Common Misconceptions about Workers’ Compensation

Construction worker on site with back pain.

Workers’ Compensation can be a daunting and complicated process. Any employee injured on the job has the right to and should file a claim. At Erwin, McCane & Daley, our mission is to help our clients, and anyone looking for resources on Workers’ Compensation, to navigate their way to the benefits they deserve.

It’s important to understand what Workers’ Compensation is, and when it comes into play. Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance and protection that provides wage/pay replacement and medical benefits to employees who have been injured during their employment, in exchange for a mandatory surrender of the employee’s right to sue his/her employer for negligence.

There are many reasons why an employee may not file a claim. Unfortunately, some of these decisions come from a place of misunderstanding or misrepresentation of facts. We’ve debunked the top misconceptions of Worker’s Compensation below.


You Can Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

This misconception is not only false, but illegal. Your employer cannot legally fire you for filing a claim or inquiring about doing so. This would be classified as retaliation on their part. Remember, there should be no negative effect to your employer as they should have the proper and required coverage in place. Workers’ compensation insurance is required by law in most states, and in New York, the only exception is for a business owned by one person with no other employees.


You Can Only File a Claim if Your Employer Was Negligent

New York is a no-fault state. This means that your employer doesn’t have to be deemed negligent for you to file a claim. It doesn’t matter who’s at fault for the injury; if you are injured at, or because of work, you are entitled to file a claim.


You Must File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer to Claim Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Filing for workers comp does not mean you are filing a lawsuit against your employer. This process was created to protect employees and businesses. Workers’ Compensation is filed through your employer and their insurance company. While legal representation is not required to file a claim, it is highly recommended to ensure that the process is done correctly, and you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to.

The confusion may come from the idea of a personal injury lawsuit. While common in regard to workplace accidents, it is a completely separate action from filing for Workers’ Compensation, and you cannot do both at the same time. For more information on personal injury lawsuits, contact us or visit our website.


You Must Be Actively Doing Your Job When Injured In Order to File a Claim

While it’s true that most injuries happen directly on work premises, a workplace injury can happen elsewhere. If you are traveling for work, at a client meeting, or running a work-related errand and get injured, you are still eligible. A trip and fall on the way to the restroom or getting hurt while in the breakroom counts, as well. It’s important to note that driving to and from work does not qualify as being on the job.


Schedule a Free Consultation

When dealing with something as serious as a workplace injury, it is important to separate

misconceptions from the truth. When you work with our firm, you have direct access to our attorneys. We will lead you through the steps of New York Workers’ Compensation Court and ensure all the necessary forms are completed correctly and filed on time.

Schedule your free consultation today! We will hear the facts of your case, answer your questions, and give you a good idea of what you can expect as an outcome.