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NY Workers Comp: Why Workers Compensation Doesn’t Work

NY workers compLet’s say you were hurt on the job and you cannot go back to your previous type of work. For example, you are a furniture mover and do heavy lifting and you hurt your back. Now, let’s just say you don’t have too many other skills and you have a mortgage. If you think workers’ compensation is supposed to help you through hard times, think again.

If the insurance doctor says you can do other work, the insurance company can lower your payments to whatever the insurance company wants. You are supposed to immediately learn a new skill and find a new job as the amount of money you receive based on a temporary disability has nothing to do with your ability to work and everything to do with a vague numerical percentage assigned to you by the insurance doctor. And, if you want to take this to a judge, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is trying to eliminate hearings so you may have trouble being heard.

In other words, on temporary disability, the NY Workers Compensation system is not concerned with whether you have the skills to find a new job or whether you can work. The only thing that seems to matter is the rating the insurance company has assigned. It was not always this cruel, but times have changed and the system is becoming more and more unfair each year.

Who Benefits From the Workers Compensation System?

So, why is there a workers’ compensation system if it doesn’t protect the worker? The simple answer is that the workers’ compensation system is no longer about protecting workers or their rights. It is about lowering costs for business and making money for insurance companies. Businesses and insurance companies have political clout and injured workers do not. Most workers are no longer unionized and furthermore, many unions do not consider workers’ compensation an important enough issue to make a priority in negotiations. In fact, throwing your neighbor who was hurt under the bus doesn’t really affect the healthy worker at all, until that worker has an accident.

My clients are often stunned at the unfairness and cruelty of the workers’ compensation system. Some claim that they are honestly hurt and it must be all the cheats who are hurting the system. I don’t think most people are cheats. I think it is money and greed on the part of insurance companies and businesses that ultimately drive down the benefit structure, little by little, year after year.

It’s important to understand that worker’s compensation is not easy and you should know what you face. In fact, people sometimes hear about a friend who got a lot of money. Sure, but that friend had a serious injury if he got a lot of money. No one comes out ahead in workers’ compensation. It is always better financially to go back to work as soon as possible. The only reason you should stay out of work is because you truly cannot work due to your disability. Then, brace yourself for the unfairness.

Why Contact a New York Workers Comp Attorney?

So, with this outlook, why get a New York workers comp attorney? Because as unfair as the system can be, going it alone without a lawyer is just that much worse. Call the law office of Robert A. Koenigsberg at (212) 964-9292 or fill out an online contact form to schedule your first free consultation. Robert Koenigsberg is here to help you navigate as best as possible.