Employers in New York have a duty to provide a safe environment for their employees. But there is no way of eliminating the chances of an accident by 100 percent because some slip-ups can occur.
As a result, New York, like many other states, requires all employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance as a safeguard when such slip-ups occur. That means if you are injured at your workplace and intend to file an injury claim, you must do it through your employer's workers’ compensation insurance.
Also, you have to ensure that you file your claim within the stipulated time limits.
Time Limits for Getting Medical Attention
While there are no state limitations on when to seek medical attention, it is best to see a doctor immediately after an accident. Timely medical attention is important for several reasons. First, it helps establish the full extent of your injuries and get the necessary intervention. Also, it creates a link between an incident and your injuries.
Taking too long to file an injury can have your employer claiming that your injuries were not a result of an incident at work. So the best rule of thumb is to visit an ER within 48 hours of suffering an injury. The longer you take, the harder it will be to prove that your injuries are work-related.
Deadline for Notifying Your Employee
After an accident, you first think about getting medical attention. Reporting your injury to your employer may not be a priority. At other times you could assume that your employer already knows since the accident occurred while you were at work.
New York laws demand that employees report their injury to their employer in writing within 30 days of suffering an injury. You can ask a friend, family member, or lawyer to help if you cannot do it yourself.
After 30 days without notifying your employer, you could lose the right to collect your compensation altogether. So, don’t wait to report. The earlier you can do it, the better. Also, keep a copy of your reporting notification as evidence.
Deadline for Filing a Work-Related Injury or Illness Claim
All states have a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the timeframe within which you can file a lawsuit against your employer or the at-fault party following an accident.
In New York, the statute of limitation for filing a workers' compensation case is two years from the date of suffering the injury. In the case of work-related illnesses, the statute of limitation runs for two years from the time you should have known that you have suffered from a work-related illness; usually the day you get a diagnosis of a potential work-related injury.
When Exactly Should You File a Claim
There is no specific time to file a claim except that you cannot file it after the expiry of the statute of limitation. Also, it may not be advisable to file a claim too soon after the accident because you may not accurately tell the extent of your damages since the recovery process can be long.
The best approach would be to involve workers' compensation attorneys who can walk you through your recovery period while collecting the evidence necessary for building a strong case. If your lawyers are convinced they have solid evidence, they will file a case with a better chance of recovering maximum compensation.
What if a Claim Is Not Fully Recovered at the Time of Filing a Claim
The majority of work-related injuries will resolve in less than two years. So in most cases, you may not have to worry that some of the damages suffered may not be included in the settlement. But there are some situations where work-related injuries and illnesses may take longer to resolve.
Under such circumstances, you must still file your claim within two years. But your legal team will need to work with your doctor to determine future damages, including surgeries, the cost of prescription medication, and the cost of therapy.