Injuries on the job happen. Some jobs are more hazardous than others but the reality is that injuries can happen to anyone, at anytime. The premise of workers' compensation coverage is that fault is not a factor. Workers' compensation law in New York provides individuals with the medical care for injuries and illnesses related to work, as well as compensation when a work injury or illness has caused lost time from work.
New York state law requires nearly all employers to carry workers' compensation insurance coverage for just such occurrences. However, not every employer carries the required coverage. Even when they do, the insurance company providing the benefits has incentive to keep the payout as low as possible for profit's sake.
Holding insurers and employers accountable for their legal responsibilities depends on you knowing and meeting your legal obligations. These include:
- Timely reporting of injury: The law requires you to inform your employer, in writing, about your injury within 30 days. Ideally, you should do this as soon after the incident as possible.
- File necessary claims: The law also requires you to file a claim with Workers’ Compensation Board within two years of the accident.
Filing a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board requires you to complete specific forms, and if they aren't filled out properly, accurately and timely, your benefits could be delayed or even denied.
Considering how important workers’ compensation benefits are to the injured worker and his or her family, it's best to avoid any legal missteps. To be sure you understand your obligations and receive the optimal benefit to which you are entitled, you deserve to have your own advocate skilled in workers' compensation law at your side.