If you suffer an injury at the workplace or while performing job duties in New York, you may be entitled to financial benefits under the state’s workers’ compensation law. However, injured employees must take certain steps in order to claim workers’ comp benefits. Failure to take one or all the steps can result in losing the ability to collect compensation to pay for medical expenses and lost wages.
The following are the proper steps to take after suffering a workplace injury:
- Report your workplace injury – The first step to take in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits is to report the injury to your employer. In New York, you only have 30 days to notify your employer of your injury in writing. If you fail to report the injury within the 30-day period, you may lose eligibility to receive workers’ comp benefits. However, it is imperative to report your injury as soon as it occurs to get your benefits as soon as possible. The longer you delay reporting your injury, the more suspicious your employer or its insurance company will be.
- Seek medical treatment – If you suffered a serious injury, you need to seek immediate medical care at an emergency department. You must see a doctor within two days of the incident. Additionally, your employer may require you to see a company-approved doctor. Remember, you are allowed to get a second opinion from your own physician if you are not satisfied with the first recommendation. Unfortunately, many employees make the mistake of waiting a few days to ensure the injury is serious enough for medical treatment. Not only does failure to seek immediate medical attention result in losing your ability to claim benefits, but it could also worsen your injuries.
- File for workers’ compensation benefits – As soon as you report your injury, your employer should provide you with the required documents to file a claim. You must fill out a C-3 employee claim form (which is also available online) and mail it to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board within two years after you discovered or should’ve discovered the injury—at the latest. Your employer has up to ten days to report the injury to the insurance company and the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.
If all the steps have been properly completed, the employer’s insurer will begin sending your workers’ comp benefits within 18 days after your employer reports your injury. Your doctor will then submit a progress report every 45 days to the Board so it can review the progress of your recovery.
If your employer or its insurance carrier denies your claim, you can appeal the decision with the Board. A workers’ comp law judge will be assigned to hear your case. If the judge sides in your favor, you will receive workers’ comp benefits.
For more information about the process of recovering workers’ comp benefits in New York, contact our Nassau County personal injury attorneys at Foley Griffin, LLP and request a free consultation today.