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How to Begin a Workers’ Compensation Claim

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A Long Island Workers Compensation Lawyer Can Help Clients File Claims Throughout New York

have been injured on the job. Now what? Most workers know they are entitled to workers’ compensation for job–related injuries, but have no idea how to claim their benefits. As a result, many workers have inadvertently waived their rights for failure to take action soon enough. Turley Redmond & Rosasco urges injured workers to seek legal counsel as soon as practicable. The workers’ compensation claims process is complicated, and one error can cause stressful delays, or worse, cost you your benefits entirely. If you have questions about what you need to do to secure your rightful benefits, schedule a free consultation with a Long Island workers compensation lawyer at one of our six office locations. We’re conveniently located in Manhattan, Suffolk County and Nassau County. 

What to Do After Your Job Accident

In New York, you must notify your employer about your injury right away. If possible, let your employer know immediately after the accident occurs. However, this may not be possible if you were rushed to the emergency room or if you did not realize you were injured at the time, especially if it was a construction accident. You must nonetheless let your employer know within 30 days of the workplace accident. Some injuries develop over time, including repetitive stress injuries, hearing loss, and toxic exposure-related diseases, in which case you should notify your employer as soon as you are diagnosed. 

You have two years to file your claim with the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board. This two-year deadline tolls from the date of your workplace accident or the date you knew or should have known that your injury was related to your job. However, our Long Island workers compensation lawyers strongly suggest you file your claim as soon as you can.

Obtain a Medical Report Within 48 Hours

For the sake of your health and your workers’ compensation claim, you should obtain timely medical care. Inform your doctor of the employment-related nature of your injury so he can take the steps necessary to complete your claims application. Your doctor should complete his assessment and submit the Doctor’s Initial Report on form C-4 to the New York State Workers’ Compensation District Office within 48 hours of the accident. He must also send copies to you, your employer and your employer’s insurance carrier.

What Treatments and Medical Professionals Are Covered?

Generally, traditional practitioners and treatments are covered, but only as necessary to treat your particular injury or illness. Depending upon your medical condition, you may be covered for such medical care as:

  • Diagnostic tests, including x-rays, CT scans, MRIs and blood tests
  • Doctor evaluations and follow-up appointments
  • Specialists who treat your condition
  • Surgical procedures
  • Hospital services
  • Physical therapy, rehabilitation and occupational therapy
  • Medications
  • Mobility devices, such as crutches or wheelchairs
  • Medical devices, such as prosthetics, hearing aids and implants
  • Psychiatric care

How Do You Choose the Right Doctor for a Workers Compensation Claim?

As with health insurance, only certain practitioners are authorized by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. However, within this scope, you do have the right to choose your doctor.

We recommend checking the NY Workers’ Compensation Board online platform to be sure the doctor you choose is authorized under the workers’ compensation plan. The agency does not recommend doctors; rather, you are responsible for performing due diligence as to the doctor’s credentials, experience, qualifications, geographic location and other criteria. You would follow the same procedures to choose a specialist, if necessary, to treat your injuries.

You want a doctor you can trust and feel comfortable with. But, your personal doctor may not be on this list, so it is important to check the list before making an appointment. The agency maintains a searchable database that includes all the doctors it has authorized.

Our Long Island Workers Compensation Lawyer Explains if Your Employer Can Choose Your Doctor

Your employer is not permitted to make the choice of doctor for you and may be charged with a misdemeanor for interfering with your right to choose a practitioner. This rule is suspended during an emergency in which you are unable to obtain your own care, such as if you are rendered unconscious or have sustained a life-threatening injury. Once the emergency has passed, you may choose to switch to another doctor or remain with the initial physician. If your company’s insurance is a PPO, you may need to choose a doctor within its network, but may switch to another workers’ compensation-authorized doctor after 30 days.

What Happens After You Receive Form C-2F – Employer’s Report of Work-Related Injury/Illness?

The insurance carrier has 14 days to send you a written statement that explains your legal rights or, if earlier, when it sends you your first check. At that time, the insurer also must include a list of providers within its network where you can obtain your diagnostic tests, if this is required of you.

The insurer starts paying your benefits within 18 days if your claim is not disputed and if you were off work for more than seven days. Conversely, the insurer or employer must notify the Workers’ Compensation Board within that time period if they plan to dispute the claim.

Let an Experienced Long Island Workers Compensation Lawyer from Our Team Help You File a Successful Workplace Injury Claim

Do you have questions about the workers’ compensation process? The workers comp attorneys at our firm can explain the requirements and steps at a no-risk, free consultation. Contact Turley Redmond & Rosasco today to schedule your free appointment with a top Long Island workers compensation lawyer. We have offices in Nassau and Suffolk County. 

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