Many employees perform the same job tasks for years, with no real safety concerns. However, it only takes one mistake to seriously injure yourself.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is a common response to work-related illnesses and injuries. But how does fault factor into benefits?
You could think of workers’ compensation like liability insurance for employers and employee protection from financial losses related to incidents on the job. In New York, this no-fault coverage prohibits workers from filing a personal injury lawsuit against the company that employs them. It also generally enables employees to file a claim regardless of who’s at fault.
Like worries about whether perceived fault might interfere with claim approval, there are many questions related to seeking workers’ compensation benefits. For example, you might ask:
- Is there a waiting period for eligibility? Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage for their workforce. You can file a claim for injuries that occur on the job, no matter how long you’ve been with that company.
- Will I be responsible for co-pays if I seek medical attention? Workers’ compensation covers the total cost of necessary care after a work-related incident. Additionally, you can seek compensation for transportation expenses to and from visits with your provider.
- What if my employer says I don’t have a claim? You must inform your employer of your injury within 30 days, after which they’re responsible for notifying their insurance carrier. However, the Workers’ Compensation Board makes decisions about claims.
You have the right to legal assistance if problems with your claim arise. There would be no responsibility for an attorney’s fees until they secure compensation on your behalf. Even then, payment would come from your award, rather than directly from you.
You might not ever experience a safety concern that affects your earning ability. But if you mess up, don’t let questions or possible misconceptions stand in the way of getting the help you need.