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Workplace injuries are covered through workers' compensation

In New York City, construction workers and those who work at the airports on airplane maintenance have at least one thing in common: they may be hit by flying or spinning projectiles or machine parts while at work. When workplace injuries occur from such mishaps, the worker is entitled to collect workers' compensation benefits to the extent of any medical expenses incurred. Benefits also apply for statutory lost wages created by a partial or total disability that precludes continuing to work.

An example of that kind of injury happened recently when a Prime Flight employee was struck in the head by a spinning airplane propeller. The rotating blade of a CommutAir plane struck her while the plane was apparently being serviced off the runway. The company is a partner of United Express, an operator of regional flights on the east coast.

The workplace accident occurred at Newark Liberty International Airport. The 54-year-old woman incurred what authorities described as a serious head injury. It was unclear where she was standing or whether she was negligent in contributing to her injury. An investigation is likely required under federal regulations.

It is imperative that she or someone on her behalf make sure that the claim for workers' compensation benefits is formally submitted to the human relations or other appropriate department of the airline company. In that way, all rights to benefits are documented and protected. For a large employer such as this, procedures probably exist to put a claim into effect when a serious injury occurs.

Despite  a worker's own negligence in causing an accidental injury, injured workers are entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits for any workplace injuries that occur. Fault is not a factor in determining the worker's eligibility for benefits. That rule is basic to workers' compensation laws in New York City and in all other jurisdictions throughout the country.

Source:, "Airline worker critically hurt by spinning propeller", Amanda Woods and Melkorka Licea, Sept. 2, 2017

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