If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident in New York, you are not alone. According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, each year more than 200,000 workers in New York report suffering injuries on the job.
The majority of these injuries occur in the private sector. Well over half of all private-sector workplace accidents involve employees in trades, transportation, utilities, health care, and education.
After suffering injuries in a workplace accident, it is up to you to protect your legal rights. Your employer will not do anything for you automatically. In many cases, employers and their insurance companies will dispute employees’ claims for workers’ compensation benefits.
With this in mind, here are seven steps you should take if you have been injured on the job in New York:
In order to file for workers’ compensation benefits, you will need to report your accident to your employer. You should find out if your employer has any specific reporting requirements, and you should adhere to these requirements as best you can.
When reporting your workplace accident, stick strictly to the facts. Do not make any assumptions, and do not misrepresent any details about your accident. If you do, this could lead to a denial of benefits.
Under New York law, unless you need emergency care, you must see a doctor who has been pre-approved by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. You can find an authorized provider through the Workers’ Compensation Board website. If you do not see a pre-approved doctor, this could also result in your claim for workers’ compensation benefits being denied.
Once you see a doctor, you should carefully follow your doctor’s treatment advice. Attend all follow-up appointments, fill your prescriptions, and rest and rehabilitate as necessary. Not only could ignoring your doctor’s advice prolong your recovery, but it could lead to problems for your workers’ compensation claim as well.
The caveat, of course, is if you believe that you may have received bad medical advice. If you are questioning your doctor’s recommendations, then you should see another physician. This can be tricky with New York’s workers’ compensation laws, and we recommend that you consult with a workplace accident attorney about where to go for a second opinion.
After a workplace accident, it is a good idea to get in the habit of taking notes and keeping records. Write down everything you can remember about your accident, and keep all of your medical records in a file. When you hire an attorney, having these records available will help to speed up the workers’ compensation claim process.
When dealing with a workplace accident, it is also a good idea to stay off of the Internet and social media sites. Insurance companies monitor claimants’ online activity, and anything you post could potentially be used against you. In order to avoid any issues, it is best to stop posting altogether until your claim has been fully resolved.
Due to the challenges involved in filing for workers’ compensation in New York, it is strongly in your best interest to hire an attorney. You could have a claim outside of workers’ compensation as well. If you do, you will need to hire an attorney to help you recover full compensation.
Finally, when recovering from a workplace accident, you need to make an informed decision about when (and if) to settle your claim. You only get to settle once. If you accept too little for your accident, you won’t be able to go back and ask for more.
An experienced attorney can help you make an informed decision. If you do not receive a fair settlement offer, your attorney can fight to win the compensation you deserve. Your attorney can also advise you of your right to file one or more additional claims if the negligence of another party led to your injuries.
For more than 30 years, the attorneys at Dreyer Boyajian LLP have been serving those injured in workplace accidents. We have extensive experience handling construction accident claims and other cases where workers have seen seriously hurt or lost their lives on the job.
Please call Dreyer Boyajian LLP at (518) 463-7784 today for a free case review. Our workplace accident attorneys serve clients in Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Saratoga Springs, and other areas of New York.