10 Workers Comp Misconceptions That COST You Money!

YouTube Video

Ten workers compensation misconceptions that can cost you money.

People have all sorts of misconceptions about Workers' Compensation, like thinking that their employer decides if their claim is valid or that filing a claim will result in them losing their job.

But these simply aren't true, and these misconceptions can result in you missing out on thousands of dollars worth of benefits that you are legally entitled to, or worse, that can deprive you of your medical care that you urgently need. So what are the top ten misconceptions that I hear from injured workers? And could one of these mistakes be robbing you of a whole lot of money?

We are going to find out right now. My name is Rex Zachofsky and I became a Workers' Compensation Attorney here in New York 17 years ago after getting injured on the job. If you're looking for a lawyer to help you with your claim for New York State Workers compensation benefits, please give me a call today at 212-406-8989 to schedule a free consultation.

It was my fault

A lot of injured workers will mistakenly think that they cannot apply for Workers' Compensation benefits because the injury was their fault. But that's simply not how it works. Even if you made a stupid mistake that caused your own injury, you are entitled to Workers' Compensation benefits so long as it happened on the job. This is why Workers' Compensation is called a no fault system, because generally speaking, no matter who is at fault, it still covers lost wages, medical expenses and disability payments.

The one exception, of course, is if you did it on purpose in order to collect Workers' Compensation benefits. Well, my friends, that's insurance fraud.

It’s an old injury

Another common mistake I see is employees confusing two different accidents for the same body part as the same injury. You can break the same bone more than once. You can sprain your lumbar spine twice. You can do a whole lot of things twice.

Even though it's the same body part, you should still file a new claim on time, in order to protect yourself. You can have two Workers' Compensation cases for the same body part. You can have ten cases for the same body part, and I would rather you file a new case and have a judge consolidate it into an older one, then not file at all and miss the boat on getting benefits, if it's deemed to have been a new accident.

I don’t want to sue my boss

Another thing I often hear from injured workers all the time is that they don't want to sue their boss or their company, so they're not going to file for Workers' Compensation benefits. But you're not suing anybody in Workers' Comp, you're filing a claim for insurance benefits.

In fact, one of the primary reasons why Workers' Compensation was created in the first place was to protect employers from getting sued for a lot of money when their employees got injured on the job. So Workers' Compensation actually prevents you from suing your boss. And in exchange, you can reliably and quickly get benefits for a work injury that you might have suffered.

As a result, their insurance premiums might go up a little bit, but that's nothing compared to what a personal injury lawsuit would cost them.

I didn’t miss any time from work

What if you don't miss any time from work? Does that mean that you don't qualify for Workers' Compensation benefits? Of course not.

Workers' Compensation does not just cover lost wages, but it also covers medical expenses and permanent disability benefits. So it is possible for you to suffer a work related injury that requires medical treatment, make it to work the next day, and still have medical bills that worker's compensation will cover. The same holds true for permanent disability benefits. You can get Workers' Compensation benefits for any work related disability, even if it didn't cause you to miss any work.

In fact, as I discussed in my other video, “Six Tips to Maximize Your Worker's Compensation Claim.” The sooner you go back to work, the more money you might end up making, depending on the injury.

I’m just going to get taxed

Why should I file for Workers' Compensation benefits, I'm going to get less than my salary and it's going to be taxed. A lot of workers think that because worker's compensation pays less than their salary and they're going to get taxed on it, it's not worth it to file. And that's just wrong.

First, it is true that you don't get as much as your salary, but Workers' Compensation benefits are based upon your gross earnings, not your net or take home pay. That means you get two thirds of your pretax salary.

Not only that, Workers' Comp benefits are tax free. That means you may get to pocket close to your typical take home pay. I can't begin to tell you how many faces brighten up and smile at that news.

My boss will take care of me

It's not uncommon for workers to say, “Oh, I don't need Workers' Comp! My boss will take care of me.”

I hate to break it to you, but oftentimes in this situation you'll reach a point where your boss thinks he's done enough and you will disagree. And if you didn't file a Workers' Compensation claim on time, then there's nothing you can do about it.

You can always just file your claim and let it sit there. You don't have to pursue it, especially if your boss is paying your expenses and medical bills. That way you still have options if he suddenly decides he's done enough.

I get paid off the books

Another common Workers' Comp misunderstanding is that you don't qualify if you work off the books. I even hear this from other lawyers. Well in New York State, you still qualify for Workers' Compensation benefits even if you get paid off the books or under the table.

The same holds true for part-time and seasonal workers. You do not need to be employed full time in order to get benefits. Even if you're an undocumented immigrant, if you get injured on the job, you're eligible to file for Workers' Compensation benefits.

Note that this might not be the case in other states, so be sure to look up your local laws if you're not filing in New York.

I wasn’t at the office

How about if you get injured while you're outside the office? Can you still file for Workers' Compensation benefits?

A lot of people think that if they get injured when they're not physically present at their workplace, then they don't qualify for benefits. But if you were doing something work related when you got injured, it doesn't matter where it happened.

I have represented clients before the New York State Workers Compensation Board for accidents that have happened in Texas, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Florida. I've even represented people who have been injured in the friendly skies above all the 50 states in the Atlantic Ocean. So don't let the fact that you are away from the office stop you from getting the benefits that you're entitled to.

And if you get injured while arriving at work or leaving work, be sure to watch my other video about injuries that happen off the clock.

My claim got denied

“My Workers' Compensation case was denied, so that must be the end of my case.” Not necessarily.

The insurance companies are in no hurry to hand out benefits, so cases that should have been approved get denied all the time. In fact, according to a recent study, 47% of people who sell their Workers' Compensation cases initially had their claims denied. It's not uncommon for an insurance company to deny your claim in the hope that you'll accept their decision and just give up. Don't do it.

Instead, request a hearing with a judge and take the decision out of their hands. Often just the threat of doing so will be enough to get them to settle your case, or at least accept your claim for benefits.

I don’t need a lawyer

Many people assume that Workers' Comp will protect them and all they need to do is just file the proper forms. That way they don't have to pay any lawyers fee. But what they don't anticipate are all the ways that the Workers' Compensation system and insurance companies are designed to cheat you out of your benefits.

A worker's compensation lawyer understands how the system works and has the experience negotiating with insurance companies to get you the maximum amount of benefits possible. As a result, injured workers who hire a Workers' Compensation lawyer on average get 30% more in benefits than those who don't.

Not only that, you don't pay a Workers' Compensation lawyer out of your pocket, and your lawyer doesn't get paid unless they do something to get you more benefits than you otherwise would have gotten.

So if you or a loved one have been injured on the job here in New York State or maybe somewhere else or in the friendly skies, and you want to set up a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who will fight to get you what you deserve, please give me a call today at 212-406-8989 Our conversation is confidential, will cost you nothing upfront, and could potentially get you thousands more in benefits than you would otherwise receive.

And if you plan on settling your case, be sure to watch my other video with Eight Secrets to Winning a Big Worker's Compensation Settlement. In that video, I share some of the most powerful insights that only workers compensation lawyers know when it comes to getting the biggest settlement possible.

Some of the tips can even increase the size of your settlement by as much as 150%. I've included the link here, so click to watch this video next and I'll see you there.


More videos you might like

Click on one of the YouTube videos below to watch now!

more videos


111 John Street
Suite 1615
New York, NY 10038

phone number



111 John Street
Suite 1615
New York, NY 10038

phone number