The Workers' Compensation Law was developed in 1914 by statute to provide medical treatment and wage loss benefits to workers while protecting an employer from suit as Workers Compensation Benefits are an exclusive remedy. Workers in New York State cannot sue a negligent employer or fellow employee. The amount of money an injured worker receives depends on how much money he or she earned in the year prior to the accident or occupational disease with a few exceptions. A totally disabled worker is entitled to 2/3's of his or her average weekly wage up to a maximum set by law which varies depending on the date of injury. An injured worker with a partial disability would receive a partial rate. Medical coverage varies and is now limited by the recently enacted Medical Treatment Guidelines.
The New York State Workers' Compensation Law has changed dramatically over the past few years and more changes are on the way. While the system was built for the workers', there has been a dramatic shift recently towards lowering the costs in the system. These shifts hurt the very people the system was built to protect: the injured workers. These changes have made obtaining an attorney as early as possible after injury more important than ever.
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