Though workers never want to think about getting hurt at work, unfortunately, workplace accidents occur. It is important for workers to know what to do in advance and how to approach an injury and subsequent workers' compensation claim for benefits. Understanding the best approach to the aftermath of a workplace injury is important for workers and their families in a variety of ways.
Workers in New York might be familiar with the idea of workers' compensation, but are not fully aware of what it is and what it does. Having a grasp on how workers' compensation benefits serve as protection to workers in the event that they are injured and can make it easier to receive benefits if something unexpected happens. With workplace injuries and illness, there can be medical expenses, rehabilitation and missed time on the job. Knowing the ins-and-outs of the process begins with the basics of workers' compensation.
Before moving on from our discussion of compensation for disabling workplace injuries, let's take a look at how much workers can potentially expect to receive in the form of a cash Schedule Loss of Use award. The information is general in nature only, and not intended as specific legal advice.
We recently discussed a form of compensation available specifically for workers whose injuries leave them with permanently decreased ability in part of their body. After reviewing the types of workplace injuries and body parts that can qualify for a Schedule Loss of Use award, our Utica readers will likely want to know: what is the process for seeking an SLU? What all is involved, and how burdensome is it?
The idea of compensation for workplace injuries can sometimes be a confusing thing. On the one hand, it makes sense that an injured worker should be covered for lost wages, medical expenses and other damages that are easy to put a price tag on. But what about injuries that take longer to recover from, or those from which a full recovery is not possible?
When people think about workplace accidents, they may think the danger comes from within the workplace. Depending on the occupation, the danger could come from heavy machinery, heights, electricity or hazardous substances. However, people may not realize that the danger can also come from other individuals they meet on the job. For example, the other people who workers interact with -- from co-workers to members of the public -- can be dangerous in some situations.
Our New York readers know that any job brings with it the possibility of an accident. Many of these accidents will require some time off of work for the employee for recovery and treatment, and in these cases workers' compensation benefits can help support the injured worker financially.
"On the job" is a phrase to which few Utica workers likely give much thought on a day-to-day basis. Then, suddenly, when it actually matters -- i.e., in the wake of a workplace accident that causes injury -- you realize it can be quite a bit more nuanced, more complicated than you ever thought.
Workers are entitled to receive compensation for injuries they suffer on the job. This may seem like a clear-cut statement to our Utica readers. However, when it comes time to file a claim, an injured worker may face any number of excuses, defenses or even attempts to shift blame onto the injured worker.
Our Utica readers who've been following our blog over the past few weeks are likely beginning to understand some of the hazards faced by restaurant workers, especially those in the fast food industry. We'll continue our discussion on this subject, but wanted to pause for a moment to encourage injured employees to understand their legal rights -- and exercise them if necessary.