Worker’s compensation benefits provide a vital safety net for New York workers who’ve suffered serious on-the-job injuries, but accessing your benefits isn’t always easy. There are several steps you must take after being injured to protect your legal rights.
Report the Injury Immediately
The most important thing you must do to preserve your right to workers’ compensation benefits is to report all workplace injuries immediately. Don’t wait to see if you feel better or try to work through your discomfort. Report the injury to your manager or supervisor with a detailed explanation of how you were injured and the names of any other employees who saw the accident.
Get Necessary Medical Care
Seeking medical care documents the seriousness of your condition and establishes further proof that it is related to your employment. Follow your doctor’s instructions precisely and attend all requested follow-up appointments. New York requires you to seek care from a doctor authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board unless you are experiencing a medical emergency. You may be asked to sign form A-9, which states you are responsible for the charges if your claim for benefits is denied by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
File a Claim
Notifying your supervisor of your injury is not enough to collect workers’ compensation benefits. New York requires you to complete Form C-3 (Employee Claim) as soon as possible after your injury. This form can be submitted online or filed as a paper copy.
Keep Detailed Records
Keeping accurate records of your medical expenses and lost wages is essential to ensuring you receive the maximum possible benefits from workers’ compensation. Note that this includes mileage to and from doctor’s appointments as well as any out-of-pocket costs for bandages, prescriptions, and other medical supplies.
Seek Assistance From an Attorney
If your injuries result in a lasting disability, you will be out of work for an extended period of time, or you believe your employer will fight your claim, assistance from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney is vital. Call our office or fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.