Types of Accidents and Conditions Covered by Workers' Compensation
The New York Workers' Compensation system covers virtually any type of work-related accident, injury or illness. The only qualification is that the injury or medical condition occurred at the workplace or during the course of one's employment. Exceptions to this rule are rare but may apply if a worker intentionally inflicted harm or was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident. Below, we have outlined the main types of work injuries covered by workers' compensation.
Workplace Accidents and On-the-Job Injuries
A workplace accident may range from an incident involving heavy machinery at a construction site to a slip and fall accident in an office building. Regardless of the type of accident, a worker may experience minor or debilitating injuries. Any type of on-the-job injury may be covered by workers' compensation, as long as the injury occurred at the workplace or while the worker was carrying out the tasks associated with his or her job. An example of an off-site injury that may be covered is an auto accident, if the worker was making a delivery or running a work-related errand.
A number of different illnesses and medical conditions may be considered occupational diseases. This may include health problems caused by exposure to toxins at the workplace, such as mesothelioma resulting from asbestos exposure. It may also cover injuries and illnesses related to repetitive motion, physical strain or any hazards associated with a worker's job. Conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, respiratory disorders, disabling back injuries and certain forms of cancer may be covered, as long as it can be established that they were caused by the victim's work environment or job duties.
Health Problems Caused by Workplace Exposure
Some workplaces expose workers to hazardous conditions. Factories, for example, may expose workers to continual loud noises from heavy equipment. Even in standard office buildings workers may be exposed to naturally-occurring hazards such as mold. Workers' compensation claims may be filed for injuries or illnesses caused by any type of workplace exposure. This may include hearing loss or vision loss caused by exposure to loud noises or light, and diseases or health conditions caused by exposure to lead, benzene, asbestos or other toxins.
When a worker is diagnosed with an occupational illness or is injured at work and files a valid workers' compensation claim, he or she may be entitled to cash benefits for lost wages (up to two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage) and medical benefits. All medical care related to the injury or illness will be covered by workers' compensation or provided by healthcare providers authorized by the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. Surviving spouses and minor children of workers who are killed in work accidents or succumb to occupational diseases may be entitled to benefits as well, for lost earnings and funeral costs.
Determining whether your injury is covered can be difficult, particularly if your employer or the workers' comp insurance company has tried to deny your claim or delay payment. Make sure your claim is properly filed, so your employer has no reason to try to delay the fair and complete payment of your claim. Make sure your rights are protected if an issue should arise regarding the validity of your claim. Schedule a free consultation with a New York workers' compensation lawyer at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC and find out how our legal team can protect your rights in this important matter. Contact our office today We represent injured workers and their families across all of New York.