Workers Compensation is a form of insurance that every employer is legally obligated to have
If you work, you are probably familiar with the term “workers’ compensation.” But if you’ve never been hurt on the job, you have no understanding of what workers’ compensation and how it works. This blog provides an overview of the workers’ compensation process.
Essentially, workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that every employer is legally obligated to have. It provides certain benefits when an employee suffers an injury that is work-related. The benefits include:
- Payment of medical bills related to the injury, including doctor visits, hospital care, physical therapy and medication
- Replacement of lost wages—workers’ compensation pays a percentage of your lost wage or income—the standard rate is 2/3rds of your annual weekly wage for the past 52 weeks, with a cap of $870.61 through June 30, 2018
- Payment for a permanent disability—you may be entitled to a cash payment depending on the nature of your injury. You can often elect to take the payment in a lump sum distribution.
An employer will typically purchase a policy of workers’ compensation insurance from a private insurance company. A company may choose, however, to be “self-insured,” paying all workers’ compensation benefits directly, but must qualify to do so. Regardless, there is never any cost to the employee to cover workers’ compensation benefits.
Another important component of workers’ compensation—it’s a no-fault system. What does that mean? It means that you are entitled to benefits regardless of who caused the accident (with very limited exceptions—you can’t recover workers’ compensation for intentionally self-inflicted injuries, for example). It doesn’t matter who was negligent—you, a co-worker or your boss—if you were injured while working, you have a right to workers’ compensation benefits.
At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims for people in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.
To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.