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Buffalo New York Workers' Compensation Blog

How to choose the right doctor for your workers' comp claim

A worker injured on the job in New York is, in most cases, entitled to receive the care necessary to achieve maximum recovery. If you select the wrong doctor, however, your recovery could be negatively affected.

A directory for approved doctors

What does 'light duty' work mean?

After being injured on the job, there is incentive to get back to work as quickly as reasonably possible, as being out of work for too long can impact your finances.

If your doctor says you can work but cannot perform the duties of your previous job, there are alternatives. The state Workers' Compensation Board encourages employers to have plans that include light duty. But what does "light duty" mean?

Is medical marijuana allowed in New York as workers' comp treatment?

Attitudes regarding marijuana are undergoing a major shift in the United States, especially in the context of using marijuana for medical purposes. New York state is at the forefront of the changes.

Step one occurred in 2014 with passage of the Compassionate Care Act, which allows registered medical providers to recommend medical marijuana for patients certified as having certain conditions. In 2017, New York lawmakers added chronic pain to the list of conditions for which medical marijuana is allowed. 

Forklifts: Their visible and invisible risks

Lift trucks are vital tools in many industries. They allow workers to maneuver huge loads in tight places. Unfortunately, they also can pose serious threats to workers.

Nearly 35,000 serious forklift injuries are reported each year, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. OSHA says more than 80 people are killed every year and 42 percent of fatal accidents involve drivers being crushed when vehicles tip over on them.

What happens at a workers' comp hearing?

A New York worker legitimately injured on the job has a right to expect at least one benefit under the state's workers' compensation system: immediate medical treatment for the injury.

Further benefits, such as money benefits and rehabilitation treatments for a disability, may require a legal process and the filing of proper notifications with the employer and with the Workers' Compensation Board.

How does the rehabilitation process work? - Part 2

Helping workers who are injured on the job is about more than just providing necessary care. To the extent possible, the workers' compensation system has a legal mandate to provide additional rehabilitative services.

As we described in our last post, rehabilitation can take two forms: physical rehabilitation and vocational rehabilitation. The first incorporates the elements most people associate with minor to moderate injuries: pain management, diagnostic tests, surgeries, and physical therapy.

How does the rehabilitation process work? - Part 1

Workers' compensation rehabilitation can come in two forms. The first is physical rehabilitation. The elements include medical treatments or physical therapy prescribed to help you heal and restore you to normal, or as close to normal, function as possible. The second is vocational rehabilitation, often necessary if your injury leaves you unable to return to the same work you had been doing.

In this post we explore processes associated with physical rehabilitation, to give you an idea of what to expect when you file a claim under the New York workers' compensation system. In our next post, we will turn our attention to vocational rehabilitation benefits.

What happens if my employer doesn’t have workers' comp insurance?

It's difficult to fathom that an employer in New York, required to have workers' compensation insurance, would choose to not carry it. Yet, some employers don’t have coverage.

Fortunately, if you get hurt on the job and then find that your company doesn't have the necessary insurance, there are still ways for you to seek recovery of the costs associated with the medical care you receive and wage loss suffered. 

I've been denied recommended injury treatment. What now?

Medicine is a science. Or, it's an art. Maybe it's both. Insurers and medical practitioners can't achieve consensus. The disagreement has special implications for New York workers injured on the job.

Workers' compensation mandates coverage for medical treatment for work injuries – within set guidelines. If you and your doctor decide to stray from the treatment listed in those guidelines, the insurance company may deny payment for that treatment. In some such circumstances, seeking a variance might be necessary.