If you’ve suffered a workplace injury in the state of New York, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, to receive those benefits, you’ll have to take certain steps. After you’ve been hurt on the job, here’s what to do.
Seek Medical Attention Immediately
Under the state’s workers’ compensation rules, an employer must offer a list of doctors from which an injured worker can choose. You’ll have to select a physician from that list, but you may be able to change doctors in some cases. If you are hurt on a construction site and need emergency medical care, you can get preliminary treatment from any licensed physician and the cost will be covered.
Seeking medical care immediately after an on-the-job injury is crucial. Not only will you get the care needed to treat the injury, but you will also ensure that those injuries are accurately documented. When filing a workers’ compensation claim, you’ll have to prove that the injury is work-related. Proper medical records will help.
Report the Incident to a Supervisor as Quickly as Possible
After you’ve sought medical care, make a written report of the event and the resulting injuries. Provide copies to your immediate supervisor, the human resources department, your manager, and other authority figures as quickly as possible.
An injury report must usually be made within the first 30 days of a workplace injury or diagnosis of such an injury in order to retain your eligibility for workers’ compensation. Don’t hesitate to file a report just because you think the injury is minor. Even a slight injury can potentially turn into a major health issue.
Document Every Missed Work Day
When you’ve missed at least a week of work, you might be entitled to repayment of lost wages through the state’s worker’s compensation system. Keep comprehensive records of the time you miss from the job. When an injury causes you to miss work for a prolonged period, you may be able to receive permanent or temporary disability benefits. An injury resulting in restricted duty may reduce your earning capacity. If you have to work fewer hours or take a lower-paying position because of a workplace injury, you may get partial disability compensation.
Follow the Doctor’s Treatment and Follow-Up Recommendations
To receive workers’ compensation benefits without a break, you’ll have to follow the physician’s recommended treatment plan. If you’re dissatisfied with the care you’re getting, it’s possible to receive a second opinion or change doctors entirely.
Call a Skilled Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Though your injuries may seem minor, calling an attorney afterwards is a wise decision. New York’s workers’ compensation laws are designed to protect employees and they cover almost any injury that may occur in the course of a work shift.
Unfortunately, bosses and their insurance companies sometimes act in ways that don’t follow the spirit of the law. Your employer or their insurer may deny a legitimate claim, deny that you’re eligible for benefits, or try to convince you to return to work before you’re fully healed. A workers’ compensation attorney who knows the state’s workplace injury laws will work with you and ensure you get the benefits to which you’re entitled.
Though a workplace injury may seem minor at first, it has the potential to turn into a lifelong problem. By following these steps after an on-the-job injury, you’ll protect your rights and receive everything you deserve.