Under the New York workers’ compensation laws, there are two requirements to qualify to payment of benefits. You must have been injured and the injury must be work-related. Let’s look at some situations where there may be questions about whether your injury occurred at work.
A: Under state and federal laws, workers are entitled to periodic breaks, including time for meals. When you’re on a legitimate break, you are typically covered under workers’ compensation for any injuries you suffer—slips and falls on a break room floor or injury from falling objects while on a break. For meal breaks, you are typically still covered, as long as you don’t leave the premises. Any injuries sustained after you leave work property and until you return are generally not covered by workers’ compensation. There are exceptions, though. If you were running work errands while getting your lunch, you may be entitled to benefits.
A: If your travel is required by or an essential component of your work, you will typically have access to workers’ compensation benefits for any injuries sustained. For example, if you work as a traveling salesperson, or you were traveling to or from a business meeting, convention, conference or team-building exercise. As a general rule, your travel to and from work is not considered part of your employment. Injuries suffered on your commute typically don’t qualify.
You can also recover for injuries suffered while at another location for work. For example, if you attend a conference and slip and fall at the meeting place, you will likely be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you were engaged in a wholly personal activity—you were hurt in the gym while staying at a hotel for work—you usually won’t be covered.
A: Company outing or celebrations are generally considered to be work-related, whether attendance is voluntary or mandatory. Accordingly, if you suffer injury at a corporate golf outing, holiday party or other extra-curricular event, you will generally be entitled to benefits. There are exceptions, though. If, for example, you attend a company celebration and consume too much alcohol, then suffer an injury, you may be ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits (unless the company provided the alcohol).
A: As a general rule, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. That means that you don’t have to show negligence—you must only show that you were hurt and you were working at the time of the injury. Accordingly, even if you contributed to the accident, you will typically be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits, unless it can be shown that your injuries were intentionally self-inflicted, or that you clearly and knowingly violated known company safety policies.
At Pyrros & Serres, we offer more than half a century of combined experience to people throughout Queens and across the New York City metropolitan area who have been hurt on the job. We place a premium on personal service and attention, taking the time to learn the details of your injury, as well as your needs, so that we can help you get the outcome you want. Because of our longstanding reputation for obtaining positive results, we get many of our new cases as referrals from doctors, lawyers and satisfied clients.
We represent people who have suffered any type of work injury:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Spinal Cord Injury | Burns | Fractures | Paralysis Permanent |Scarring or Disfigurement | Back and Neck Injury | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe 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 offer, see our practice area overview page.
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