How Do I Know Which Compensation Option Applies To Me?
Your available options for compensation depend on the severity of your injury and the circumstances behind your accident.
Workers’ compensation is available for all types of workplace eye injuries. Every New York employer is required to provide coverage to all staff members. These benefits provide compensation for medical expenses and 2/3 of your average weekly wage.
This is no-fault insurance, so it doesn’t matter how your accident occurred. You’re covered even when you’re at fault, and your employer is protected from lawsuits even if he or she was at fault.
While you’re guaranteed coverage, the system is much more complex than many people realize. Claims are frequently denied for mistakes, inaccuracies, or insufficient evidence. Many injured workers struggle to get through the process without the guidance of an experienced work injury lawyer.
Social Security Disability
Severe eye injuries which prevent you from working for a year or longer may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. These benefits may sometimes be collected with workers’ comp, but your total weekly benefit payout cannot exceed 80% of your average weekly wage. SSD benefits are intended for people who are unable to hold any job because of their workplace eye injury.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
While you’re not permitted to sue your employer or co-worker for a workplace injury, you could file a personal injury lawsuit if a negligent third party caused your injury. These lawsuits provide additional compensation for damages not covered under workers’ comp, such as pain and suffering. With the serious nature of eye injuries, it’s often necessary to file a third-party claim in order to receive the compensation you need.
For example, say you suffered a serious eye injury from flying particles while you were using a defective power tool. If the product defect is determined to be the cause of your injury, you could hold the manufacturer liable for damages.
There are a few common causes of workplace eye injuries:
- Flying objects
In work environments which contain these common hazards, employers should stress eye safety and make sure to follow official OSHA regulations for eye and face protection.
Commonly Affected Industries
Occupations which involve the use of tools and heavy machinery have the highest risk of eye injury. According to Industrial Safety & Hygiene News, three industries account for roughly 40% of all workplace eye injuries:
- Construction – Construction workers account for more than 10,000 of annual workplace eye injuries. Specific dangers include flying objects such as nails, metal, and splinters, airborne dusts, chemicals, and welding accidents.
- Manufacturing – Factory workers are at risk of eye injuries from flying debris which results from the use of tools and exposure to harmful chemical compounds.
- Mining – Miners frequently suffer eye injuries from flying particles, chemical splashes, dust, sparks, hot liquids, and welding radiation.
Studies have found that approximately 90% of all workplace eye injuries could be prevented through the use of proper protective eye gear.
Will I Need A Lawyer?
For most injured workers, an experienced work injury lawyer can make the process of claiming compensation much easier. As we’ve mentioned above, there are multiple forms of compensation available, and available forms vary greatly between accidents. Additionally, getting through the claims process without a lawyer is much more difficult. When the insurance company has their own lawyers who work to deny claims, you need someone on your side who is prepared to represent you and your best interests.
Recovering from an eye injury is a long, difficult experience. It’s important to acquire all forms of compensation that you’re entitled to in order to have a successful recovery and to pay your bills while you can’t work. At Banville Law, we’re prepared to deal with the insurance companies during your recovery. We also work on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay nothing until we help you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
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