New York private employers reported more than 129,000 workplace accidents and injuries in the US Department of Labor’s most recent data from 2020. Workplace accidents and injuries vary widely from construction job site accidents, heavy machinery accidents to illnesses and conditions that occur over a longer period of time. Most employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance so that should you suffer an injury or illness on the job, you would be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are filing for workers’ compensation benefits in New York, make sure to avoid these four mistakes in your claim.
#1: Failing to Get Immediate Medical Care
If you’re seriously injured in an accident, you likely would be receiving immediate medical care. Seeking medical care for injuries or illnesses, like back injuries, that develop over time is important. Don’t assume the illness or injury will just go away or think you can wait it out. By seeking immediate medical care, you are not only starting the healing process but also creating documentation of your injuries which will make it easier to secure workers’ compensation benefits.
#2: Failing to Inform Your Employer
Typically, your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits partially relies on you notifying your employer of your injury within 30 days of the accident. You have up to two years to file a claim for additional injuries or medical conditions that arise as a result of the accident. There are few exceptions to these time limits. It's always best to inform your employer of a workplace injury or accident as soon as reasonably possible.
#3: Failing to Consider All of Your Financial Losses
The loss of income coupled with the medical bills will affect your finances, and you may not initially realize the full extent of your financial losses. Workers’ compensation provides several benefits to injured workers who have suffered from a work-related accident or an occupational disease. Medical benefits, such as payment of hospital and medical bills, as well as the loss of income during any period in which an employee is disabled. These benefits may be temporary or permanent, depending on the injury, and may include a full benefit amount or a partial benefit amount.
#4: Failing to Put Your Own Needs First
Some workers may feel guilty about missing work after an injury or illness and try to get back to work too quickly. Or when asked about their symptoms by an employer or doctor, the worker may downplay or not report all aspects of the injury. Make sure to put your needs first and take the time needed or recommended to heal from your injuries. Returning to work too quickly or downplaying your injuries could cause you to lose out on the maximum compensation you deserve.
You have the right to file a claim for benefits after suffering a work-related injury; however, the process of actually obtaining benefits can be a major challenge for most people. Make sure to avoid these mistakes and consider seeking legal help. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can handle your case and make sure you get the benefits you need to recover from your injury and get back to work.
Brandon J. Broderick, Workers Compensation Lawyers
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we are dedicated to assisting clients throughout New Jersey and New York with their workers’ compensation cases. We have years of experience and the extensive resources you need to secure a fair case result. If you have suffered an illness or injury at work, contact us immediately for a free consultation to understand your options.