Your workers’ compensation case will hinge, in part, on the steps you take directly after your accident. Doing the right things can strengthen your case, whereas skipping a step can end it.
Here is everything you need to know about the steps you should take after getting injured at work.
#1) Seek Medical Attention
If you hope to recover workers’ compensation benefits later, you must go to a doctor, even if you don’t think you’re hurt. Remember, some injuries can take 24 to 48 hours to surface.
Your employer usually tells you which doctor to visit in a non-emergency situation, but go to the ER if the injury warrants it.
Make sure you understand the doctor’s instructions to the letter. You must follow them. The workers’ compensation insurance company will use that against you if you don’t.
Within 48 hours after your injury, the doctor must complete and mail Form C-4, the Preliminary Medical Report. Your doctor must send follow-up reports every 45 days to detail your healing progress.
#2) Notify Your Employer
Don’t rely on verbal notifications. You must either fill out an incident report or write a letter informing your employer about your accident within 30 days of the accident if you wish to retain your right to a workers’ compensation claim.
Keep the details sparse: you want to stick only to the facts.
Your employer must notify their insurance company and the workers’ compensation board.
#3) Inform the Workers’ Compensation Board
Technically you have up to 2 years to notify the New York Workers’ Compensation Board that you’ve suffered an injury at work, but there’s no benefit in doing so.
We recommend filing the form right away in case issues arise.
#4) Be Ready to Contact an Attorney
Some workers’ compensation cases go very smoothly and don’t require help from an attorney. These are usually the cases where the employee is mildly to moderately injured, is only expected to be out of work for a short time, and goes back to their old duties the moment the doctor says they’re healed.
But even a mildly injured employee should have an attorney in mind just in case their benefits are denied or delayed. While the risk of denied and delayed claims rises as the injury’s severity (and thus the expense) rises, it can happen to anyone.
If it does, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney on your side to protect your rights.
Contact us if you’re having trouble securing your rightful workers’ compensation benefits. We’re here to help.
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