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Workers' Compensation

State law governs most workers' compensation claims. These laws are aimed at protecting workers from injuries sustained on the job. Most states require every business to have some form of workers' compensation insurance to cover its employees. A workers' compensation claim is not considered a lawsuit but rather, is a claim for benefits from the employer. Usually, workers' compensation is the exclusive remedy for workers, unless the worker can point to a third party as a contributing factor in their injury, such as a manufacturer of equipment. There are several types of injuries for which a worker can recover. In some cases, even work-related stress may lead to a valid injury for which a worker can recover.


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Workers' compensation law is a complex area of law that blends principles of employment law and personal injury law. Workers' comp claims cover on-the-job injuries, of all sorts, for employees in nearly every industry. However, not all employees will be covered.

For an employee's injury to be covered by workers' comp, the two main requirements include:

  • that the employee actually be an employee, rather than an independent contractor; and
  • that the injury occurred within the scope of employment.

Additionally, because workers' comp law is a product of state law, requirements may vary from state to state. Below you'll find five of the most common questions about which injuries may qualify for workers' comp.

Fortunately for the employee-victim of a senseless workplace attack meted out by his boss, a New York court of appeals has affirmed that the victim can seek damages directly against the boss. The case involves a New York golf club's employee, who was senselessly, and for no reason, hit in the groin by his boss with a golf club while at work. While the boss maintains that contact was minimal, it is also alleged he just laughed and walked away afterwards.

As a result of the blow, the employee had to have a testicle surgically removed. Clearly, this sort of conduct is beyond fathom. However, seemingly adding on to the unfathomability of the situation, the injured worker's boss, whom the victim is seeking to hold individually liable, was actually trying to argue that workers' compensation should be the only exclusive legal remedy. The courts did not agree.

Bicycle injury accidents occur with regular frequency in most cities where bicycle delivery services are common. When a bicyclist is involved in an injury accident, there are specific issues that can arise if the injured person was working as a bicycle courier or messenger.

Whether the cyclist is at fault, or the other party was at fault, there are similar considerations that non-cyclists should be aware of when it comes to accidents with bicycle messengers. If the bicyclist was currently engaged in a delivery, or was en route to make a pick up, there is a chance that the cyclist will be covered under an employer's workers' compensation policy, regardless of who is at fault. Cyclists should avail themselves of workers' compensation, if it is available to them, as failing to do so could result in a reduction of the potential damages.

For those in the construction industry in New York, worrying about serious on-site work injuries has always been a real part of the job, but recent reports are cause for real concern. Based on the recent report issued by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, construction fatalities, as well as construction injuries, are on the rise in New York, and have been over the last half decade.

This means that for the construction workers, and families of workers, particularly those in non-union employment, the risk of serious injury is very real. The report explains that 80 percent of the injuries occur at non-union job sites.

As technology continues to progress, nearly every industry is discovering new ways that the new technology can improve their processes. Alongside the medical and health industries, employers and companies that handle workers’ compensation claims are embracing mobile, wearable, and smart technologies. Some companies have even created apps and web-portals for employees to process claims through.

When it comes to workers’ comp claims, not only are the advances in technology helping with the claim processing end of things, the advances also have great potential to aid in injury prevention. However, for injured workers, no matter how simple the claim process may be, it is always advisable to contact an experienced, independent workers’ compensation attorney to review your claim.

Hash oil is a popular, and legal in some states, marijuana derivative consumed to help users chill out. Turns out some of the processes for extracting hash oil aren't so cool. Higher Level Concentrates in Astoria, Oregon was using an "open" extraction system, whereby hash oil is extracted from the marijuana using an extraction tube and liquefied petroleum gas to extract THC from the cannabis plant material.

This is all well and good until "invisible LP gas vapors will escape and can quickly fill an enclosed area," and "an explosive mix of LP gas vapors and air formed, ignited, and caused an immediate and violent explosion and flash fire." That's what happened to Jacob Magley, who is now suing Higher Level and 12 other entities and individuals after he was injured in the explosion.

Maybe you're sick of your job, or your boss, and you're looking for a little revenge. Or you've been injured on the job, recovered, and like the idea of getting paid to not work. And there's all this money in state workers' compensation insurance funds, just sitting there.

Any of these scenarios might sound tempting, but how do felony charges sound? As it turns out, the Inspector General of New York takes workers' comp fraud seriously; and you should, too.

A nurse who contracted Ebola from the first U.S. patient to be diagnosed with the disease back in 2014 settled her lawsuit against the hospital she worked in last month. While the details of the settlement remain confidential, typically, when a settlement is announced like this, it means the plaintiff won.

The nurse's lawsuit alleged that the hospital was negligent in training staff to handle an Ebola diagnosis, and failed to provide the proper safeguards for employees. Fortunately, both this nurse and one other nurse that also contracted Ebola at the same hospital, made full recoveries from the deadly viral infection. Unfortunately, as a result of the stress and treatments, both still suffer some lingering effects such as pain, hair loss, insomnia, and nightmares.

It may sound far-fetched, but when you consider that over 2.5 billion people worldwide live within Zika danger zones, wondering if you can get compensated for contracting the virus on the job is a legitimate concern. The Florida Fraternal Order of Police seems to think so, as the police union has requested that Sunshine State workers' compensation coverage be extended to first responders who come into contact with Zika while working.

So will they get it? And what about workers' comp for other employees who contract Zika?

If your first thought after a work injury isn't, "When can I get back to work," it's probably, "When can I get paid for getting injured at work." Missing work is tough, especially if you're missing paychecks, too.

If you got injured on the job, you probably know you can file a workers' compensation insurance claim. But how long is that going to take? While all cases are unique, here's a quick look at what to expect from your workers' comp claim.