Filing for Workers Comp in 2019? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Understanding the Process

In New York, if you suffer a work-related injury or illness, you can file for workers’ compensation to pay for your medical care and part of your lost wages while you’re off work. If you’re unable to recover fully, workers’ comp will also pay you permanent disability benefits, or if you need to be trained for an entirely new line of work, it will pay for vocational rehab as well.

However, when you’re injured at work, or you’re suffering from a work-related illness, there are several steps you must take to ensure that you receive your full benefits and you protect your rights. The Accident Help Zone is New York’s #1 accident and injury resource center, and we want to make sure that you have the knowledge and tools to help you through the process.

First Things First

If you are injured on the job in New York, the very first thing you need to, of course, is to focus on your health. Immediately seek medical attention, and as soon as it’s safe to do so, report the incident and injury to your employer in writing. While seeking medical treatment, it’s essential to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to find doctors authorized by the NYS Worker’s Compensation Board
  •  It’s best practice to seek treatment using a multi-specialty approach where a team different medical specialists like orthopedist, neurologist, pain management doctor, physiatrist, chiropractor and physical therapist can manage your overall progress and treatment plans.
  • make sure to see diagnostic testing  since some injuries can be hard to detect
  • keep receipts of all of your expenses associated with transportation

While legally you have 30 days to report it to your employer, you should report it as soon as possible to help negate any skepticism from your employer or the insurance company. Not to mention that the sooner you report the workplace injury or illness, the sooner you can receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Your initial steps should be:

  • Immediately seek medical attention and treatment
  • As soon as you can safely do so, notify your supervisor of the incident and details of your injury
  • As best you can, document your account of the accident
  • Take photographs of your injuries

Several Important Steps When Filing For Workers’ Comp in New York

No matter how severe the illness or injury is, and whether or not you are considering retaining a personal injury attorney to help you through the process, there are multiple things that you should collect and document to protect yourself and your rights. As soon as it’s feasible health-wise, you should attempt to gather as much of the following as possible.

  • The date of the injury including a summary of the workplace accident or incident
  • Photos of your injury
  • Copy of the written notice of your injury that you provided your employer
  • The supervisor’s name, position, and contact info that you initially reported the injury to
  • If one was created, get a copy of your employer’s accident report for this incident
  • All treatment dates
  • All medical records regarding the injury, diagnosis, and treatment
  • Name, phone/fax numbers, and addresses for all doctors and facilities
  • Copies of all medical bills you’ve received for treatment of your workplace injury
  • Document mileage and keep gas receipts for all travel related to your treatment
  • Witness names and contact info if available
  • A copy of your employment records showing your date of hire, position, and duties
  • Recent pay stubs and bank statements
  • Copies of any letters, emails, or text messages between you and your employer regarding your illness or injury

Having these copies, documents, and info can be beneficial, especially if you do end up retaining a workers’ compensation attorney. This gives the insurance company, attorneys, and the judge a better understanding of the entire scope of your case and can significantly benefit their ability to assess your claim properly.

You Need to Know

New York’s Worker’s Compensation Insurance only covers specific things when it comes to workplace injury claims.

  • Two-thirds of your average weekly wage – however, there is a set maximum
  • Any and all treatment/healthcare costs related to your illness or injury
  • Travel expenses to and from your related medical appointments

You also need to know that the Workers’ Compensation Law has an initial waiting period, meaning that even when you are eligible for wage replacement benefits, you will not receive any payments for the first seven calendar days of your disability.

If your disability continues and you are out of work between 8 and 14 calendar days, you may be entitled to wage replacement for the second 7 day period. However, if your disability or illness continues beyond that 14 days, you may be entitled to benefits retroactive back to that first day of your injury and loss of work.

When You Need To Know More

The Accident Help Zone is proud to serve New York City and surrounding cities with comprehensive workers’ compensation and accident related resource center. Our advocates have spent countless hours researching the New York worker’s compensation system and everything related to accidents and workplace injuries in the state.

With the Accident Help Zone, you no longer have to guess at your rights or stumble your way through the New York Workers’ Compensation Law and process. We are driven to help, and we’ve gathered the resources for people exactly like you.