Frequently Asked Questions about Your Rights after a Workplace Injury
When you’ve been hurt on the job in New York, you may know that you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits, but you may have little or no understanding of how to do that and what you can and cannot expect. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the basics of the workers’ compensation system.
Q: What types of benefits can I expect?
A: As a general rule, workers’ compensation provides two types of benefits—payments to cover lost wages (known as “indemnity”) and payment of medical expenses incurred because of the accident or illness. Workers’ compensation covers both temporary and permanent disabilities, as well as partial and total disability. If your injuries prevent you from working, you’ll typically receive a weekly stipend calculated as a percentage of your average weekly wage for the last 52 weeks. If you return to work, those temporary benefits will stop. However, if you have a permanent injury, you may be entitled to an additional cash payment or settlement, even if your injury doesn’t prevent you from working.
Q: Do I have to submit to an examination by a doctor chosen by my employer or the workers’ compensation insurance company?
A: Yes. Under New York law, if the workers’ compensation insurance company or your employer requests an “independent medical examination,” you must allow such an examination by a physician of their choice. You will not have to pay for the exam, but should remember that, because the doctor is paid by your employer or the insurer, they have a vested interest in finding ways to deny or diminish your claim. You should be entirely business-like with the doctor, answering their questions honestly, but never volunteering information.
Q: Can I collect unemployment if I can’t work because of an injury on the job?
A: There is nothing to prohibit you from filing for and collecting unemployment benefits simultaneously with a workers’ compensation claim. However, you will have to report the workers’ compensation benefits as income and may have some of your unemployment benefits offset as a result.
Q: Can I file a lawsuit for injuries suffered at work?
A: The workers’ compensation laws were enacted, in part, to simplify the process for workers seeking to collect compensation for injuries sustained on the job. As a result, a workers’ compensation claim is the “exclusive remedy” for any losses caused by the carelessness or negligence of your employer or a co-worker. However, if you were hurt because of the wrongful conduct of an unrelated third party—the manufacturer of a product or the driver of another vehicle—you won’t be limited to your recovery in a workers’ compensation claim. You can file a civil suit simultaneously with your workers’ compensation claim, but you can’t recover twice for the same loss—if your workers’ compensation benefits pay for medical care, you can’t recover damages for those same medical costs in a civil action.
Proven Queens, New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
At Pyrros & Serres, our attorneys have combined to provide more than half a century of experience to injured workers throughout Queens and the New York City metropolitan area. We built our successful practice on a commitment to personal service and attention, listening carefully to learn the specific details of your case, as well as your goals, so that we can tailor our efforts to get the results you want. Because of our reputation for hard work and success, we receive many of our new cases as referrals from doctors, lawyers and satisfied clients.
We handle all types of work-related injury claims, including cases involving:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Spinal Cord Injury | Paralysis | Burns | Fractures | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury | Back and Neck Injury | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Accidental or Wrongful Death | Hearing or Vision Loss | Occupational Disease or Illness
To learn more about the services we provide, see our practice area overview page.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York