If someone were to ask you if there’s any job that’s danger-free, you might readily mention some off the top of your head. Is there such a thing as an injury-free workplace, though?
Certain jobs are easily identifiable as dangerous or life-threatening, such as construction work highrise buildings, policing, tree removal workers, and firefighting. However, other workers also face dangers, such as:
- Secretaries who may develop carpal tunnel syndrome from performing data entry
- A journalist who slips and falls on the uneven pavement while on assignment
- Delivery drivers who hurt their backs delivering packages, get bitten by a homeowner’s dog have an auto accident en route to their next drop
- A warehouse worker who suffers a crush injury on the dock or when navigating the facility
- Lab or industrial workers who develop cognitive or respiratory problems after inhaling toxic substances on the job
Workers face an injury risk no matter their role. If you’ve suffered an injury, you might inquire if you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The circumstances surrounding your injury will dictate if you do.
What Types of Incidents Make You Eligible for Workers’ Comp?
Any incident in which you incur an injury while doing something of benefit to your employer generally qualifies you to receive workers’ comp. This means that you may qualify for compensation if you suffer injuries while:
- Performing your regular work tasks at your employer’s facility
- Running an errand on behalf of your employer, such as dropping off a part, picking up supplies or having a key made
- Attending a mandatory meeting or professional conference
You may also be eligible for workers’ compensation if you suffered injuries while working offsite at a client’s home or office.
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Comp No Matter the Injury I Suffer?
Yes. Workers’ compensation covers all types of injuries, including head or brain, back, and repetitive stress ones and also burns, fractures, and respiratory ailments.
You may qualify for workers’ compensation after suffering a spontaneous injury such as a car or caught-by incident or experiencing a gradual health decline from exposure to toxic substances, for example. All that matters is that you experienced an onset of your condition or attribute it to your job.
Situations When You May Be Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits
There are some situations where you may not qualify for compensation even though your injury occurred during your workday. These include when there’s evidence to suggest that you:
- May have been using alcohol, or on drugs, at the time the injury occurred
- Fighting or horseplay resulted in your injuries
- Suffered injuries during the commission of a crime
Workers’ compensation laws are generally no-fault, meaning you can recover compensation without having to prove liability except in the above-referenced situations.
You may also be denied benefits on what would have otherwise been a valid claim if you don’t abide by New York law when reporting your injuries to your employer or selecting a medical provider.
While it’s best to report your incident to your employer right away, state law requires you to do so within 30 days of its occurrence. These laws also require you to see a physician approved by the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.
Determining If You Have a Valid Workers’ Compensation Claim
Understanding your responsibilities and rights under New York workers’ compensation laws can prove challenging as you’re navigating receiving the medical care you need. Be careful about who you consult for guidance on such matters if you want to receive the benefits you deserve.