If you have suffered a work injury here in New York state, then you are entitled to workers compensation benefits to help pay for your medical treatment and any lost wages.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the only employee in the company, if you get paid under the table, or if you’re an undocumented immigrant.
If you got injured on the job here in New York, then you are eligible to receive workers comp benefits.
And while your boss or company might say that they will take care of you, the smart move is to keep your options open just in case they suddenly change their mind.
By filing a workers compensation claim!
In my 17 years as a workers comp lawyer, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone contact me because their boss suddenly decided that they didn’t want to pay for medical treatment anymore. And in many cases, the deadline to file a workers comp claim had already passed, which meant that there was nothing we could do to get them the benefits they needed.
Don’t put yourself in that position!
At the very least, take the steps necessary to protect your workers comp benefits so they’re there when you need them.
The first thing to do after a work injury is to get treated by a doctor. You don’t need to worry about the cost because workers comp will cover it. Just find a doctor who is familiar with workers comp and get treated by them, not only because it puts you on the path to recovery, but also because it documents your injury.
Next you want to make sure you’ve notified your employer within 30 days of the accident or injury. Notice is required by the law, so this will protect your right to file a workers comp claim after that 30-day period.
To submit notice, just send your boss a message or email with the date, time, and location of the accident, along with a description of what happened and the injury you suffered. If your boss was already notified about your accident on the day it happened, then there’s no need to also send them written notice.
After that you want to file your workers comp claim. Technically you have up to two years after your accident to file, but you should do so as early as possible if you want your claim to be taken seriously. Why? Because the longer you wait, the less injured you seem in the eyes of the insurance carrier. So do it as early as you can.
And if your boss has said that they’ll take care of you, there’s no need to actively pursue your workers comp claim once you’ve filed it. You can just let it sit there while your boss pays your salary and medical expenses, then if down the road they suddenly decide to stop, your workers comp case is still valid and waiting for you!
The next thing you want to do is collect evidence every step of the way in order to protect your benefits in case they get denied. Even if your workers comp claim is initially accepted, some part of it might eventually be challenged by the insurance carrier, so it’s important to keep records of everything relating to your injury and claim.
Some examples of important evidence include:
Now all of that might sound simple, but it’s actually much more complicated than I just explained, especially if you have a serious injury.
The workers comp system in New York is not designed to work in your favor, it’s designed to work in the favor of the insurance carriers, who have whole teams of people dedicated to reducing your benefits. That’s why one of the most important things for you to do is to contact a workers comp lawyer as early as possible in your case.
A workers comp lawyer understands the complex system here in New York, and can protect your benefits at every turn. And unlike other lawyers, you don’t pay a workers comp lawyer out of your own pocket. That means you can get one right now, free of charge, and have them start advising you for $0.00.
And if in the end they don’t need to do any work to help you get more benefits, then you never have to pay them a dime.
My name is Rex Zachofsky and I became a New York workers comp lawyer 17 years ago after getting injured on the job. If you’ve suffered a work injury here in New York state and would like a free consultation with an experienced lawyer who can help you maximize your workers compensation benefits, please give me a call at 212-406-8989.
I’ll be happy to answer any questions about your case, and can point you in the right direction to protect the benefits that you’re entitled to.
And if you want to learn more about workers comp benefits, be sure to watch my other video: “How Much Does Workers Comp Pay in New York?”
In it I explain how workers comp benefits are calculated, and give you some tips to maximize the amount you receive.
I’ll include a link to that video here. Click to watch it now and I’ll see you there!