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State says improvements coming to workers’ comp system

By Dansker & Aspromonte

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As we all know, one of the most dangerous professions for New Yorkers to undertake is construction. Heavy machinery, dangerous equipment and working at considerable heights can make construction accidents relatively common — and lead to severe implications for those who are injured.

Injured construction workers often have to rely on getting payments via workers’ compensation after they are hurt. However, the workers’ comp system in our state is less than ideal. Our workers often have to wait exceptional periods of time in order to receive their benefits, even though employers in New York pay one of the highest rates in the country for workers’ comp.

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Improvements are on the horizon, however. According to the executive director of the state workers’ comp board, the state is transitioning to an electronic reporting system. This is important because, ever since workers’ comp was introduced in the state almost 100 years ago, the process has all been on paper. This meant delays due to improper forms being used or paperwork being lost. An electronic system will, in theory, allow the state to better track workplace injuries and allow workers who have been hurt on the job to be compensated more quickly.

Of course, it may take a while to iron out all the wrinkles in the new system. Merely having a better way to document cases doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be resolved in a favorable way for employees. Attorneys with experience in workers’ compensation cases can still be a good resource for employees who are hurt on the job.

Source: The Buffalo News, “State is committed to improving outdated workers’ compensation system,” Jeffrey Fenster, Jan. 12, 2014

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