How Long Do You Have To Report a Workplace Injury?

How Long Do You Have To Report a Workplace Injury?

Steven Schwartzapfel -Founding Partner Jul 26, 2022

For more than 35 years, Steven Schwartzapfel, the founding member of Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C., has been one of New York’s most prominent personal injury attorneys. Steve represents clients in all types of personal injury cases. His experience, skill, and dedication have enabled Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. to recover hundreds of millions of dollars for their clients.

When injured at work, you are typically entitled to workers’ compensation payouts. These can help you pay for your medical bills, cover you while you are unable to work during recovery, and may even lead to disability benefits that you can rely on for years to come.

Those benefits, however, are contingent on you reporting your workplace injury promptly and to the right organizations. As such, you need to know how long you have to report a workplace injury if you hope to qualify for workers’ compensation and stabilize your finances quickly.

Read on for a detailed breakdown of workplace injury report deadlines and other information. Alternatively, you can contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today at 1-800-966-4999 for a free case evaluation.

Time Limit for Reporting a Workplace Injury

In general, injured workers have a strict timeline of (30) days to report a workplace injury. There are a few exceptions, but this deadline holds true for most workplace injuries such as:

  • Broken bones
  • Lacerations
  • Herniations
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Severe bruises
  • Strains, sprains, and ligament tears
  • Spinal damage (e.g., paralysis)
  • And more

Of course, it’s wiser to report a workplace injurybefore this time limit looms. For example, if you are injured on the job, your best course of action is to report it to your immediate supervisor as soon as you can. This way, you can start filing a workers’ compensation claim, which increases the odds of receiving a payout to cover medical bills.

However, injured workers also have up to (2) years to file a workers’ comp claim for injuries they discover after the fact. For instance, say that you injure your leg on the job and then receive medical treatment for it.

Now, one year later, you discover that you have sustained knee damage that limits your mobility and results in regular discomfort. Because less than (2) years have passed, you can file a workers’ comp claim for your knee injury and still potentially get coverage for ongoing medical costs.

This is why it’s important to get thoroughly examined after a workplace injury. A medical professional can check you for injuries or potential complications you may otherwise not have noticed until much later. Critically, please note that without this kind of evaluation, if two years have passed before you noticed an injury, you could not claim it on workers’ comp.

To recap: Injured workers have (30) days to file a claim under New York law. They also have up to (2) years from the date they should have reasonably noticed an injury or injuries that developed from a workplace accident after the fact.

Rules for Reporting Hearing Loss

Under New York State law, there are special reporting timelines for hearing loss. If you suffer from job-related hearing loss, whether partially or to the point of complete deafness, you have up to (3) months after noticing it to report it for workers’ compensation.

New York law allows for an extended timeline in this case because it can be difficult to notice hearing loss at first. For example, you have to leave the area causing the damage to your hearing, then wait for your body to settle down.

Once you notice any hearing loss, however, you should report it right away to your employer so you can file a workers’ compensation claim.

Furthermore, the 90-day time limit is added to the above two-year statute of limitations for discovering injuries after the fact. For example, if you begin experiencing hearing loss (2) years after an explosion at a workplace, you have an additional (90) days to report it and file a claim.

Why Should You Report an Injury Promptly?

Even if an injury initially seems minor, you should report it promptly for several important reasons. Namely: When you don’t report an injury quickly, you could be jeopardizing your rights to workers’ comp benefits and other claims.

Why? Laws regarding workers’ compensation in New York are very complicated. This can make it hard for workers to know what their rights are and what responsibilities they have. Moreover, the longer you wait, the more grounds an employer or insurance company has to deny your claim for one reason or another.

As well, in many instances the more time that passes between your injury occurring and your claim being filed, the more your injury heals. And while this may make you feel better, it could compromise how much you receive in terms of medical benefits.

For instance, if you sustained burns on your arm at work but don’t report the injury right away, those burns could heal somewhat before the 30-day time limit is up. Thus, when you finally do report the injury and take pictures of it, the burn injury could seem a lot less intense than it really was, which could decrease the amount of money you receive through workers’ compensation.

In addition, employers are under an obligation to report injuries promptly to certain state boards. This means that the faster you report an injury to your employer, the faster they can file a claim. Note, too, that while some employers will help you get the coverage you are entitled to, they will only do so if you make it easy for them to do so.

For more on this, speak with a Schwartzapfel Lawyers workers’ comp specialist by calling 1-800-966-4999 at no charge.

Do Employers Have Time Limits?

