Workplace injuries can be an unfortunate and unavoidable reality for employees in various industries across Central New York and the Southern Tier. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were 125,500 non-fatal workplace injuries in the state in 2021.
When you suffer an injury at work, following the proper steps is essential to protect your legal rights, health, and financial stability. Learn what to do if you are injured on the job to ensure your well-being and how a worksite injury attorney from Catalano Law can help you win compensation.
Whether you’re involved in construction, manufacturing, or any other industry, workplace accidents can occur without warning, leaving you with physical, emotional, and financial challenges. Under New York law, you must act within specific deadlines to be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits.
Take the following steps to protect your legal rights and secure the compensation you may be entitled to.
- Seek immediate medical attention: Your health and safety should always be your priority. Regardless of the severity of your injury, seek medical assistance as soon as possible to assess your condition and initiate the proper treatment.
If your employer’s insurance company has a preferred organization (PPO), you must choose a PPO doctor for the first 30 days of your treatment. However, you can choose any doctor and change doctors within the PPO at any time. After 30 days, you are free to switch to any physician.
Your medical records can also protect you if there are disputes with your employer’s insurance company about whether your injuries were really work-related.
- Report the injury to your employer: Notify your supervisor or employer about the incident and your injury within 30 days of the accident to ensure you are eligible for workers’ comp. For a work-related injury or illness, such as exposure to harmful chemicals or repetitive stress injuries, you have up to two years from the date you should have known to file a report.
Follow your workplace’s protocol for reporting injuries and document the details of the incident, including the time, date, location, and witnesses.
- Document the accident scene: If possible, take photographs or videos of the scene, capturing any hazardous conditions or potential causes of your injury. Collect the names and contact information of coworkers or others who witnessed the accident. This evidence can support your workers’ compensation or a third-party claim.
- Preserve evidence: Keep any damaged clothing or equipment that may have contributed to your injury, as this may be important evidence for future legal claims.
- Seek legal advice: Consult a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney specializing in worksite injuries. An attorney can guide you through filing a claim and help you understand your rights and options.
- File a workers’ compensation claim: Submit a workers’ compensation claim with the assistance of your attorney. This claim will provide you with financial support for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages related to your injury.
- Follow medical advice and treatment plans: Adhere to your doctor’s recommendations and attend all follow-up appointments. Your medical records provide official documentation of your injury and its ongoing effects on your life.
- Keep a personal injury journal: Document your physical and emotional symptoms, medical appointments, and any communication with your employer or insurance company. This record can be valuable evidence in demonstrating the impact of the injury on your life.
In New York, injured workers have several options for seeking compensation after a workplace injury. Consult with our experienced workplace injury attorneys at Catalano Law. We can assess your situation and help you pursue the maximum compensation available under the law.
- Workers’ Compensation: This is the primary source of compensation for most workplace injuries. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system that provides medical benefits, wage replacement, and vocational rehabilitation to injured workers, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. You must file a claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board to receive benefits.
- Personal Injury Lawsuit: In some cases, you may be able to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against a third party whose negligence contributed to your injury. For example, if a defective piece of equipment caused your injury, you might have a claim against the manufacturer.
In most cases, you cannot sue your employer in a personal injury suit; however, if they do not carry the required workers’ compensation insurance or willfully or maliciously causes your injury, you may be able to seek damages in this type of claim.
- Wrongful Death Claim: If a workplace injury results in the death of a worker, the worker’s surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for their loss. This claim may include damages for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional pain and suffering.
Catalano Law specializes in workplace injury cases, so we have the in-depth knowledge and experience necessary to navigate the legal system and maximize your claim. Our team of skilled attorneys is well-versed in workers’ compensation laws and personal injury litigation, ensuring you receive comprehensive representation.
We understand that workplace injuries can impact your life, and our team is dedicated to providing compassionate, empathetic representation throughout the legal process.
Reach out to Catalano Law today for a free consultation, and let us help you get back on your feet after a workplace injury. Contact us to schedule your case review.