The Law Offices of David Smoren, PLLC
The Law Office of David SmorenThe Law Office of David Smoren
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Work Related Injuries, Occupational Diseases and Death Benefits

New York Workers’ Compensation – Work Related Injuries, Occupational Diseases and Death Benefits

New York’s workers compensation insurance provides wage replacement in the form of weekly cash benefits and medical coverage for a work-related injury, occupational disease or death. What defines a work-related injury, occupational disease or death is determined by the law. It is often the subject of controversy and left for a judicial decision.

A work related injury, occupation disease or death must be determined to be accidental in nature and have occurred “arising out of and in the course of employment.” Accidental in nature typically means that the injury is not caused solely by the intentional acts of the employee; however, an employee is still entitled to benefits if the accident involves a worker’s own fault.

The terms “arising out of and in the course of employment” are additional conditions that must be met prior to an award of workers’ compensation benefits. These conditions require that the injury, death or illness occur while the worker is performing a duty for which he is employed and that the injury, death or illness is related to the risk of the work performed. An injury sustained while going to or returning from work will generally be challenged as not being compensable because it can be claimed that the injury did not occur while performing a duty for the employer.

Compensable work related injuries and death typically result from slipping, falling, and cutting, straining, breaking or hitting a part of the body. Mental disorders such as post traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety related illnesses are also compensable illnesses and are usually considered as a consequence of the primary injury.

Occupational diseases can occur as a result of exposure to dust, fumes, gases or as a result of repetitive tasks such as use of a key board and continuous bending and lifting. An occupational disease is an illness or injury that unlike a slip and fall, which occurs on a specific date and time, is not immediately evident or sudden. Rather, it usually occurs over a period of time and is ultimately discovered with the assistance of a medical professional who takes the time to correlate the illness with the workplace environment. Filing for compensation for this kind of injury can be a complicated process, and it is always advisable to seek legal counsel in such circumstances.

The above is just a brief overview of the legal issues that will be addressed prior to an award of compensation. It is not always cut and dry as to whether a worker has suffered a compensable injury under the law. The employer can and will contest an award of benefits if it appears that an injury, occupational disease or death might have happened outside of the scope of employment or as a result of an intentional or unlawful act. It is important that crucial facts are determined and documented early on in the case to maximize the chances of bringing a successful claim. Equally important is an early determination whether someone other than the employer is legally responsible for the accident, illness or death. This is because workers have the right, in addition to receiving benefits under the workers’ compensation law, to bring a separate lawsuit for pain and suffering against a responsible third party. As such, it is imperative that the worker speak with an experienced attorney to fully understand and protected his or her rights.

If you have suffered an unfortunate accident at work, or have been the victim of a medical condition caused from the nature of your job, you may be entitled to significant compensation from your employer or other responsible party. Don’t go it alone, The Law Offices of David Smoren, PLLC has the expertise and resources to file and prosecute a successful workers’ compensation claim on your behalf. Employers have attorneys protecting their rights and so should you.

The Law Offices of David Smoren, PLLC has successfully handled hundreds of workers’ compensation claims resulting in millions of dollars in monetary compensation and medical benefits for our clients. There is never a fee unless we are successful in recovering benefits for you. Call 718 225-6700 today for a free phone consultation or to arrange for an office or in home consultation or simply post a comment or question on the contact form.