No matter what the reason is for the injury, you have rights! If you’ve been hurt while on the job and you’re considering filing a workers’ compensation claim in New York, you need to protect yourself and your rights. Let us help you understand exactly what your workers’ comp case may entail.
If your workers’ compensation injury was caused by unsafe working conditions or malfunctioning equipment, you need to call us today. Under New York law, employees have protections and specific rights when it comes to your safety. Don’t assume that the company will ‘take care of you.’ The Accident Help Zone is your resource for immediately finding out about your rights and getting help with your unique workers’ compensation claim.
Traffic in New York is notoriously bad and unfortunately, accidents happen. Whether you’re in a company vehicle or using your own for company business, if you’re in an auto accident while ‘on the clock’ and you suffer injuries, you need to know your rights. The ‘other guy’s’ insurance company is going to be looking out for their client and your company’s insurance is going to do the same – except their client is the company and not you! Make sure your rights are protected too!
There are several things that you should do if you’re ever injured on the job, and some things to gather before your first consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney.
• A summary of the accident and the date/location of the injury
• Photos of injuries
• Copy of written notice to your employer about your injury
• Supervisor’s name and contact info that the injury was reported to
• Copy of any accident reports for the worker’s comp injury
• Witness names and contact information
• All medical records related to the work comp injury, diagnosis, and treatment by Workers’ Compensation Doctors
• Dates, phone/fax and locations of all treating Injury Doctors
• Copies of all medical bills received for all related medical treatments
• Employment records showing your date of hire, position and duties
• Most recent pay stubs
• Bank statements
• Any emails or letters between yourself and your employer regarding the accident or your injuries
• Getting these documents and materials together for your consultation can greatly assist your Workers’ Compensation Attorney in determining the various aspects of your case. As well as help expedite the process – which is always a good thing.
A work-related injury can be physically, financially, and emotionally devastating. In addition to extensive and ongoing medical care, many injured workers develop emotional disorders, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Regardless of the severity of an injury, workplace injuries almost always result in time off work.
Without workers’ compensation insurance benefits, injured persons have no way to pay for their living expenses, much less cover the cost of medical treatment, physical therapy, medication, and lost time at work. Without a steady stream of income, these individuals often build up an oppressive mountain of debt.
For these reasons and more, it is crucial that you, as an injured worker, visit workers’ compensation doctors to establish the nature of your injury and assess the extent to which it affects your life. Such an assessment can help to ensure you receive the care and compensation you need to recover in comfort. If you are visiting a treating physician in New York, you have to make sure that it’s a WCB Authorized medical provider.
There are dozens of types of workplace injuries you may sustain that could affect several aspects of your life.
However, some work-related injuries are more common than others:
Slips, trips and falls are the most common type of work-related accident that occurs in the U.S.. In 2020, more than 210,000 workers sustained serious injuries in falls, while 805 lost their lives because of them.
Struck-by accidents occur when objects fall and hit you or when a moving object, such as a truck or forklift, hits you. Struck-by objects are considered one of OSHA’s Fatal Four.
Muscle strains and sprains and repetitive strain injuries can cause chronic and debilitating pain that leads to reduced productivity. These types of injuries often occur due to repetitive motion tasks, such as typing or scanning; manually lifting heavy objects; using improper lifting techniques, and performing microtasks on a factory line.
Individuals who work with hazardous materials or in environments that contain hazardous materials may develop long-term and chronic illnesses. Work injury treatment looks different for these individuals. For some, ongoing treatment is their only hope for maintaining any quality of life. Other injuries within this category include vision loss, hearing loss, and skin irritations.
Fires and explosions can cause severe damage both internally and externally if they are not fatal.
Each of these types of accidents can result in severe and long-term injuries if they do not result in death. A workers’ compensation doctor can ensure you receive the appropriate and timely work injury treatment necessary for a full recovery.
The right doctor will also keep thorough documentation of your injuries should you struggle to collect your workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s insurance company.
Car accidents are yet another cause of work-related injuries and workers’ compensation cases. Yet, they are unique because, more often than not, they do not occur at a person’s actual place of employment.
They are also unique in that, in terms of which insurance to use, injured parties do not have a company that is “on their side.” The other driver’s insurance company works for him or her, while your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company works for your employer. For this reason alone, it is crucial that you understand your rights.
An experienced workers’ comp doctor is familiar with all types of work-related injuries, including those that stem from car accidents. Because of this experience, he or she is familiar with the most appropriate courses of treatment for car accident-related injuries as well as what types of documentation workers’ compensation insurance companies need to establish a connection between the accident and work responsibilities.
If you sustain an on-the-job injury, it is crucial that you report the injury — and the accident that caused it — to your supervisor as soon as you are able. Preferably, your notice will be in writing.
In fact, New York law requires workers to report their work injuries via written notice and within 30 days of the date of the injury. Failure to do so could result in you forfeiting your rights to workers’ compensation benefits.
In addition to notifying your employer, there are several other steps you should take if you ever become injured at work. If you plan to hire a workers’ compensation attorney, which many professionals recommend doing, prepare for the meeting by gathering the following documentation:
You should also prepare employment documentation, such as employment records, communications between you and your employer following the accident, and paystubs.
Per New York workers’ compensation law and federal rules, all New York injured workers have the right to see their own primary care doctors for the treatment of work-related injuries. However, if you plan to use your own doctor for medical treatments, he or she must accept the New York workers’ compensation billing schedule.
If you choose not to use your own doctor, the workers’ compensation insurance company will refer you to a physician for an independent medical examination, and your employer will pay for IME (independent medical exam) visits on your behalf.
While there are some risks associated with electing to use your own doctors — such as the risk that your employer will request a second opinion — issues typically do not arise unless the doctor fails to submit reports that address the workers’ comp officials’ questions and concerns. There are, however, several risks associated with using an insurer-referred physician.
The biggest risk of seeking work injury treatment from an insurer-selected workers’ compensation doctor is that the doctor works for the insurance company, not you. What this means is that, though the doctor has a legal obligation to treat you, he or she has the motivation to downplay the severity of your injury and to speed along your recovery, even if doing so is not in your best interests.
The doctor also has the motivation to seek and identify any pre-existing conditions that may disqualify you from benefits in your workers’ compensation claim. To avoid these risks, seek out your own, qualified workers’ compensation doctor.
The content on this site is for informational purposes and should not be considered as legal advice, medical diagnosis or treatment recommendations for your accident injuries.
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