Across our great nation, approximately 94 percent of employees – about 140 million workers – are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) as of November 2015, New York workers’ compensation has paid more than $412 million in compensation to claimants. Medical expenses were more than $17 million in addition to this prior number. Approximately 12,000 workers’ compensation claims are filed each year by claimants living in New York while worksites located in New York accounted for tens of thousands of additional claims.
Workers’ compensation includes benefits paid by employers to employees, who are injured while conducting work-related duties. While state laws vary, the claims processed under most workers’ compensation rules are very similar in substance. That being said, there are certain requirements that must be fulfilled to qualify for workers’ compensation, according to the New York Workers’ Compensation Board (NYWCB). If you have suffered a workplace accident, below are four things you should do right away.
- Tell Your Supervisor Immediately
Once a workplace accident has occurred, immediately report the event to a supervisor. New York law requires an injured employee to notify the employer, in writing, within 30 days of the accident in order to be eligible for benefits. It is important to note that only employees are eligible to claim compensation benefits if injured on the job. In other words, if an independent contractor is injured in a workplace accident, he or she will likely not be eligible to file a claim.
If you or someone you know has suffered a workplace related injury and are unsure of your work status, contact a Brooklyn injury attorney who can help answer this question.
Likewise, workers’ compensation law requires that the injury be a result of an event or action within the scope of the victim’s regular employment. This rule applies even if the workplace accident occurred off-site. Conversely, if the injury occurred at work but you were engaged in an activity that was not related to your scope of employment, you may not be able to recover benefits. A worker may still be entitled to benefits, however, even if the accident was his or her fault.
- Seek the Appropriate Medical Help
If you have suffered an injury as a result of a workplace accident, seek medical attention immediately. The priority should always be focusing on your health, well-being and recovery. Beyond this, finding a doctor with a good reputation is vital as he or she will not only assist you in recovering, but also will provide an expert opinion regarding your injuries. Such expertise includes providing essential information during the claims process, providing a medical opinion on how and why your injury occurred before the arbiter, and explaining how severe the injury is and the best course of treatment.
Your adherence to your doctor’s orders is equally as important as his/her expert opinions. Complying with medical treatment will not only result in a smoother and easier recovery, but strictly following your doctors’ orders will directly diminish the likelihood of the insurance company denying your benefits.
- Fill Out the Required Paperwork
If you are injured in a workplace accident, you should complete the NYWCB’s form Employee Claim (C-3) as soon as possible. You must also notify your employer in writing explaining when, where and how you were injured or became ill. There are several ways to file the C-C3 including online, calling the toll-free number, or filing a paper form. The NYWCB will likely notify you by mail of any action regarding your claim. Keep in mind that you must file a claim within two years of the accident or within two years after you knew or should have known that a contracted disease was due to the nature of your employment.
- Document, Document, Document
When it comes to workers’ compensation claims, details are crucial. In fact, many cases have been won on the particulars of the claim. For this reason, it is highly advised that you keep a copy of everything. This includes, but is not limited to, the written notice that was given to the employer when the incident occurred, a thorough log of the particulars of the accident (all medical visits and records, witness contact information) as well as any other information that may be useful evidence during the claims process.
Brooklyn Injury Attorney for Workers’ Compensation Help
It is important to seek out a Brooklyn injury attorney who is well respected, knowledgeable and dutiful to your workers’ compensation personal injury case. If you have been injured due to a workplace accident, contact a seasoned Brooklyn injury attorney today who can discuss your case with you. The attorneys at Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum can inform you of your legal rights, including whether you are eligible or not for workers’ compensation. Call (718) 237-5586 for your initial consultation or send us a message through our online form.