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Workers’ Compensation: Filing and Getting Benefits

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Feb 10, 2016

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

When Do you Become Eligible For Workers’ Compensation?

You are covered by Workers’ Compensation laws from the first day you begin your job. If you are injured on the job, regardless of whether the injury was your fault or not, you are covered by Workers’ Compensation laws. The only exceptions are if you were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, or if you intentionally caused the accident.

How to File for Worker Compensation?

In the event of an occupational illness or injury, you should:

  • Inform your employer of what has happened within 30 days of the incident or diagnosis;
  • File a C-3 form within two years of the incident; and
  • If you are out of work for less than seven business days you will not receive compensation for lost wages, but you will receive medical benefits.

Note: the seven days do not need to occur consecutively. They can accumulate over time, such as when there are repeated hospital or doctor’s appointments to treat the injury or illness, causing you to miss work. In any case, you are always eligible for medical expense compensation no matter how long you are kept out of work by your doctor. Medical expense compensation also includes payment for rehabilitation programs, if necessary.

When To Expect Workers’ Compensation Benefit Payments?

As mentioned above, you are only eligible to have lost wages repaid if your illness or injury causes you to be absent for more than seven days. You are entitled to receive wage payments beginning on the eighth day of missed work. After 15 days of missed work, you are entitled to receive wages retroactive to day one. Normally, you will not receive checks for a number of weeks, depending on the complexity of your case. Your checks will take into account your Average Weekly Wage – your total wages from all sources – in addition to medical expenses. In some cases you may settle for a Lump Sum – a one-time payment to compensate you for lost time and medical costs. However, sadly, it is becoming more common that insurance companies contest worker’s claims.

Why You Should File For Workers’ Compensation?

Because of the compromise between business and labor, Workers’ Compensation benefits are your major source of money if you are injured or made sick by your job. Furthermore:

  • Filing is free;
  • You may file regardless of whose fault the injury or illness was;
  • By law your employer has already paid for Workers’ Compensation insurance;
  • You can continue to work while receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits;
  • Your Workers’ Compensation benefits, including wage payments and medical care, and can continue even if you change jobs or leave the state;
  • If you can never return to work benefits continue for life;
  • Any sick leave you use while being treated for an occupational illness or injury can be reimbursed to you after filing for Workers’ Compensation at a pro rata rate.
  • Your injury may reoccur, and if you have not established a case you may find that seeking benefits at a later date is much more difficult;
  • You may be eligible for additional awards only available if you file for Workers’ Compensation;
  • In general, you cannot sue your employer for job-related injuries.

Contact Schwartzapfel® Lawyers P.C.

Our New York lawyers have extensive experience with Workers’ Compensation cases. We can help. Please call us at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form for immediate attention to your case. We will fight for you!

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