Injuries can happen anywhere, but many people become injured carrying out their jobs. Some jobs—such as construction, or warehouse stocking—present a greater risk of injury than others, no matter how many safety measures may be in place. If a workplace injury is not seriously debilitating, workers’ compensation will cover necessary medical costs and provide, when warranted, partial income for a short period. But if you suffer an injury that causes a permanent and total disability that makes you unable to work at all, you need lifetime benefits. We proudly assist personal injury and workers’ compensation clients throughout Queens, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Learn more about your options for permanent and total disability in Queens by calling us at 718-441-5050 today.
New York’s workers’ compensation system is designed to protect workers from the worst consequences of workplace injury by making sure that there is a “safety net” in place to cover medical costs and a portion of lost income when employees are unable to continue working. The system also protects employers from exposure to financial liabilities which could jeopardize their ability to operate and provide a living to the employees who depend upon them or impact the services and products they provide.
Employers pay premiums for workers’ compensation insurance based upon the number of employees they have, as well as upon the classification of those employees in terms of job injury risk. If a worker suffers an injury, contracts an illness, or develops a medical condition as a direct result of carrying out his or her job, the workers’ compensation insurer will provide benefits to the injured worker.
The receipt of benefits does not depend upon fault. In other words, a worker does not need to show that his employer or another employee was negligent or careless in order to receive benefits. However, there are important exceptions: Workers’ compensation benefits are not available to employees who intentionally injure themselves or to employees whose injury comes about solely as a result of being intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
While direct medical costs are covered in full, when it comes to income replacement, benefits are determined by the extent of an injury disability.
Generally speaking, income benefits are based on the following classifications:
- “Temporary Partial Disability”—when an employee is unable to earn full wages temporarily;
- “Temporary Total Disability”—when an employee is unable to earn any income for a temporary period;
- “Permanent Partial Disability”—when an employee’s wage-earning capacity is permanently impaired, but where some wage-earning capacity remains after recovering as much as medically possible.
- “Permanent Total Disability”—when an employee’s wage-earning capacity is permanently and totally lost.
These distinctions are critical. Unless an injury is deemed permanent, worker’s compensation will only provide benefits for a limited period of time; unless a disability is total—that is, the employee cannot perform any type of work even part-time or in a limited capacity—the employee will have an obligation to seek alternative work.
In order to receive lifetime benefits, an employee must be diagnosed as having a permanent total disability. And, although the medical evaluation of the employee’s own doctor is part of the determination, insurers are entitled to have an independent medical evaluation performed, and the status may ultimately be determined by a workers’ compensation judge.
If you have been seriously injured at work, making a workers’ compensation claim may sound simple enough. However, in practice, navigating your way through the system is everything but simple, particularly for serious disabilities. Insurance carriers are reluctant to pay out lifetime benefits and may attempt to limit your claim. And if you have disputes with your employer or the insurance carrier, you will likely end up at a workers’ compensation board hearing, riddled with all of the complications of a regular court trial. That is the last thing you need when you are seriously injured. If you need help filing your total and permanent disability claim in New York, let the experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorneys at The Cassisi Law Firm assist you.
For a free consultation to find out how we can help, call 718-441-5050 or use our online form to set up your appointment.