Suffering a work injury can turn your world upside down. While you’re trying to cope with the pain and uncertainty that comes with any serious physical injury, you’ll also likely be facing a slew of must-do’s and timelines. To this end, one critical question you might be asking is, “How long do I have to see a doctor?”
For an answer tailor-fitted to your situation, please call the experienced New York construction accident attorneys of Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200 or connect with us online to schedule your free consultation today. As part of your evaluation, we’ll make sure your rights are maintained and that you get all the money and benefits you’re entitled to.
Alternatively, please continue reading.
What Is The Timeline For Seeking Medical Help After A Work Injury?
According to New York State law (WCL §18), if you’re injured at work or while in the performance of job-related duties, you must immediately inform your employer and seek medical treatment. The healthcare provider must be authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board, except in emergencies. The clock starts ticking, and you have (30) days to submit written notice to your employer.
Preferred Providers And Your Choice
Some employers participate in the Preferred Provider Program or an Alternative Dispute Resolution Program. In these cases, your employer might suggest a specific healthcare provider.
However, they should also inform you of your rights to choose your own healthcare provider (Form C-3.1). Keep in mind that your health is your prerogative.
Self-Insured Employers And Insurance Carriers
If your employer is self-insured or has an insurance carrier, you might be required to obtain diagnostic tests and prescriptions from a specific network (WCL §13-a(7)(c) and WCL §13[i]). Employers, however, are obligated to notify employees about these requirements.
How Do You Report A Work Injury?
After any injury-related event, you’ll want to make sure that you properly report your injury. This is an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked, as not all injuries are the same and protocols will vary depending on the nature and severity of the injury in question.
An injury is typically considered minor if the following points are true:
- It requires two (2) or fewer treatments by a person rendering first aid.
- Lost time is less than one (1) day beyond the end of the working shift on which the incident occurred.
For minor injuries, employers may choose to pay for the treatments directly and maintain records for (18) years (WCL §110).
All Other Injuries
For injuries other than minor ones, you must report them within (10) days to the Workers’ Compensation Board and the insurance carrier. Failure to file within the stipulated time could result in penalties of up to $2,500.
What Are Your Responsibilities As An Employer After A Work Injury?
It’s also important to note that continuing to pay an injured employee’s wages after a work-related injury can be reimbursed from any subsequent compensation awards (WCL §25). Employers must make this claim for reimbursement prior to the award of compensation.
For individualized details on how you can best recover physically, financially, and legally, call the experienced New York construction accident attorneys of Schwartzapfel Lawyers at 516-342-2200. Alternatively, you can schedule your free consultation online to start protecting your financial future today.
When Do I Need A Workers’ Comp Doctor?
Navigating the workers’ compensation terrain can be puzzling, especially when it comes to choosing the right healthcare provider. Here’s what you need to know about when and why you need to see a workers’ comp doctor in New York.
Report And Visit
When you’re injured at work or while in the performance of job-related duties, the first thing you should do is report the injury to your employer, ideally in a written format to maintain a record. Once that’s taken care of, your next action item should be seeking medical attention promptly. This is a vital step for both your health and your workers’ compensation claim.
What Are The Advantages Of Immediate Medical Consultation?
For starters, immediate medical attention safeguards your health. Work accidents can result in injuries with delayed-onset symptoms, and without proper diagnosis, you could risk aggravating an unknown injury. The sooner you’re examined by a doctor, the quicker you’ll know any medical restrictions you need to follow.
Strengthening Your Claim
An immediate medical consultation also fortifies your workers’ compensation claim. It creates a documented medical history, reducing the insurance company’s ability to dispute the work-related nature of your injury. In short, immediate medical consultation is beneficial for your health and serves as a shield for your claim.
Choose Your Doctor Wisely
New York law grants you the liberty to select your medical provider as long as they are authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board. Authorized providers have undergone specialized training to deal with work-related injuries, so they know the drill.
