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Changes To New York Personal Injury Laws In 2024


As of January 1, 2024, a new law (S1161-A/A2034-A) went into effect that significantly increases New York’s workers’ compensation minimum weekly benefits. This marks a notable change for worker rights. 

New York Workers’ Compensation Minimum Weekly Benefit Rate Increase

The minimum benefits for permanent or temporary partial disability will gradually rise, starting from the current $150 to $275 for incidents from January 1, 2024, and further to $325 in 2025. By 2026, it will reach one-fifth of the state’s average weekly wage. 

This is a significant change, as the minimum benefit has not increased in over a decade. Employers, especially those with low-wage workers, will feel the impact. Governor Hochul, who signed the bill into legislation, notes that the increase aims to ensure all New Yorkers receive fair benefits. 

The change also affects permanency awards, nearly doubling the baseline. This overhaul in workers’ compensation benefits brings overdue support for workers.

Who is Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New York?

In New York, workers’ compensation benefits are designed to provide financial assistance to employees who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses regardless of fault. All employees, including the following, are covered by workers’ compensation:

  • Part-time
  • Full-time
  • Temporary
  • Seasonal,
  • Casual/day labor
  • Leased
  • Borrowed
  • Unpaid – including volunteers and family members.

The immigration status of a worker also does not affect their eligibility for these benefits.

What If My Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

If your employer doesn’t have insurance and doesn’t provide workers’ compensation benefits, you have the right to pursue legal action against your employer through a civil lawsuit with the help of a Yonkers personal injury attorney for damages. Your employer is also subject to substantial fines and penalties.

Other Critical Personal Injury Laws in New York

Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is generally three years from the date of the injury. This means that individuals have three years to file a lawsuit seeking compensation.

No-Fault Insurance

New York operates under a no-fault insurance system for car accidents. This system requires individuals to seek compensation from their own insurance company, regardless of who is at fault. However, they may pursue a personal injury lawsuit if their injuries meet certain thresholds, such as exceeding a specified monetary or severity threshold.

Pure Comparative Negligence

New York follows a pure comparative negligence rule, meaning that even if an injured party is partially at fault for an accident, they can still recover damages. However, the amount of compensation is reduced in proportion to their percentage of fault.

Premises Liability

Property owners have a duty to maintain their premises in a safe condition. If someone is injured due to hazardous conditions on another person’s property, the property owner may be liable.

Product Liability

Manufacturers, distributors, and sellers can be held responsible for injuries caused by defective products. This includes products with design defects, manufacturing defects, or inadequate warnings.

Medical Malpractice

Medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, and hospitals, can be held accountable for injuries resulting from negligence or substandard care. 

Wrongful Death

If a person’s death is caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another, surviving family members may pursue a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their losses.