An injury on the job is often prepared for but never expected. Any injury suffered while doing the work of an employer may be covered by worker’s compensation insurance.

In New York State, workers’ compensation is insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job. Employers pay for this insurance, and they do not require the employee to contribute to the cost of compensation.

If you are injured at work, there are some important steps to take to protect yourself in case a worker’s compensation insurance claim is submitted.

Get medical attention. The first step is an easy one; get treatment for the injury and hold on to any paperwork relating to your treatment.

Notify your supervisor. To qualify for workers compensation, a written report of the incident must be submitted within 30 days of the incident. An injured employee who fails to inform their employer of an on-the-job injury may lose the right to their worker’s compensation benefits.

File the forms. In New York State, the proper form to claim worker’s compensation benefits is Form C-3. This claim form may be filed on paper or on line.

Consult an experienced lawyer. A worker’s compensation claim requires the claimant keep accurate paperwork, be aware of their case status, and prepare for any disputes that may arise during the incident investigation. An experienced personal injury or worker’s compensation lawyer will help an injured worker take on the administrative and legal work so they can focus on getting well and recovering from their injury.

A claim is paid if the employer or insurance carrier agrees that the injury or illness is work-related. If the employer or insurance carrier disputes the claim, no cash benefits are paid until the workers’ compensation law judge decides who is right. If a worker is not receiving benefits because the employer or insurance carrier is arguing that the injury is not job-related, he or she may be eligible for disability benefits in the meantime.

If you can return to work but your injury prevents you from earning the same wages you once did, you may be entitled to a benefit that will make up two-thirds of the difference. You may also return to work in light or alternate duty before you are fully healed.

Follow up.

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions to ensure a speedy recovery.
  • Get an independent medical examination, if required.
  • Go back to work as soon as you are able.
  • Attend case hearings when scheduled to appear.

An experienced and knowledgeable workers compensation lawyer is the partner an injured worker needs to successfully ensure the care and security needed to remain productive and active.