When workers are injured in a workplace accident, they often find themselves unsure of what to do. Do they seek medical treatment? Do they call 911? Do they go to the ER or their primary care physician? Do they stay home to rest, or do they go to work? Often, an injured worker can feel like he or she has a million questions about how to conduct themselves after a workplace accident.
If you sustain a workplace injury, you should:
- Seek medical treatment right away; this may simply involve first aid, but you may need more sophisticated medical attention.
- Inform your employer of the injury within 30 days of the accident, but ideally, you should be able to do this the same day or within a few days.
- Contact our workers’ compensation firm to file a claim with the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board within two years of the date of the accident that caused your injuries. However, two years is a long time to wait. Ideally, you should be able to file a claim as soon as possible.
“What if I wasn’t in an accident per se, but I recently discovered that my health issues are directly related to an occupational disease?” In that case, make sure you receive the medical treatment you need as soon as possible. Please don’t delay your treatment because waiting too long could impact your comfort, quality of life, and prognosis.
CLAIMS FOR OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE
There are many diseases that are directly caused by exposure to harmful substances in the workplace – these are technically called “occupational diseases.” As we mentioned above, to receive workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease, you must file a claim within two years of becoming disabled, or within two years from the date you learned the disease was work-related from a healthcare provider.
WHAT ABOUT MEDICAL CARE?
It’s so important to seek medical care, whether you’re injured in a work-related accident or you’re suffering from an occupational disease. Fortunately, your employer’s insurer will pay for all approved medical care for your injury or occupational disease.
Your medical care will be covered, even if you don’t lose time for work. However, the healthcare providers who treat you must be authorized by the Board. You can receive care from approved providers, or from your own doctor as long as they are authorized.