What to Do When You Are Injured at Work | Workers Compensation Attorney Explains What Steps To Take If You Have Been Injured at Work
What Steps Do I Need to Take If I’ve Been Injured at Work?
You have been injured at work and you may not be sure what to do next at this point. If you are considering filing a Workers’ Compensation claim in New York there are a few things you will want to be aware of to make sure that your claim gets processed correctly and that you are following all of the requirements that will affect whether or not you are eligible to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits.
There are many things that you are responsible to do if you have suffered a work-related injury and there are things that your employer is responsible to do if a work-related injury occurred at their company. You will want to make sure everything that is your responsibility is taken care of and done on time. Below is a timeline of what you should do if you were injured at work:
- Seek medical care – Do immediately and you should also attend any follow-up medical appointments
- Notify your employer in writing of the incident including when, where and how the injury happened – Do within 30 days of the injury
- Obtain any medical reports that are necessary for your case – Do this as soon as possible initially and also be sure to notify the doctors treating you that you suffered an injury at your workplace so they know to file the reports with the Workers’ Compensation Board and with your employer.
- File an employee claim form (C-3) – You should file this as soon as possible after you have notified your employer of your work related injuries but you have up to 2 years to file the claim form. (If you have injured the same body part before, or had a similar illness, you will also need to file a Form C-3.3)
Following these steps and in a timely fashion will make sure that you do not get denied Workers’ Compensation benefits merely for not completing a task in the period of time that you are allotted to do by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Aside from the steps you are responsible for your employer is responsible for following certain Workers’ Compensation procedures also. Your employer is responsible for notifying the Workers’ Compensation Board of your injury by filing a C-2 form once they are made aware of your work related injury.
Where Can I Go to the Doctor and How Should I Pay?
Your initial visit more than likely will be to an emergency room or to your regular physician but after that you generally you can choose to go to any doctor authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board or use occupational health clinics. However, sometimes an employer’s insurance company has a preferred provider organization (PPO) or has a specific network of doctors and specialists that you are expected to go to for care of your workers’ compensation injuries.
As far as how you should pay for the treatment you are receiving for your work-related injury you must inform the doctor, specialist or hospital that you have a work related injury. Do not pay for your care yourself and do not use your personal health care insurance. Advise your doctor to file the invoices and paperwork from your doctor’s visit with both the Workers’ Compensation Board and with either your employer or the employer’s insurer. The medical bills will be paid for by the insurer unless the Board disallows your case. If you dispute your case, the medical providers will be paid once your case has been decided by the Board. If the Board decides against you or if you decide not to file a Workers’ Compensation case you will be responsible for paying the doctor, hospital and for any other medical services that were provided.
Where Do I Start if I Haven’t Got Started Yet?
The first thing, as mentioned above, that you should do is get medical attention and notify your employer, in writing, of the incident and your injuries. The next step you will want to take is to fill out a C-3 form (and a C-3.3 form if you have re-injured the same part of your body that was injured prior to now). You can fill out a C-3 form quite a few ways:
- Complete the C-3 form and mail it into the Board.
- Call the Workers’ Compensation Board at 877-632-4996 and someone will complete the form with you.
What Happens Next With My Workers' Compensation Case?
If your claim is accepted your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier will contact you. This is the point where your treatment and lost wage benefits begin. If your case is challenged the Board will contact you about getting the dispute resolved.