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Different Injury, Different Laws: Workers’ Compensation Laws for Each Type of Workplace Injury

There are many ways you can be injured in the workplace. You can be burned, struck by an object, suffer an illness after being exposed to a harmful substance, or you can suffer a fall. One accident can result in many injuries or just one injury.

If you are a covered employee and your accident occurred while you were at work, performing your job, you can file a workers’ compensation claim to recover financial compensation for your medical bills and lost wages. But before you are involved in an accident, take the time to read about the process for seeking workers’ compensation and the applicable laws. That way, if you are ever injured in a workplace accident, you will know what to do in the moments, days, and weeks that follow.

Arm Injuries

No matter what type of work you perform, you probably use your arms at work frequently. Your arms can suffer cuts, burns, broken bones, and soft tissue injuries from being caught between objects.

If you do not recover the full use of your arm after receiving treatment, you may be eligible to receive a Scheduled Loss of Use (SLU) award. SLU awards are calculated by determining 2/3 of the worker’s average weekly earnings and the percentage of the law’s permitted compensation time frame for which he or she was unable to work. The worker then receives 2/3 of his or her average weekly wage for this period of time. For an arm injury, a worker is permitted to receive 312 weeks of compensation. If a worker is determined to have lost the use of his or her arm for 50 percent of this time, he or she can receive 156 weeks’ worth of compensation.

Head Injuries

Head injuries can often result in damage to the brain, which can have life-altering consequences for a worker. A brain injury can cause a victim to suffer hearing loss, vision loss, and difficulty with movement and other bodily functions. Although there is no allocated SLU award for a head injury, there are specific SLU awards for eye and ear injuries. Individuals who suffer from hearing loss as the result of workplace conditions also have a greater waiting period to file their claims – rather than having to file within two years of knowing that their condition was caused by issues in the workplace or leaving the job, the two-year filing period begins three months after a hearing loss victim discovers the cause of his or her disability or leaves his or her job.

Leg Injuries

For a leg injury, the law allows a victim to recover 288 weeks’ worth of compensation for an SLU award. Leg injuries can alter an individual’s ability to move freely, sometimes requiring the use of a wheelchair or other mobility aid.

Back Injuries

There is no allocated SLU time period for a back injury. However, back injuries can be very serious and may require a victim to complete a physical therapy regimen or a rehabilitation program to make a full recovery. Sometimes, a victim never recovers from a back injury. A victim may receive compensation from the Workers’ Compensation Board to cover his or her rehabilitation expenses.

Work with an Experienced New York City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Educate yourself about the workers’ compensation claim process and the various New York laws applicable to it before you are injured at work. To learn more about workers’ compensation laws and procedures, speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Contact The Law Offices of Robert A. Koenigsberg today to schedule your initial consultation.

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