Question

How much is a work injury worth in New York? Is it worth it to contact a lawyer?

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Answer

It is hard to quantify exactly how much a work injury is worth. It may be worth very little if your injury is minor and results in little or no time lost from work. However, a work-related claim may be worth a substantial amount of money if your injury causes you to lose time from work or results in permanent injury or death. And don’t forget, every case is valuable for the medical treatment provided under the law for work-related injuries and illnesses.

Workers’ compensation monetary awards are payable as a weekly benefit. The maximum weekly benefit rate is determined by the state’s average weekly wage in the year in which your injury occurred. For accidents and occupational diseases occurring after 7/1/16, the maximum weekly benefit is $864.32 (subject to increase on July 1 of each year).

How much you get is determined by the type of injury you sustained. For instance, a fractured arm might result in a 33.33 percent loss of use of your arm. This would be a 104-week award and would equal $89,889.20, if payable at the maximum rate. If you had a substantial injury to your back or neck that prevented you from going back to work in the future, you might be entitled to an award for a 75 percent loss of earning capacity, which equals 400 weeks of compensation. At the current maximum benefit rate, the value of this award would be $345,728.00.

Because no two cases are exactly alike, the amount you receive often depends on the quality of the legal work and the competence of your attorney. Having the right lawyer really does matter. Look for an experienced, reputable firm whose practice is concentrated primarily on workers’ compensation claims.

Answered 04/04/2017

Disclaimer: This answer was provided by an attorney selected to Super Lawyers, and is intended to be an educated opinion only. This answer should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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