After a serious accident in Long Island, you may need weeks, if not months, to recover. As a result, you may not be able to return to work for a long time. While you may be eligible for certain medical benefits through your employer, if you fail to take certain steps after a serious accident, you could lose your job. It is important to remember that New York is an “at-will” employment state; in other words, your employment is considered to be “at your own will” Or “at the will” of your employer. Consequently, except in cases involving protected classes of people or when employees exercise certain legal rights, an employer can terminate a worker for little or no reason at all. So, it’s essential that you take advantage of the rights and protections afforded to you under state and federal law.
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THE FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE ACT AND PERSONAL INJURIES
Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for medical reasons. In order to qualify, you must be an “eligible” employee. This means you must have worked for your employer for at least 12 months and your employer must have 50 or more employees. Under the terms of FMLA, you are entitled to return to your job after your leave ends. If an employer eliminates your position, they must provide you with a job with comparable pay and similar job opportunities. There are rare instances in which employers are exempt from these requirements if they can actually prove your job was slated for elimination or that a comparable job does not exist. However, these kinds of cases are the exception and not the rule.
FILING FOR MEDICAL LEAVE WITH MY EMPLOYER AFTER AN ACCIDENT
After your injury, you should contact your employer and begin the process of filing for FMLA. Under New York law, your employer can require you to take sick pay concurrently with FMLA leave, but only if they’ve first made such a policy clear — usually in writing — at the beginning of your leave. Your employer may also require medical information from your doctor and a medical release from him or her indicating you can return to work. Under FMLA, however, you are not required to have a company-approved doctor evaluate your injuries. After 12 weeks of leave, an employer is not required to provide you a job.
SHORT-TERM DISABILITY AFTER A SERIOUS CAR, TRUCK OR MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT
Under state law, employers in New York are required to provide short-term disability insurance for people who have been on a job for least a month. The benefit pays 50 percent of an employee’s salary but typically cannot exceed more than $170 per week. Employers must provide short-term disability benefits for up to 26 weeks. While short-term disability won’t protect your job, it can provide financial support while you heal or begin the process of filing for long-term disability.
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Protecting My Income Through Compensation
If your injury is the result of another person’s negligence or action, you may have the right to pursue compensation through a Long Island personal injury claim. Even if you lose your position at work, there are ways in which you can be awarded compensation to off-set your financial woes.
As part of the general economic loss coverage of up to $50,000 associated with New York’s no-fault insurance requirements, an injured person can recover compensation through their own insurance provider. According to Section 5102 of New York Insurance Law, you can recover up to $2,000 per month of lost wages resulting from your injury for up to three years after your car wreck. While this does not protect your job in the sense of preventing your employer from firing you, it does provide some financial stability as you get your life back in order.
Compensation from the At-Fault Party
You also may recover compensation from the person who was responsible for the accident in which you were injured. Usually, New York requires you to recover from the no-fault insurance coverage in your own policy first, but your damages may be worth more than the $50,000 minimum no-fault coverage requirement. With help from skilled Long Island personal injury attorneys, you can gather and preserve evidence of the other party’s fault in your accident, which may lead to significant compensation.
In addition to lost wages, you may be able to recover compensation for lost future earning capacity if your injury leaves you unable to resume a job as lucrative as the one you held before your accident. You can recover monetary awards for other harms as well, such as your physical pain, medical expenses, loss of enjoyment in life, psychological trauma, and much more. To better understand the options available to you, and you get an estimate of the value of your personal injury claim, schedule your FREE consultation with the Long Island personal injury lawyers at Rosenberg & Gluck today.
CONTACT LONG ISLAND PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS ROSENBERG & GLUCK
There are a number of financial and legal issues that must be addressed in personal injury cases. If you’ve been seriously injured in a car, pedestrian, motorcycle, medical malpractice, or slip and fall accident, contact Long Island, New York, personal injury attorneys Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP today for a free consultation.
We operate on a contingency basis, which means that we do not collect a fee from you unless we win you the compensation you need to get your life back on track. Your injury may affect your job status, but it should not leave you destitute with no way to earn income. Speak to our attorneys today to work toward the relief you need.