Bus Driver Attacked On Lunch Break Denied Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In order for a person to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, they need to be injured while performing work duties. Even if they engage in life-saving acts while on the clock, and they become injured in the process, they won’t be eligible for any benefits.
A New York bus driver is now aware of this reality after saving an elderly couple from a mugger. The incident happened on March 23 on 86th Street in Brooklyn. An Asian couple was walking when they were approached by a man who tried to take their shopping bags.
That was when the MTA bus driver, who was on his break at the time, intervened and got between the man and the couple. The man punched the bus driver and spat on him. The bus driver got hit hard in the left temple. He suffers from fainting spells due to the blow to the head and has not returned to work since the incident.
The bus driver was hailed as a hero for his actions. But even though the bus driver was injured, he cannot receive workers’ compensation benefits. The MTA has denied the benefits based on the circumstances. While the man was praised for doing the right thing, he wasn’t injured as part of his job. The MTA has stated that it is required to follow New York law when making decisions about eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
The 22-year veteran bus driver plans to fight the MTA’s decision. His workers union will continue to fight until the man gets the payment he deserves. There’s a possibility that the man could appeal the case and win. Given that the man acted as a Good Samaritan, he should not be penalized for it. There’s a good chance that the appellate court will see things that way. After all, if they deny the man benefits, what message does that send? It just makes people less likely to help others. They’ll just turn away because if they get injured in the process, there will be no reward, so what’s the point?
In fact, in response, the MTA said that while the bus driver would not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, he could use paid time off, sick time, and other benefits. While it’s technically true, it sends the wrong message. The MTA also said that those who do not agree with their decision should lobby the state legislature to change the laws. It’s a complicated situation that no worker should have to be in.
Contact Us for More Information About Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Workers’ compensation laws are very strict. When a person is injured outside of their job duties and they file a workers’ compensation claim, the claim will likely be denied.
Has your claim been denied? Want to file an appeal? Seek legal help from White Plains workers’ compensation lawyer Michael Lawrence Varon. We understand the laws that apply and will help you preserve your legal rights. Schedule a free consultation by calling (914) 228-1770 or filling out the online form.