With few exceptions, New York law mandates that all employers carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover the costs of their employees’ job-related injuries. If you have been injured or become ill in the course of performing your job duties, as long as you haven’t waited too long, you are most likely entitled to benefits. These benefits can cover the cost of your medical treatment as well as a substantial portion of your lost wages. If your injury or illness prevents you from returning to work, you may be entitled to benefits for life.
Steps to Take After Suffering a Workplace Injury
Unfortunately, employers and their insurance companies rarely pay full benefits without putting up a fight. As a result, if you have been injured on the job, it is critically important that you follow the necessary steps to better your chances of obtaining full compensation. Simple missteps can make it much more difficult – and in some cases impossible – to obtain the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
Following a workplace or work-related injury, you should:
- Report the incident to your employer. This is a critical first step. Under most circumstances you will be required to use an approved medical provider, and if you see a different doctor your treatment may not be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Fill out your employer’s incident report. Most employers will have a standard incident report for work-related accidents and injuries. You should fill out this report as completely and accurately as possible. Importantly, even though workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, you will want to be careful to avoid making any statements suggesting that you may have been at fault in causing the accident.
- Do what your doctor says. If your doctor says you should take time off from work, you should take time off from work. While, under appropriate circumstances, you can continue to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, not following your doctor’s orders can make it more difficult to obtain compensation for your illness or injury.
- Avoid discussing your injuries on social media. While it may be tempting to talk about what happened on Facebook or post pictures of your injuries on Instagram, you should resist the temptation. One wrong move on social media could significantly harm your chances of obtaining benefits.
- Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. To ensure that you receive the full benefits you deserve, the best thing you can do is hire an experienced workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will be able to deal with your employer and their insurance company for you, and also determine if you may have a claim against anyone else for additional compensation.
Additional Resources for Employees Seeking Workers’ Compensation
For additional information on seeking workers’ compensation benefits in New York, you can also read:
- Standing Up for Your Rights and Common Workplace Injuries
- Our Tips for Filing for and Getting Workers’ Compensation Benefits
- New York Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. | New York Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you have been injured on the job, the attorneys at Schwartzapfel Lawyers P.C. can help you fight for the compensation you deserve. We take all cases on contingency, which means that there is no fee unless we win your case. To schedule a free consultation, call our New York City law offices at 1-888-575-6410 or contact us online today.