Every employer in every state is required to provide a safe and healthy work environment for their employees. Those who fail to abide by this duty will see workers harmed as a result. However, there are cases when an accident takes place despite the preventive measures put in place to avoid them.
Workplace injuries can range from ones that cause discomfort to those that inflict permanent damage. The state of New York has a system in place for workers who suffer from on-the-job injuries.
Following a Workplace Injury
Get medical attention. If you sustained an injury at work, make sure to get medical treatment as soon as possible. Unless it’s an emergency situation, it’s best to head to a health care provider authorized by the Workers’ Compensation Board. You can find that information provided in the state of New York’s Workers’ Compensation Board website.
In case your employer participates in a Preferred Provider Organization or Alternate Dispute Resolution program, you will have to seek treatment at a participating health care provider. If they are, they have to provide you with all the necessary information about the programs mentioned beforehand.
Another important reminder concerns diagnostic tests or prescription medicine. In case you will be needing any of those, your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier may ask that you get them from a diagnostic network or a designated pharmacies or a network of pharmacies they are in contract with. You should receive a written notice in case you are required to use any of those aforementioned.
Your employer or their insurance carrier takes care of the cost of your medical expenses. However, that only applies if the case is not disputed. You will be asked to sign form A-9, which notifies you of shouldering the medical bills should your claim be disallowed by the Workers’ Compensation Board or you don’t pursue the claim.
Inform your supervisors. You must let your supervisor know about the details of your injury within 30 days of it taking place. This must be done in writing and failure to comply within the allotted time period can result in losing the right to workers’ compensation benefits. In the event that you’re suffering from an occupational disease, you are allowed to give notice within two years of the incident or the occurrence of the condition.
Complete the workers’ compensation claim. This is Form C-3, which after completion, should be mailed to the Workers’ Compensation Board office closest to you. This should be done within two years of the accident taking place or within two years of you knowing the injury was related to employment. You can lose right to compensation if you fail to do this.
Follow what is requested of you. Do what your doctor tells you to ensure a full recovery. If you are asked to, make sure you attend an Independent Medical Examination. And if you are able, get back to work and attend any hearings you might be asked to appear in.
Other Options Following a Workplace Accident
While the state of New York provides for you to seek workers’ compensation claim, there are instances when your injuries were caused by a party other than your employer. For instance, that party may be the manufacturer of a faulty piece of equipment. If your injuries have been caused by another party, you can bring a claim against them.
The type of claim you file against another party is known as a “third party claim.” It is different from filing a workers’ compensation claim since it takes the form of a civil lawsuit and will be filed in state or federal courts.
Lawsuits like these usually go for additional personal injury damages that can’t be recovered in a workers’ compensation claim. A workers’ compensation claim reimburses you for medical expenses and lost wages; it does not allow you to claim compensation for pain and suffering. However, that is allowed in a third party claim and you can visit Orin J Cohen Law to get more information. It’s important that you know other options when it comes to seeking compensation for an injury. Workers’ compensation can provide benefits but you also have the right to seek damages outside of that system, especially if your injuries were caused by a third party.
Knowing your rights as a worker can help you protect them if you suffer from a work-related injury.