coming, and creditors have little sympathy for people who are unable to work for any reason.
This is where workers compensation benefits can help fill the gaps in people’s lives. If someone cannot work through no fault of their own, workers compensation insurance kicks in to help pay for things like their mortgage, their car payment, and other monthly expenses.
If you reside in the New York area and you are recently out of work because of an injury, it’s important that you understand your rights.
What Is Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation is a type of insurance coverage typically provided by an employer to employees. Claims can be made by employees when there is an on-the-job injury causing them to miss an extended period of work. This insurance pays for things like the employees daily and monthly expenses, as well as any medical care that is necessary.
The hallmark of workers compensation insurance, which has been a boon for employers and a mixed blessing for employees, is the fact that employees relinquish some rights in order to have access to this insurance. One of those rights is the ability to sue an employer for any negligence they may be guilty of.
For employers, this is protection against potential insolvency due to high damages awarded by a jury in a lawsuit. For employees, this insurance is pretty much a guarantee that they will have some sort of cushion should they have an accident at work. In other words, they don’t have to go chasing employers down with attorneys in order to get compensated.
Workers Comp Rights in New York
In the state of New York (as in other states), there are specific laws governing the workers compensation system. Employers in this state cover the cost of the insurance and are prohibited by law from passing all or a portion of that cost along to employees.
When a worker files a claim against an employer, both parties are treated as being not at fault during the course of the investigation. Workers who are found to have a valid claim will not have it reduced based on their real or perceived carelessness on the job. Conversely, claim amounts are not increased based on any fault of the employer.
A worker may lose coverage if it is found that the injury on the job was caused by the result of the employee being intoxicated or high on drugs. Claims are also not paid if the injury occurred as a result of an intentional action that the employee knew would result in injury to themselves or another person.
Workers who cannot receive money because of the objection of an employer’s insurance carrier can receive disability benefits until their insurance situation is worked out. Payments made under the state disability program will be deducted from any insurance benefits the employee may receive once it kicks in.
Workers who return to work but who are unable to achieve the same level of income because of the injury they sustained may be entitled to an additional insurance benefit. This is meant to make the employee whole again in the eyes of the insurance system. To learn more about your rights as a worker in the state of New York, it is important to contact a workers compensation attorney.