Whether you’re a factory worker who was hurt by a machine accident, a prep cook who was burned on a sizzling stove-top, or a contractor who got sick while removing asbestos, you’re entitled to make a workers’ compensation claim. Some or all of your medical bills and lost wages can be recovered through your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company. How do you make this happen? When you sustain an injury at work, it is essential that you immediately obtain first aid any other necessary medical treatment. Once you have taken care of that, make sure you follow these three important steps in the work injury process: reporting, recording, and recovery.
You must notify your supervisor about the injury as soon as you can. The state of New York requires that you report the injury in writing. Make sure you detail the type of injury, the date and time that it occurred, and the way in which it occurred. The sooner you send your notice, the better, though you technically have 30 days following the day of the accident. If you contract a work-related disease or illness, you have two years to send the notice either within two years of the affliction or within two years after you knew (or should have known) the disease was sustained at work—whichever comes later. Don’t wait too long to report your condition, otherwise you may lose the right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Your injury or disease may prevent you from returning to work immediately after the accident, resulting in a loss of wages; or you may suffer a permanent disability or impairment. This is called “lost time.” In the case of lost time, you should file a claim for workers’ compensation on Form C-3 and mail it to the nearest office of the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
Workers’ compensation will only pay for injuries or illnesses that are listed in your medical records, so double-check to make sure these are correct. Keep records of your interactions with your employer and/or your workers’ compensation insurance companies. They may require you to obtain medical treatment from a specific type of health care provider, or to get your tests or medicine from a certain diagnostic network, designated pharmacies, or a network of pharmacies. These types of requirements should be presented to you in writing, so make copies and be sure to comply with the rules.
After your initial treatment, your doctor will advise you on what to do next. Your health care provider must be authorized by the WCB, unless you received emergency treatment. Make sure you follow the doctor’s instructions and take all of the necessary steps towards a speedy recovery. You should also attend any independent medical examinations that you are required to undergo. The recovery stage includes getting back to work as soon as you are healthy enough.
Retain A Qualified Attorney
You may be notified to attend one or more hearings at some point in the workers’ compensation process. Make sure you are in attendance for each one. Your compliance with any such legal requirements will only help to strengthen your case, if it comes to a dispute. Above all, make sure you face any claims or disputes with experienced legal representation at your side. The work injury attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP will know whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation, and they will work hard to make sure you get the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact our attorneys today for a free consultation 516-358-6900.