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What Types of Injuries or Illnesses are Covered by New York Workers' Compensation?

From sore backs to traumatic brain injuries, workers’ comp is available

Accidents and exposure to dangerous conditions can occur unexpectedly in the workplace, causing serious harm to employees. In the state of New York, the workers' compensation system provides essential benefits for workers who suffer job-related injuries or illnesses. Yet, many injured workers have questions about their benefits, including whether their work injury qualifies for benefits.

The short answer is that in New York, workers’ compensation covers all job-related injuries and illnesses for employees. However, it is best for injured workers seeking compensation to consult an attorney to learn about all of their financial options. This puts injured workers in the strongest position to collect maximum benefits and compensation. If you were injured at work, Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP offers free case evaluations. Contact us today to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer.

Injuries sustained in work accidents are covered by worker’s compensation

Again, workers’ compensation covers all injuries sustained in accidents on the job. Some common examples of injures covered by New York workers’ compensation include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can be sustained in many types of work accidents, such as falls and motor vehicle accidents.
  • Burns and electrocution. Employees who suffer burns or electrical injuries due to workplace accidents, such as chemical spills, explosions, or faulty electrical equipment, are typically eligible for benefits.
  • Fractures and dislocations. Broken bones and joint dislocations resulting from workplace accidents, such as falls from heights, collisions, or machinery accidents, are covered.
  • Neck and back injuries. Injuries to the back and neck, including herniated discs, sprains, and strains, can occur due to lifting heavy objects, slip and falls, and other incidents on the job.
  • Internal injuries. Many types of work accidents can cause damage to the internal organs, which may require surgery to repair.

In order to get workers’ compensation coverage for an injury sustained in a work accident, you need to notify your employer within 30 days. We recommend doing this in writing. You also need to file a claim within two years of the accident.

Work-related illnesses are also covered

Workers’ compensation in New York also covers work-related illnesses that are sustained over a period of time rather than in a single incident.

In general, a worker may suspect their illness is work-related if it directly stems from workplace conditions or exposure to hazardous substances. Some examples of covered work-related illnesses include:

  • Occupational respiratory diseases. Breathing in toxic fumes, dust, or chemicals in the workplace can lead to respiratory illnesses like asthma, chronic bronchitis, or pneumoconiosis.
  • Occupational hearing loss. Long-term exposure to excessive noise levels in certain industries, such as construction or manufacturing, can cause permanent hearing loss.
  • Occupational skin diseases. Prolonged exposure to chemicals, irritants, or allergens in the workplace can cause skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, or occupational contact dermatitis.
  • Work-related cancers. Certain occupations carry an increased risk of developing occupational cancers due to exposure to carcinogens.
  • Repetitive strain injuries. Repetitive motions or activities, such as typing, lifting heavy objects, or operating machinery, can lead to repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) like carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis.

Unlike work accidents, there is no 30-day rule to report these types of injuries to your employer. However, there is still a deadline to file a workers’ compensation claim, which varies depending on the circumstances. Only a lawyer can tell you which deadlines apply in your situation.

Determining whether an illness is work-related can be a complex process. Consulting with an experienced NYC workers' compensation lawyer can greatly assist in navigating the process, evaluating the eligibility of the illness, and ensuring that the worker's rights are protected throughout the claims process.

Certain injuries are eligible for additional benefits

Again, workers’ compensation covers all types of work injuries, regardless of the nature of the injury and the part of the body injured. If you were hurt on the job, workers’ compensation covers the full cost of reasonable and necessary medical treatment for the injury, as well as partial replacement of lost income if you are unable to work due to the injury. Workers’ compensation also pays death benefits for fatal injuries.

However, only certain types of injuries qualify for schedule loss of use (SLU) benefits. Specific parts of the body are assigned a value according to the following formula (or schedule):

  • Arm – 312 weeks of compensation
  • Leg – 288 weeks
  • Hand – 244 weeks
  • Foot – 205 weeks
  • Eye – 160 weeks
  • Thumb – 75 weeks
  • First Finger – 46 weeks
  • Second Finger – 30 weeks
  • Third Finger – 25 weeks
  • Fourth Finger – 15 weeks
  • Big Toe – 38 weeks
  • Other Toe – 16 weeks

Permanent, disabling injuries to these parts of the body, including amputation, paralysis, nerve damage, and other types of permanent injuries, can be compensated based on the percentage of loss of use. For example, if an injury causes 50% loss of use of a hand, then the injured worker can get 2/3 of their average weekly wage for 122 weeks (50% of 244), even if they don’t miss a single day of work.

Other types of injuries, such as injuries to the internal organs, do not qualify for schedule loss of use benefits. But again, all work injuries are covered for medical treatment, loss of income while out of work, and potentially other benefits as well, depending on the circumstances.

All work injuries deserve compensation

Dealing with a work-related injury can be overwhelming, but you don't have to face it alone. An experienced NYC workers' compensation attorney can provide the guidance and support you need to secure the full and fair compensation you deserve. Make no mistake: even seemingly straightforward workers’ compensation claims face challenges. The right attorney can make all the difference.

If you or a loved one have experienced a New York work-related injury or illness, contact Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP for a free case evaluation. If you choose to have us represent you, one of our experienced workers' compensation attorneys can help you navigate the process and pursue the full benefits to which you are entitled.

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