Under the New York workers’ compensation laws, there are two requirements to recover workers’ compensation benefits—you must prove that you were injured and that the injury was work-related (sustained while you were in the course of your employment). Here are some of the questions we are frequently asked about pertaining to whether an accident was work-related.
Q: Can I recover workers’ compensation benefits if I was injured while on a break at work?
A: Under state and federal labor laws, you are entitled to periodic breaks, including meal breaks, based on the number of hours you work. As a general rule, if you are on a meal break or regularly scheduled break, and you remain on company property (in the cafeteria, break room or other location), you will still be eligible for workers’ compensation for any injuries suffered. However, if you leave company premises to go on a meal break, you won’t be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits for injuries suffered on the break, unless you went at the request of your employer or were on a work-related errand.
Q: Does the injury have to occur on company premises?
A: Not necessarily. If your employer requires that you travel for work, whether it’s part of your daily regimen or you are attending a conference, workshop or meeting, you can recover workers’ compensation benefits, provided you weren’t involved in a personal endeavor at the time of the injury. As a general rule, there’s no coverage for injuries sustained on your commute to or from work, unless you deviated from your normal route to perform a work-related task.
Q: What if I am hurt at the company golf outing?
A: As a general rule, if you are injured at any type of company-sponsored event, whether it’s a business meeting, a team-building exercise, or pure entertainment, you have a right to seek workers’ compensation benefits for your losses. There are exceptions, though. For example, if you engage in horseplay or consume too much alcohol, you may not be covered. However, if the company provided or encouraged the use of alcohol, there may still be liability.
Q: Can I recover workers’ compensation if I was partially responsible for my injuries?
A: That depends. The workers’ compensation laws are based on the legal concept of “no fault,” meaning that there’s no requirement to show that your employer was negligent in order to recover benefits. Because of that principle, it rarely matters whether you were careless—you will still be entitled to benefits. However, if your actions were in clear violation of company policies, or if it can be shown that your injuries were intentionally self-inflicted, your claim may be denied.
Effective Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Queens, New York
At Pyrros & Serres, we bring more than 50 years of combined workers’ compensation experience to clients throughout Queens and across the greater New York City area. We place a premium on personal service and attention, taking the time to learn the specific details of your case, so that we can tailor our efforts to get the outcome you seek. Because of our longstanding record of hard work and success, we receive many of our new cases as referrals from doctors, lawyers and satisfied clients.
We take all types of work-related injury claims, including cases involving:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Fractures | Burns | Paralysis | Spinal Cord Injury | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury | Hearing or Vision Loss | Back and Neck Injury | Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Accidental or Wrongful Death | Occupational Disease or Illness
For more information about the services we provide, see our practice area overview page.
Pyrros & Serres LLP
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York
Previously published 2018