Filing for workers’ compensation in New York is not particularly difficult, but there are certain things that need to happen quickly in order to protect your rights and your claim. The first thing you should do after a work-related illness or injury is get medical treatment immediately. Your safety and well-being is always the most important thing.
With that in mind, you should tell a superior or manager about the accident and how it occurred, and make note of any witnesses who might have seen what happened. You must notify your employer in writing within 30 days of an accident and you should file a C-3 form with the Workers’ Compensation Board as soon as possible. Within 48 hours of treatment, your doctor needs to file a medical report with the Board, and copies of this report must be sent to you and your employer or its insurance company. Within 10 days of the accident, the employer needs to report it to the Board and their insurer, and the insurer needs to provide you with a written statement of your legal rights within 14 days of receiving notification. And within 18 days of the accident, the insurer must accept your claim or give reason for disputing it.
All of these deadlines can seem complicated, which is why it is very important to have an experienced lawyer with a background in personal injury and workers’ compensation claims to represent you. Your lawyer can handle all of the paperwork and help guide you through the process. If the insurer disputes your claim, then legal representation becomes even more important.
When a claim is disputed, Board examiners will attempt to resolve the issue, at which point you want legal representation from an experienced lawyer. Should this attempt fail, then the Board takes the case before a judge who hears testimony, reviews medical records, and ultimately decides on the case. During this process, you do not want to leave anything to chance, and a lawyer experienced in handling these kinds of cases not only takes much of the burden off you for handling paperwork, but can also help you understand each step of the process. Even if the judge ultimately rules against you, you have 30 days to make an appeal and have your case heard again by an appellate court.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, call the New York worker injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP today at (212) 986-7353. We can discuss your case, help you understand the process, and work to make sure your rights are protected.