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Workers’ Compensation Reform Debate Heats Up in New York

A recent analysis has found that New York has the third-highest workers’ compensation rates out of the 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

Critics of the state’s workers’ compensation system are calling for reform, focusing mostly on the level of care injured workers receive, the costs to businesses and the amount of time it takes to review the average claim.

To many, these reforms are long overdue. The last meaningful changes to workers’ comp rules in New York came more than 10 years ago, and there have been movements pushing for additional changes ever since. In fact, there is now a bipartisan bill that would reform the system in the state legislature, but it is a long way from getting a vote.

New York workers’ compensation by the numbers

Here is a quick look at some interesting statistics and information related to New York’s workers’ compensation system:

  • The most common causes of injuries resulting in workers’ compensation claims in New York are lifting, trips/falls and “unclassified” injuries.
  • The most common types of injuries resulting in workers’ compensation claims in New York are muscle strains (about 20 percent), sprains (about 19.6 percent), contusions (about 13.3 percent) and lacerations (about 13 percent).
  • The cost of claims continues to rise, and did so even during a period in which the overall claim frequency was down.
  • Workers’ compensation benefits in New York amount to hundreds of millions of dollars every year. On a national level, workers’ compensation insurance pays out more than $8 billion annually.

If you’ve been injured at work, you may need to seek workers’ compensation benefits as you focus on your physical recovery. To learn more about your options, consult an experienced workplace injury lawyer with Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP.