Workplace accidents regularly occur in New York, and in many cases, they cause substantial harm. While some people hurt at work make a full recovery and resume their pre-injury work duties, others suffer from lingering injuries that diminish their ability to earn an income. Fortunately, in such instances, New York’s workers’ compensation law allows many people to recover benefits to help reduce the difference between their pre-injury and post-injury wages. If you have reduced earnings due to harm sustained in a work-related incident, it is important to speak to an attorney to evaluate your rights with regard to workers’ compensation benefits. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is a seasoned Rockland County workers’ compensation attorney with the knowledge and experience needed to help injured workers protect their interests. Ms. Crown frequently represents people in workers’ compensation matters in Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties, as well as in the greater metropolitan area.Eligibility for Reduced Earnings Benefits
Under New York law, people who sustain a work-related illness or injury may be eligible for workers' compensation benefits, which typically include lost wages and medical benefits. To qualify for such benefits, they must first demonstrate the existence of an employee-employer relationship. Next, they must prove that the harm they suffered was connected to their employment.
People often mistakenly believe that if they return to work after a workplace injury, they can no longer receive lost wage benefits. Many people, who go back to work after an injury, suffer from lingering injuries that render them partially disabled. Such disabilities frequently prevent them from working at their prior capacity, which in turn, can result in lower wages.
In such instances, they may be able to recover reduced earnings benefits, which are a type of temporary workers’ compensation benefit designed to cover a portion of the difference between the current earnings of a partially disabled worker and what they were earning before the injury. To qualify for this benefit, the worker must establish that they are temporarily partially disabled, that they currently earn less than the average weekly wage they earned when they were hurt, and that their disability directly caused their reduction in earnings. An employee, seeking reduced earnings benefits following workplace harm, may have to undergo an independent medical examination to demonstrate the connection between their disability and their reduction in income.Calculating Reduced Earnings Benefits Under New York Law
Reduced earnings benefits are generally paid at a rate of two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage and their current wages. The average weekly wage is based on the employee’s gross earnings in the 52 weeks prior to their injury. It is important to note that reduced earnings benefits are subject to statutory minimum and maximum limits.
An injured worker in New York may also be entitled to future lost earnings as well. Given the complexity of the laws regarding workers’ compensation benefits, including reduced earnings, people, hurt at work, should seek legal guidance from a workers' compensation attorney to ensure they understand their rights and receive the full benefits they may be entitled to under New York law.Talk to a Knowledgeable Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
New York’s workers’ compensation laws grant employees the right to recover benefits if they suffer harm that impairs their ability to earn a living. If you can resume work following a workplace accident, but your injury hinders you from earning your previous wages, you may be eligible for benefits that compensate you for a portion of your reduced earnings (as well as other benefits), and you should talk to an attorney. Valerie Crown of The Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown, Attorney at Law, P.C., is a knowledge Rockland County workers’ compensation lawyer who can assess your case and help you seek the best legal outcome possible under the circumstances. Ms. Crown’s office is located in New York, and she regularly helps people with workers’ compensation claims in Rockland, Westchester, Orange, Dutchess, and Ulster Counties and in the greater metropolitan area. You can reach Valerie through the form online or by calling 845-708-5900 (office number) or 845-598-8253 (Valerie’s direct cellphone 24/7).