Yes! According to New York law, employers must report a workplace injury or illness to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board before one of these two deadlines:

  • On or before the 18th day after the workplace injury and/or illness occurred; OR
  • Within 10 days after the injured employee learns of the injuring event

If an employer fails to report an injury or illness promptly, they could face penalties of up to $2,500.

Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Comp Claims

Remember: The general statute of limitations for workers’ comp claims is two years. But when does the clock start?

In most cases, the time limit for the statute of limitations begins when you should reasonably notice the injury. In other words, it is two years from the date that you “should have known” you were injured or suffering from a medical complication.

Because this can be complex or difficult to prove, qualified legal professionals can assist with filing a successful workers’ comp claim, even if the insurance company fights back. To shore up your case, you should try to document everything you can before filing your claim (e.g., doctors’ notes) and then present that evidence to your lawyers.

How Can Legal Professionals Help?

Legal professionals can assist with a workplace injury case in a variety of ways. Even if you have solid grounds for workers’ compensation, it doesn’t guarantee an insurance company will play ball.

Some insurers may challenge your claim for various reasons. For example, they may claim that the injury didn’t occur at work or that it occurred outside of your normal line of job duties. Alternatively, an insurer may claim that you were unemployed at the time of the injury, which can be very difficult to overturn if you are a freelancer or contracted worker.

Regardless, workers’ comp attorneys can go to bat for you and fight for you to get the compensation you need. To help your claim succeed, they can:

  • Gather evidence on your behalf that proves your workers’ comp claim is legitimate. As well, they can collect medical notes, camera footage, eyewitness accounts, and other pieces of evidence depending on what you need.
  • Ensure that your workers’ comp claim is filed correctly and with the right organization, thereby preventing clerical errors from affecting your monetary compensation.

Additionally, workers’ compensation attorneys may be necessary if your employer tries to prevent your claim from going through. Some employers might also attempt to claim that you are not employed by them, that you weren’t carrying out your duties safely, or something else.

Ultimately, there’s no reason you should have to go through the workers’ comp claim process alone, especially as you recover from injuries. Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help when you visit us online or give us a call at 1-800-966-4999.

How To Find Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

No two law firms are alike, and you need the right workers’ compensation lawyers on your side if the insurance company or your employer tries to deny your claim. To find the right legal representation, be sure to check for three major factors.

Contingency Fee Basis

Firstly, you should never settle for legal representation that tries to charge you money upfront. Instead, you should hire workers’ compensation lawyers who work on a contingency fee basis.

In a nutshell, a contingency fee basis means that your legal team won’t charge you a dime unless they recover compensation for your settlement or court case. This is an excellent deal for you since it means that you don’t have to worry about paying for your medical bills and legal representation at the same time.

Schwartzapfel Lawyersalways operates on a contingency fee basis for each of our clients. We treat our clients like family members and are so confident in our ability to help you get the financial justice you deserve that we won’t charge you a penny unless we recover compensation for your needs.

Workers’ Comp Specialization

Next, you should look for a law firm that specializes in workers’ compensation. Don’t try to hire attorneys who aren’t focused on workers’ comp law.

Schwartzapfel Lawyers is well-equipped and ready to assist with your upcoming workers’ compensation case. We’ve helped numerous injured workers over our 150+ years of collective service, so we’ve seen everything the legal system has to offer and know all the classic methods insurance companies may use to try to avoid paying their fair share.

History of Case Success

Lastly, only hire workers’ compensation attorneys who have a stellar history of past successes. Schwartzapfel Lawyers’client testimonials page showcases our world-class track record when it comes to client satisfaction and favorable outcomes.

Over the years, we’ve helped hundreds of New Yorkers recover damages for denied workers’ compensation claims, allowing them to pay for medical expenses, make up for lost income, and even recover permanent disability benefits. Depending on the specifics of your case, you, too, could recover thousands or even millions of dollars.

Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers Today

If you are injured at work, you generally have (30) days to report the incident and any accompanying injuries or illnesses if you want to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you have hearing loss, you have (90) days after noticing the loss in hearing to report to file a successful claim.

Note: The earlier you report your injury, the greater the likelihood that you’ll get the workers’ compensation payout you need to pay for your medical bills and accident-related expenses.

But if your employer or the insurance company doesn’t want to do what’s right, contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers today. We’ll fight for you no matter what and won’t rest until you get the benefits you need to recover – physically, emotionally, and financially.

Contact us today online or at 1-800-966-4999 for a free case evaluation!

Sources:

Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You

Your Responsibilities as an Employer | wcb.ny.gov

Workers’ Compensation Occupational Disease | wcb.ny.gov

The Claims Process – The First Steps | wcb.ny.gov

Hearing loss – Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

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