Accidents can happen anywhere and anyone can suffer an injury while they are at work, whether it is immediate or sustained over a longer period of time. To be prepared for any situation that can occur in the workplace, all employers have workers’ compensation coverage from insurance carriers, which can provide any worker with compensation after an accident. The laws in the state of New York require all employers to have this type of no-fault insurance in place for employees.
Read on to find out more about what you should do if you have been injured in an accident at work and what workers’ compensation benefits you can be entitled to claim.
Report Your Injury To Your Employer Immediately
It is important to alert your employer about your accident at work and the injury that you have sustained straight away. Regulations in the state of New York require that you must notify your employer to your work-related injury within 30 days of the accident. This should be completed in writing to your supervisor or human resources department as soon as possible to ensure you do not lose the workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to claim.
Once you have notified a superior about your injury, you will need to fill out an incident report and employee claim form (C-3). Then, your employer will alert their workers’ compensation insurance carrier and file a C-2 form for your accident with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
For injuries and occupational diseases, there is a two-year time limit in place to file a workers’ compensation claim in New York. This means that if your claim is not filed within two years from the date of the accident, you can lose access to medical treatment coverage and wage replacement entitlements for your work-related injury.
To ensure you do not pay for your medical bills and your employer covers the treatment you receive, you must visit a doctor or preferred provider organization (PPO) that is authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board. This way, your rehabilitation treatment for your injury is charged directly to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. It is recommended that you only visit your own doctor if they are registered as a treatment provider with the Workers’ Compensation Board. Otherwise, you may not be entitled to medical treatment coverage.
Types of Compensation
If your workers’ compensation claim for your work-related injury is successful, you are entitled to effective medical care for rehabilitation that will allow you to return to work. Your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier will pay for this treatment, such as dental, chiropractic treatment and other required hospital care.
You may also be entitled to Wage Replacement Benefits if you have been disabled by your injury for more than seven days. This means that you can receive some payment for lost wages that you have incurred by not working. This remuneration will be based on wages from the 52 weeks before your accident took place and it is determined by the degree of your disability from the injury. This will be decided by your a doctor and an independent medical exam may be arranged by your employer’s insurer if there are discrepancies over the extent of your injury.
If you have gone back to work, but the injury that you have previously sustained is stopping you from earning the same wage as you did before, you may be entitled to Reduced Earnings Benefits to make up the difference.
Appealing your Workers’ Compensation Claim
If your workers’ compensation insurance claim has been denied because your employer’s insurance carrier does not think your injury was work-related, there are several steps you can take to try and remedy this decision. You can bring your case directly to the Workers Compensation Board, which must be completed in writing and brought within 30 days of the initial decision. This should detail why you disagree with the insurance company’s conclusion and the Workers’ Compensation Board of Commissioners will review this information.
If you are still unhappy, a further appeal can be made within 30 days to the Appellate Division, Third Department. Although it is not mandatory, hiring an attorney or licensed representative who is approved by the Board is recommended. Fees will be deducted from the compensation award if you are successful.
Discrimination is Illegal
In the state of New York, it is against the law for your employer to discriminate against any worker that has suffered a workplace injury and received workers’ compensation benefits. This means you cannot have your contract terminated because you have filed a workers compensation claim or if you have testified in a compensation case.
If your employer has unlawfully fired you after making a workers’ compensation claim, you can make a discrimination complaint to the Workers’ Compensation Board by filing a DC-120 form. If the complaint is successful, you will be restored back into your original position and receive compensation for any lost wages you have suffered. In the state of New York, a claim for discrimination in relation to workers’ compensation claims must be made within two years.
Additional Workers’ Compensation Benefits Resources
If you have been injured at work and want to find out more about workers’ compensation benefits in New York, the links below will provide you with helpful information: