Workers’ compensation defense — not all claims are valid

When a worker is injured on the job, he or she can apply for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits include compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages. But is every claim justified? There are some New York workers who try to take advantage of this system by applying for benefits when they do not actually need them. Having a robust workers’ compensation defense is essential for small business owners who are dealing with this situation.

If a worker did not notify an employer of an injury before the deadline for doing so, then he or she is not entitled to workers’ comp. A worker might insist that it was impossible to inform the employer due the nature of his or her injuries, but this is not normally an acceptable excuse. Notice of an injury can not only be either written or verbal, but can also be delivered by the worker’s spouse, doctor or other individuals.

But even if an injured worker notified his or her employer within the time limit, there is still a statute of limitations for filing claims. There is some flexibility when it comes to occupational disease because health problems usually arise with time and regular exposure to toxins. However, for a physical injury, filing outside of the statute of limitations means that an injured party does not qualify for benefits.

Self-inflicted injuries are not eligible for compensation, either. A worker may intentionally cause his or her own injury when planning to file a fraudulent workers’ comp claim. A worker who started a fight at work and was injured as a result is also not eligible for benefits, although his or her victim might be.

There are a number of other reasons why an employer in New York might need to build a workers’ compensation defense. A worker might be skipping medical appointments or have exaggerated the extent of his or her injury. But no matter the reason why, small business owners who are defending themselves from workers’ comp claims should consider seeking guidance from an experienced attorney.