Posted Jun 2018
If you have suffered a workplace injury in New York, you are most likely entitled to receive benefits under our state’s workers’ compensation laws. Although the workers’ compensation system is designed to help injured workers, it can be a struggle to get the employer or insurance company to cough up any money.
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, and benefits are available for those who were injured on the job when the injury arose in and out of the course of their employment. However, with insurers and employers trying to reduce costs, proving an injury is work-related can be challenging, especially if the proper documentation is not obtained. Therefore, if you are hurt at work, it is important to take the following steps:
Report the injury to your supervisor
You should report any workplace injury to your supervisor as soon as possible in order to establish a record of when, how, and where the injury occurred. The sooner you make this report, the less chance your employer has to claim that you were hurt outside of your job. Keep in mind, workers’ compensation laws require you to notify your employer of an injury within 30 days.
Seek medical treatment
Seeking medical attention as soon as possible not only benefits your recovery but also strengthens your case. The key here is not just to tell the doctor what your injury is, but to describe how it happened. Make sure everyone who treats you (doctors, nurses, etc.) knows the full history of your injury and the fact that it occurred on the job. In fact, you should tell the receptionist that you are making a workers’ comp claim when you schedule the appointment and check in at the doctor’s office.
I don’t have a doctor- how can I file a workers’ comp claim?
If you do not have a primary care physician, that should not deter you from seeking medical attention immediately after a workplace injury. In fact, most primary care doctors in New York do not accept workers’ compensation insurance. Therefore, you should seek treatment at urgent care or at an occupational health clinic. Alternatively, you may go directly to an orthopedist, as most specialists accept workers’ comp and do not require a referral. Wherever you go, be sure to specify that your injury is work-related.
Contact a workers’ compensation attorney
If you have created an adequate record of your workplace injury by reporting it to your supervisor, seeking treatment, and informing your medical provider that you were hurt at work, then you are on the right track, but you may still need to fight to make a successful workers’ compensation claim. Therefore, we strongly recommend having an experienced workers’ comp attorney in your corner to guide you through the process and advocate for your right to compensation.
To find out more about how our team of workers’ compensation attorneys can help you get compensation for a workplace injury, contact our office for a consultation.