The PPO Exception
There’s a slight catch. If your workers’ compensation insurance has a preferred provider organization (PPO), you’re required to choose a doctor within the PPO network for the initial (30) days post-injury. But the good news is, you can switch doctors within the PPO anytime you like.
What Makes a Good Workers’ Comp Doctor?
Choosing the right doctor isn’t just about convenience; it’s about expertise. A well-versed workers’ comp doctor plays a pivotal role throughout the compensation process. They diagnose your injuries, recommend treatments, and can even advocate for you in case of insurance disputes over “reasonable and necessary” treatment.
Look for these qualities:
- Thorough diagnostic abilities.
- Robust documentation skills to meet workers’ comp requirements.
- A strong advocate for necessary medical treatments.
If you haven’t scheduled that doctor’s appointment yet, let this be your nudge. Whether you’re reading this on the day of your injury or sometime afterward, there’s no time like the present. So pick up that phone and make your health a priority.
How Does The Workers’ Compensation Claims Process Work?
Step 1: Get Professional Medical Care ASAP
The moment you sustain a work-related injury, prioritize medical attention. Ensure that the healthcare professional treating you is certified by the Workers’ Compensation Board. Don’t forget to explicitly state that your injury occurred while you were working.
- Avoid paying your healthcare provider out of pocket.
- Your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance should cover medical expenses, including necessary prescriptions and equipment.
- Collect and save all transportation receipts related to your medical appointments for possible reimbursement.
Step 2: Alert Your Boss
Once you’ve secured proper medical care, your next task is to inform your supervisor about your injury. Submit this information in written form without delay but no later than (30) days from the incident. Missing this timeline could jeopardize your claim.
Step 3: Submit Your Employee Claim
As you must promptly submit an Employee Claim (Form C-3) to the Workers’ Compensation Board, you shouldn’t procrastinate. Why wait and leave your future to chance? Instead, you should act now to avoid missing out on receiving all the money and benefits you deserve.
Further details here include but are not limited to:
- If you’ve had a related previous injury or health condition, you should submit a Limited Release of Health Information (Form C-3.3).
- Additionally, you should submit your claim within the (2)-year window from the date of the injury or the onset of the work-related illness.
Step 4: Employer and Insurance Steps
Your employer also has responsibilities to fulfill. They need to alert their insurance carrier within a (10)-day window if your condition requires more than just first aid or if you have missed work.
Watch out for a Statement of Rights (Form C-430S) arriving within two (2) weeks of your employer notifying their insurance. Anticipate your benefits to commence within (18) days if you’ve been unable to work for more than a week.
Step 5: Monitor Your Compensation
Throughout your recovery period, you can expect bi-weekly compensation payments. Be vigilant in reviewing these amounts and promptly report any inconsistencies.
Step 6: Engage With The Workers’ Compensation Board
After your case is logged and assigned a unique identifier, maintain ongoing communication with the Board. Keep them updated on any changes or concerns about your case.
To prompt the Board for additional actions on your claim, you may need to file a Request for Assistance by Injured Worker (Form RFA-1W).
Be aware that electronic signatures are not accepted on Board-prescribed forms. As such, you should be sure to use ink when signing.
By following these steps and keeping a vigilant eye on the process, you can effectively navigate the complexities of any workers’ compensation claim. So, please, take that first step to safeguarding your financial future — your well-being could depend on it.
Don’t Take Chances, Hire the Right Lawyer!
A work injury can not only wreak havoc on your health but can also greatly complicate your finances. As such, hiring the right, experienced lawyer is essential to securing your future.
Whether you need help finding the right healthcare provider or maneuvering through the workers’ comp system, we’re here to assist you every step of the way. So, please, don’t wait. Instead, call Schwartzapfel Lawyers now at 516-342-2200 or visit us online to schedule your free consultation today.
Note: Your window of opportunity won’t stay open forever, and so it’s in your best interest to consult with a seasoned and knowledgeable lawyer sooner than later.
One phone call may save you miles of headache, heartache, and financial strain down the road. Protect your financial future starting today by having the legal team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers fight – and win – for you!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!