If you have been injured on the job in New York State, what are the three things you need in order to qualify for workers’ comp?
These three are often represented with the acronym ANCR, which stands for “Accident, Notice, and Causal Relationship.”
In this video we’re going to talk about what each of these mean and how you know whether or not you qualify for benefits, so stay tuned.
My name is Rex E Zachofsky and I became a New York workers comp lawyer 17 years ago after getting injured on the job. If you are looking for a New York worker’s comp or personal injury lawyer, give me a call at 212-257-3305 to schedule a free consultation on your case.
The first element needed to qualify for a workers’ comp claim is “Accident.” Essentially you need to show that a work-related accident occurred.
Did you fall down the stairs to your warehouse? Did you get hit by a car while delivering packages? Did a beam fall on your arm on a construction site?
If there was an accident that resulted in you getting injured while working, you have the first element needed to qualify for workers comp benefits.
Now a subset of this is when you have what’s called an occupational disease. This is when you develop an illness or condition as a result of your working conditions. The most common of these is repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel.
An example would be working on an assembly line and developing carpal tunnel in your arm from doing the same motion over and over.
Occupational disease can also include things like developing lung disease from working in construction and being exposed to asbestos.
If you have developed an illness or condition as a result of your working conditions, that would also give you the first element needed to qualify for workers comp benefits.
The second element needed to qualify for a workers comp claim is Notice. The law in New York requires that you provide written notice to your supervisor within 30 days of your accident or injury, unless they have “actual notice,” which I’ll explain in just a moment.
If you are providing your employer written notice of an accident or injury, it should include:
But in my experience, 99% of the time actual notice has occurred and overrides the need for written notice. So what is actual notice?
This is when the events, facts, or circumstances surrounding the accident provide notice to your employer. For example, if they saw the accident happen or heard a crash from the other room, that would qualify as actual notice.
It can also be things like receiving a phone call from the police or a coworker, notifying them that you were in an accident while driving the delivery truck and are on the way to the hospital.
In the event you were injured, you have 30 days from the day you got hurt to notify your employer… but what if you have an occupational disease?
In these cases the 30 days is a little tricky because you don't have a specific accident date. The guidelines state the 30 days start on the day that “the person first knew or should have known that their injury or disability is work related.”
I often help my clients figure out what day that is—usually in a way that works in our favor. Typically it's from the day they first saw their doctor or got a specific diagnosis related to the condition.
The third element needed to qualify for workers comp is a “Causal Relationship.” This is a medical determination tying the injury or illness to the work accident or conditions.
When you see a doctor for treatment of your injury, they will ask questions about how it happened and document it in your medical records. For example the doctor might write: “The patient was driving for Uber with passengers in his car and was hit from behind while stopped at a red light. He has injuries to his neck and back. It's my opinion that the injuries were caused by the accident.”
So it's the doctor tying it all together to create a causal relationship between the injury and your work.
Those are the three elements you need to show to qualify for workers comp in New York! If you were recently injured or diagnosed with an occupational disease, do you qualify for all three?