On-the-job injuries happen every day in New York. If you were hurt in the workplace, you've probably heard a lot about the state's workers' compensation system, its potential benefits, and how to get them. However, it's important to take everything you've heard with a grain of salt.
Misinformation about workers' comp is rampant and, if you're not careful, these myths can damage your claim and cause you to miss out on much-needed benefits. Here are some of the most common workers' compensation myths and the truth behind them.
Myth: You Can't Receive Workers' Compensation Benefits If You Were Responsible for Your Injuries
False! Workers' compensation is a no-fault insurance system which means that (in most cases) workers can collect benefits even if they were responsible for the accident and their injuries. Some exceptions do exist; discuss the details of your workplace injury case with an attorney.
Myth: Your Employer Will Retaliate Against You—or Fire You
That would be illegal. Both state and federal laws protect injured employees from retaliation for filing a workers' comp claim. Your employer has to provide reasonable cause for your termination. If you believe you've been unfairly threatened or fired after filing a workers' compensation claim, talk to an attorney right away.
Myth: You Can File Your Workers' Compensation Claim at Any Time
The workers' compensation claims process has strict deadlines for both notifying your employer and filing a claim. If you miss these deadlines, you could lose your right to benefits. Working with an attorney can ensure all paperwork is completed in a timely manner.
Myth: You Don't Need an Attorney
Nothing could be further from the truth. Workers' compensation law can be dense and complex. You'll need an attorney to help you understand your legal rights and options, gather the necessary evidence to support your claim for benefits, handle communication with your employer's workers' compensation insurer, and make sure you receive the proper medical treatment and wage replacement payments.
At O'Connor Law PLLC, our skilled New York workers' compensation attorneys can help you receive fair benefits for a workplace injury or occupational illness. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary initial consultation.