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When To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim

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A staggering half of severe occupational injuries — that’s how many go unreported in the US every year.

That’s on top of the 2.8 million nonfatal on-the-job injuries and illnesses that do get reported.

One reason that many workplace injuries don’t get reported is the fear of retaliation. Many people think they may get fired if they do file a workers’ compensation claim. Others are unsure if their injury or illness is part of the coverage.

If you’re one of these people, you should learn when to file a workers’ comp claim. Your injury or illness may be part of your coverage’s inclusions.

Ready to know more about when and how to apply for workers’ comp? Then let’s get right into it!

You Have an Injury or Illness That’s Work-Related

If you’re wondering if you even have workers’ comp in the first place, the answer is yes, you most likely do. State laws vary, but in New York, the law requires all employers to get workers’ comp for their workers.

That said, workers’ comp covers any injury or illness that happens at work. These include lacerations, fractures, or head injuries among many others. So long as these occurred while you’re on the job, be sure to report it to your employer ASAP.

Reporting an injury to your supervisor is the first step on how to file workers’ comp claims. In New York, you only have 30 days to report obvious on-the-job injuries. Otherwise, your employers’ insurer may deny your claim.

Your Injury Resulted From Any Task You Were Doing on Behalf of Your Employer

Workers’ comp covers injuries that happened outside of the workplace. Your coverage should still kick in, provided that you were doing something work-related.

Let’s say your employer requires you to meet up with clients at a particular location. On the way to the meet-up place, you get into an accident, such as a car crash. Since you’re still technically “on-the-job” when you got injured, you should file a claim.

You've Developed Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs)

These are injuries that result from overexertion or overuse of certain body parts. These are a gradual buildup of damage to the ligaments, muscles, nerves, and tendons. The most common forms of such injuries are carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

If your job requires a lot of repetitive motions, say using a computer mouse, then you may have RSI. In this case, you should be filing a workers’ comp claim ASAP.

In New York, you only have two years from the day that “you should have known” of the injury to make a claim.

Don’t Delay Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim

There you have it, the most important facts about how and when to file a workers’ compensation claim in New York. Again, your injury doesn’t have to have occurred strictly in the workplace. Even if it happened outside but it’s still work-related, then you should file a claim.

What’s important is to not delay reporting your work-related injury to your employer. This way, you won’t risk a denial of your claim due to missing the state’s statute of limitations.

Looking for a workers’ compensation physician or accident doctor? Then be sure to check out this list of top-rated workers’ comp doctors near you now.