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What are my rights if I get hurt at work?


If you are injured at work and your accident occurs on the job while you are in the course of your employment you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

The New York State Legislature passed a law in 1914 as a compromise between employee and employer interests.  As part of the compromise employees lost the right to sue their employers for negligence resulting in injury, illness or disability.  In return employees receive their lost wages due to their inability to work.  Additionally, employees’ medical bills are covered for their work related injury.

One exception where an employee can receive Workers Compensation benefits and still bring a lawsuit is when a third party is liable for the injury.  For example you may be able to sue if you get hurt while working at a construction site and the building owner failed to provide a safe work environment, or you were hit by a negligent driver while driving a company car, or you slip while at work due the negligence of the building owner who is not your employer.   The determination as to whether a third party is liable for your injuries can be complicated and you should consult a lawyer immediately after getting hurt.

In order to determine if you have a viable claim you should be aware of the following elements of a Workers Compensation Case in New York State.

Time-Line for Filing a Workers Compensation Claim

An injured worker must file a claim with the Workers Compensation Board within two years of the incident or condition that caused the injury, illness or disability.

Definition of an Accident for Workers Compensation

To be covered under the Workers Compensation Law an accident must arise out of and in the course of employment.  “In the course of employment” means that you must be working at the time of the accident.

Definition of Notice for Workers Compensation

The law requires that the injured worker give the employer a written report of the accident within 30 days of the accident.   The Workers Compensation board will often excuse this requirement in situations where the employer had knowledge of the accident within the thirty day time period.

Causal Relationship

In order to establish a Workers Compensation case the injured worker must have a medical report stating that a work-related accident or condition was the cause of the injury, illness or disability.  Without a medical report stating this, the Workers’ Compensation Board will not consider the case.

The law related to accidents at work can be very complicated it is important to consult a lawyer if you are hurt at work in order to protect your rights.

If you have been involved in any kind of accident - call Attorney Neil Redmond on his Mobile Phone 646-285-7115 for a free consultation.

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