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5 Steps to Take After Sustaining a Workplace Injury in New York

Posted on 07/19/23

When you or a loved one sustain a workplace injury, there will likely be how many questions related to what steps to take next. Work injuries are scary, particularly if they jeopardize a person’s ability to earn an income. Here, we want to cover five important steps that work injury victims in New York should take in order to maintain their health and well-being and ensure the integrity of their workers’ compensation claims.

1. Seek Medical Care

After any type of workplace injury or illness, the number one priority is the health and well-being of the employee. Before anything else gets accomplished, employees must seek medical care as soon as possible after any on-the-job injury or illness occurs. For emergency situations, this may include taking an ambulance to the hospital. However, even if the injuries do not seem severe at the time they occur or when they are noticed, the affected employee still needs to go to the doctor for an evaluation.

Seeking medical care helps establish evidence related to when the injury occurred and the severity of the injury. This will be beneficial when working to secure compensation.

2. Report the Injury or Illness

There are a few deadlines New York workers need to be aware of concerning reporting workplace injuries. First, state law requires any worker to report workplace injuries or illnesses within 30 days after they occur or from when a diagnosis is received.

However, a workers’ compensation claim can be filed up to two years after the injury or illness occurred. So long as the injury or illness was initially reported to the employer, the claim can be filed at any time during that two-year time frame. Often, workplace injury or illness victims do not know the full extent of the damages right away. Healthcare professionals may later discover that individuals need additional treatment related to the injury or that the injury is more severe than suspected. If an individual fails to file a claim right away, this overall two-year time frame allows them more time.

3. Keep Evidence and Records

It is imperative for workplace injury or illness victims to keep every record related to the incident and the medical treatment they receive. For example, this can include a range of types of data and documents, including video surveillance footage or photographs from the injury incident itself. Additionally, statements from my witnesses can prove to be invaluable if there is a dispute over how the incident occurred or where it occurred.

Victims of on-the-job injuries should keep all of their medical records and bills, proof of lost wages, and documentation of other out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury or illness.

4. Contact a Worker’s Compensation Lawyer 

A skilled work injury lawyer in the Buffalo area can help you if you run into pushback from an employer or insurance carrier after filing a work injury claim. Even though most workers’ compensation claims are straightforward, individuals who do receive pushback need an attorney for help. This pushback could come in many forms, including disputes over how much medical care a person needs or the level of disability caused by the injury or illness.

An attorney will handle every aspect of this process on behalf of the workplace injury or illness victim.

5. Ensure the Workers’ Comp Claim Gets Filed

Even though employers are required to notify the insurer immediately after receiving the injury or illness report from the employee, that may not always happen. Employers do have to pay a penalty for failing to timely report workplace injuries or illnesses. 

Individuals can file a claim with New York State’s Workers’ Compensation Board as well. Victims can complete and file an Employee Claim (Form C-3) with the Workers’ Compensation Board but must do so within two years. 

If you are working with an attorney, they can handle the process of ensuring the employer files the claim promptly or helping you file the claim yourself.