You were injured on the job, which means that you can be compensated. But, you may be unsure of how to go about filing your claim – especially because the construction industry often involves large companies, big insurers, and unions all mixed into a single pot for injured workers to deal with. In New York, the workers’ compensation system was designed to be easy, but unfortunately, there is plenty of complex language that can make it impossible to understand. As long as you know the basics, however, you can at least start the process of filing your claim.
Was the Injury Work-Related?
You work in construction, and you were injured on the construction site – but, was the injury actually work-related? In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits, it must be. That means that if you aggravated a skiing injury that you had the weekend before, you may have difficulty filing a workers’ compensation claim.
Any injuries that occur at work should be compensable under the law. For example, if you have tripped and fallen over loose equipment, and you were injured by heavy machinery or fell off of a ladder on the job site, these are all instances that would be covered. If you were doing something that violates Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety standards or violated company policy, you could risk a denial of your benefits.
The First Steps to Take
As long as your injury stems from employment or job-related duties, you can start on the next steps toward filing your claim, which include:
- Notify your supervisor immediately. If you are at work at the time when you discover the injury, you must notify a supervisor as soon as possible. Also, if there are other employees present at the time, get their information so that you can use them as witnesses – to prove that your injury was, in fact, work-related. If your injury has developed slowly over time, which is common in the construction industry, then you will want to let your employer know as soon as you suspect that your injury is caused by employment – such as chronic back pain from lifting.
- Contact the state department of labor. Here, you will find the division of workers’ compensation information so that you know the first steps to filing your claim. Remember that you will only be filling out the sections pertaining to your injury – you will not complete the employer’s information or section. Your employer will be prompted to complete this for you.
- Speak with a lawyer. While you may have a straightforward injury, with plenty of witnesses to attest to how the injury occurred, hiring an attorney is still in your best interest. Construction accidents are complex, and sometimes workers’ compensation is not always the only route for compensation. Also, it is easy to miss a step in the requirements for your claim – which can result in an automatic denial. An attorney can help you fill out your claim properly and push insurers to pay for your lost wages and medical expenses (as they should).
Injured on the Construction Site? Contact Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. Today
If you or a loved one was seriously injured on a construction site as part of your regular employment, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. To explore your options for compensation and start the claims process, contact the workers’ compensation attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. today. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, and you can schedule yours by calling 1-877-737-4806 by filling out our online contact form with your questions.