Answering Your Workers' Compensation Questions

Why should I file a workers' compensation claim?

A claim protects some of your wages and pays for medical care, physical therapy, rehabilitation and medications.

What workers' compensation benefits am I entitled to for an injury I suffered at work?

You are entitled to medical benefits and compensation benefits. The insurance carrier will be liable for lifetime medical benefits, including hospitalization, doctor, nurse and chiropractic services, and dentist services. Your treatment may also involve physical therapy, x-rays or other scans, durable medical goods and prescribed drugs. These will also be covered. Compensation benefits are two-thirds of the average weekly wage in the state of New York.

Do surviving family members receive benefits?

Yes. If an injured worker dies from a job-related injury, the surviving spouse and minor children or dependents are entitled to death and survivor benefits.

Do I go to my employer to file a workers' compensation claim?

First, get medical attention, and then inform your employer of your injury within 30 days. Once you fill out the forms, it is your employer's responsibility to fill out the required paperwork. You may also have to file a separate claim.

My boss does not want to file a claim. What should I do?

If your boss threatens you, do not respond; instead, consult a lawyer. Your consultation is completely private and free with Bronnberg & Henriquez PC. Your lawyer will tell you what your case is worth, and you can decide if you want to file.

What if my boss has no workers' compensation insurance?

Some employers, particularly in construction, break the law by not having insurance. That will not affect your right to obtain compensation and treatment. New York has a special division to cover your injuries.

Must an injured worker submit to a medical exam when requested by an employer or insurance carrier?

Yes. If there is a dispute, you may be required to have an independent medical examination (IME) by a doctor. You must receive advance written notice and you may have your own doctor, dentist or chiropractor present. Refusing the exam can mean a denial of compensation.

Why do I need a workers' compensation attorney?

Things do not always go smoothly with workers' compensation and employers. An employer may fight your right to benefits. It is therefore important to keep documentation of your injury and all medical bills and records. An attorney can work to ensure that just compensation is pursued and collected.

How are my weekly wages calculated?

The average weekly wage (AWW) is calculated by your wages earned divided by the number of weeks worked. If you earned a salary, then your weekly salary is your AWW. If you worked hourly, five days per week, for a full year at the same job, then your AWW is calculated using the 260 multiplier. Take your wages in the year prior to the injury and divide that number by the actual number of days you worked to get your daily wage. Then, take your daily wage and multiply it by 260. Divide that amount by 52 to get your average weekly wage.

Is overtime factored in?

If your overtime is mandatory, then yes; if overtime is not required, then no. Hourly shift differential bonuses do count. Concurrent employment (a second job) may also be included, with some exceptions.

Should I apply for Social Security Disability?

Yes. If you are 18 years of age or older and are not currently receiving benefits, and are unable to work because of a medical condition, you may be eligible. Speak with a lawyer who works with Social Security Disability if you are unsure of your eligibility or if you have been denied benefits.

What is the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB) case number?

The WCB manages records and hearings for claims made by claimants by using a unique number for each case. Each insurance carrier has a case number to identify your claim.

Is a work-related car accident covered by workers' compensation or by automobile insurance?

If you were injured in the course of employment while driving, as passenger or as a pedestrian, typically you will be covered by your employer's workers' compensation insurance for medical and compensation benefits. If you are unsure of your specific case, consult an attorney who works in workers' compensation to receive an accurate assessment.

With over 30 years of combined experience, Bronnberg & Henriquez PC can help you through your New York workers' compensation, Social Security Disability or other employment law issue. Contact Bronnberg & Henriquez PC in Queens for personal service. Call 718-509-6788 or fill out our online contact form and a workers' compensation lawyer will get back to you promptly.