If a coworker caused your injury, you may be concerned about your right to workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation program is a “no-fault” system. If you are injured on the job, you have the right to benefits, but sacrifice your right to file a lawsuit, unless the employer has committed acts of gross negligence. If a coworker’s actions led to a serious injury while performing tasks at work, you have the right to workers’ compensation benefits.
The Requirements to Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits
After an injury caused by a coworker, you must take a set of actions, as follows:
- Inform your employer immediately, with the date, time, and location of the injury, and what occurred, and who was involved, and if you went to the ER, what treatments you received.
- Get a full medical assessment from a medical professional approved by the workers’ compensation board. If at the ER, ensure your treatment is performed by an approved medical professional.
- Document everything that occurred while your memory is still fresh.
- Take pictures of your injuries.
- File an accident report within 30 days. The form can be provided by your employer or from the workers’ compensation board. Failure to submit a report could jeopardize your access to the benefits you deserve.
- Get help from a workers’ compensation lawyer to provide guidance, ensure all filings are timely, and who will gather and preserve evidence, interview eyewitnesses and other actions, as necessary.
How to Collect Evidence Regarding Your Injuries
Your case may require specific types of evidence. Ensuring the evidence is collected and preserved can be a critical point in the success of a claim. If there were eyewitnesses, they must be interviewed. A workers’ compensation attorney performs all tasks related to the collection of evidence, which in cases of serious or catastrophic injury, the worker cannot perform themselves.
Keep a written log of every detail of your accident, medical treatment, and recovery. Note down the name of all the medical professionals involved in your treatment. Video footage may be available, and should be requested, ordinarily by your lawyer. Keep a file of all medical records and bills. This information can be a vital part of proving your claim has merit.
How to Submit an Accident Report
The accident report is a critical part of your workers’ compensation claim. Your employer is required to file an accident report. The injured worker must file a C-3 form with the Workers’ Compensation Board, which can be done online. The form has many fields you must fill in as much as possible. If you are unable to submit the form due to the extent of your injuries, your workers’ comp attorney can perform this task, and file form OC-400.5, the attorney version of the form.
Why You Need an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
It would be nice to know that the workers’ comp system was simple, and even if a coworker injured you, that you could expect your medical bills to be paid, and benefits to be paid. Unfortunately, many injured workers run into serious problems, with a claim denied or delayed due to missing documentation or other issues.
Denied or Delayed Benefits
Your employer may challenge that your injuries are work-related and occurred off work hours, even during the lunch hour, or that you were engaged in dangerous horseplay which led to the injuries. If you were not an employee and were injured by a coworker, you may still have legal options. A civil claim could be filed against the person who injured you. Every case is unique in the facts and circumstances and should be evaluated by a qualified and experienced attorney.
Contact Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP at (212) 986-7353 immediately for a free case consultation if you were injured by the actions of a coworker.