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As an employer, do you know what a workers’ compensation claim can cover?

New York law requires almost every employer to purchase workers’ compensation coverage. While many companies buy this coverage to remain in compliance with state law, most employers hope that they never have to tap into their coverage.

You may not realize what expenses you must cover with your workers’ compensation policy if a worker gets hurt. It’s more than just medical bills. You’ll want to apprise yourself of the expenses your insurance must cover so that you avoided making mistakes that could later lead to litigation. you could face legal action for denying a valid claim. 

What does workers’ compensation cover?

You should always ensure that any injured or ill worker immediately seeks medical care as soon as they report suffering an injury or illness on the job. You’ll be responsible for covering this initial doctor’s visit for this work-related injury or illness.

Be aware that your insurer’s responsibility to cover their medical care isn’t just limited to their first doctor’s visit, though, but instead any subsequent ones that they have for their work-related condition as well. In addition, workers’ comp benefits are designed to cover:

  • Disability benefits for workers who have long-term injuries
  • Counseling costs, physical therapy and other therapy related to the worker’s injury
  • Rehabilitative care when the affected worker has long-lasting problems
  • Wage replacement benefits for the period of time the worker is off work
  • Death benefits for the worker’s family if the injured worker dies

It’s also wise to remember that workers’ comp doesn’t just cover accidental injuries, but also illnesses or injuries that may develop over time. One example of a potentially coverable illness is Black Lung disease, which a miner may develop after consistent exposure to coal. Carpal tunnel is another example of a repetitive stress injury that workers’ comp may have to cover.

Don’t deny a claim by mistake

It can be a costly mistake to deny a workers’ compensation claim without a valid reason. An attorney can help you determine if your employee has a valid claim and, if so, advise you of the next steps you’ll want to take to address it.