You get hurt at work and it is not your fault. And technically, it’s not the employer’s fault either. Like with motor vehicle accidents, Workers’ Compensation in New York State is a no fault insurance based system. So what does this mean for you?
The Workers’ Compensation system is designed to provide coverage for medical and wage replacement benefits for injured workers regardless of fault. In order to establish a valid Workers’ Comp claim, you must have an accidental or occupationally developed injury that arises out of or in the course of your employment. After properly notifying your employer, you must also produce medical evidence regarding your injury. Specifically, your medical provider must put in writing a history of your work activity, a diagnosis, and a statement of causal relationship between your work and the resulting injury or condition. This must then be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Board along with a C-3, Employee Claim Form.
Now you are thinking, but my employer really is at fault! Maybe there was a known issue on a machine and they still continued to run it. Maybe there was a leak that resulted in an always slippery floor. Even if the situation that resulted in your injury was clearly the fault of your employer, there is no payment or consideration for pain and suffering in the New York Workers’ Compensation system. If there is some negligence that can be determined on the part of a third party, other than your employer, this would be handled by way of a separate, third party action claim.
Navigating these laws on your own can be difficult. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you throughout the process and get you the benefits you deserve. If you believe your injury falls within these parameters, please contact us directly to further discuss that possibility.