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Applying For Workers' Comp As An Injured Food Service Employee In New York

Anyone who’s worked in food service knows how hectic these environments can be. What looks like a slow night can suddenly transform into a fast-paced and stressful shift when the orders start coming in at a faster rate. These jobs aren’t for everyone – it requires a combination of team-work and the ability to keep up during an unexpected rush. However, even seasoned food service workers are at risk of being injured on the job.

Sharp kitchen tools, exposure to fire and heat sources, and slip and fall dangers are just a few examples of food service hazards which could result in injuries to chefs, cooks, dishwashers, servers, and other employees. Like virtually all other New York City employees, injured food service workers qualify for workers’ compensation when an injury impairs their ability to return to their job duties.

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What Rights Do Injured NYC Food Service Workers Have?

All food service workers are eligible for workers’ compensation, regardless of employment status. There is a popular misconception that part-time employees don’t qualify for these benefits, but this is simply not true. Federal law requires employers to provide all of their employees with coverage for work-related injuries.

Some food service workers may be paid “under the table” in cash. Restaurant owners do this in order to avoid paying payroll taxes or benefits. However, this is illegal. If you’re an under-the-table employee and you’ve been injured, an experienced food service work injury lawyer in New York may still be able to help you recover the compensation you need.

Workers’ Comp For Food Service Injuries - NY Workplace Injury Lawyers

Many injured food service workers are hesitant to file claims for workers’ compensation. They may be unaware that they are entitled to these benefits or fear repercussions from their employer, such as being fired, having hours cut, or being forced to work through the injury. It’s never acceptable for an employer to retaliate against you for filing a work injury claim. If you’ve attempted to apply for benefits and have faced resistance from your employer, Banville Law’s experienced work injury lawyers are prepared to stand up for your rights.

Workers’ compensation is a no-fault form of insurance, which means that you are eligible for benefits regardless of how your injury occurred. Even if it was because of your own mistake, you are still entitled to financial compensation for medical expenses and a portion of your lost wages. And even if your employer’s negligence caused your injury, he or she is usually protected from a lawsuit.

Common Injuries In Food Service

Food service work environments are filled with a variety of hazards. While the risk of injury can be dramatically reduced with strict adherence to safety standards, some food service work injuries are unavoidable.

Common examples include:

  • Lacerations – Food service workers must use knives, slicers, sharpeners, and other sharp instruments throughout their shift. An unexpected broken dish also could cause an injury. This prevalence of sharp objects makes puncture wounds and lacerations some of the most common food service worker injuries.
  • Burns – Stoves, fryers, boiling water, and hot dishes all have the potential to cause serious burns for restaurant employees.  Cooks and food service workers had some of the highest rates of occupational burn injuries in the US.
  • Repetitive motion injuries – Not every restaurant work injury occurs in an unexpected accident. It’s common for food service workers to slowly develop musculoskeletal disorder due to repeating the same motions over and over again each shift. Examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic back pain, and tendonitis. These injuries also qualify for workers’ compensation.
  • Eye injuries – Accidental contact with hot grease and kitchen chemicals can lead to serious eye injuries.

Any injury or illness which was caused by your working conditions is eligible for workers’ compensation, as long as it’s serious enough to keep you from working.

How Can I Receive My Workers' Comp Benefits?

Whether you’re struggling with an uncooperative boss or you’re confused with the workers’ compensation process, having an experienced work injury lawyer guide you through the process is the best way to receive the compensation you’re entitled to.

At Banville Law, our dedicated work injury lawyers understand how the workers’ compensation system functions. We’ve dealt with countless employers and insurance companies who try to deny workers’ the benefits they rightfully deserve. We have the resources and experience necessary for helping injured workers get the financial assistance they need while they’re out of work.

If you’re worried that you can’t afford a lawyer, don’t be. At Banville Law, we offer free initial consultations and only request payment if and when we help you secure compensation. This means that if we don’t help you get paid, you owe us nothing.

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