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Buffalo New York Workers' Compensation Blog

How snow and ice create workplace safety threats

Our region of the state has a well-earned reputation for snowfall. In fact, if current trends for this winter continue, Buffalo will lead the nation again in snowfall. We're currently in first place with more than 111 inches.

Snow presents significant challenges. Streets and sidewalks need clearing. Roofs, apartment balconies and other outdoor structures might have to be shoveled. And if those employed to handle such tasks get hurt on the job, for whatever reason, they have a right to expect the benefits available under workers' compensation.

How snow and ice create workplace safety threats

Our region of the state has a well-earned reputation for snowfall. In fact, if current trends for this winter continue, Buffalo will lead the nation again in snowfall. We're currently in first place with more than 111 inches.

Snow presents significant challenges. Streets and sidewalks need clearing. Roofs, apartment balconies and other outdoor structures might have to be shoveled. And if those employed to handle such tasks get hurt on the job, for whatever reason, they have a right to expect the benefits available under workers' compensation.

Does workers' compensation cover pre-existing conditions?

The phrase "Claim denied due to pre-existing condition" is one of the scariest in the world of health insurance.

In workers' compensation, pre-existing conditions can present unique legal problems. While the law says an employee injured on the job has a right to receive medical care and have it paid for through worker's compensation, there are some situations where part of the employee's disability may be due to a pre-existing condition, and insurers are known to attempt to deny claims based on pre-existing conditions.

How to choose the right doctor for your workers' comp claim

A worker injured on the job in New York is, in most cases, entitled to receive the care necessary to achieve maximum recovery. If you select the wrong doctor, however, your recovery could be negatively affected.

A directory for approved doctors

What does 'light duty' work mean?

After being injured on the job, there is incentive to get back to work as quickly as reasonably possible, as being out of work for too long can impact your finances.

If your doctor says you can work but cannot perform the duties of your previous job, there are alternatives. The state Workers' Compensation Board encourages employers to have plans that include light duty. But what does "light duty" mean?

Is medical marijuana allowed in New York as workers' comp treatment?

Attitudes regarding marijuana are undergoing a major shift in the United States, especially in the context of using marijuana for medical purposes. New York state is at the forefront of the changes.

Step one occurred in 2014 with passage of the Compassionate Care Act, which allows registered medical providers to recommend medical marijuana for patients certified as having certain conditions. In 2017, New York lawmakers added chronic pain to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana is allowed. 

Forklifts: Their visible and invisible risks

Lift trucks are vital tools in many industries. They allow workers to maneuver huge loads in tight places. Unfortunately, they also can pose serious threats to workers.

Nearly 35,000 serious forklift injuries are reported each year, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. OSHA says more than 80 people are killed every year and 42 percent of fatal accidents involve drivers being crushed when vehicles tip over on them.

What happens at a workers' comp hearing?

A New York worker legitimately injured on the job has a right to expect at least one benefit under the state's workers' compensation system: immediate medical treatment for the injury.

Further benefits, such as money benefits and rehabilitation treatments for a disability, may require a legal process and the filing of proper notifications with the employer and with the Workers' Compensation Board.

How does the rehabilitation process work? - Part 2

Helping workers who are injured on the job is about more than just providing necessary care. To the extent possible, the workers' compensation system has a legal mandate to provide additional rehabilitative services.

As we described in our last post, rehabilitation can take two forms: physical rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation. The first incorporates the elements most people associate with minor to moderate injuries: pain management, diagnostic tests, surgeries, and physical therapy.