What Happens When a Workplace Injury Occurs?

When a worker is injured on the job, the injured should first notify their employer about the accident as soon as possible. The injured should include as much detail as they can, including what happened, the location of the accident, the names of any witnesses, a description of the injury, as well as both the date and time of the incident. The employee should also submit a written report to their employer within 30 days of the accident. If the injury is not reported within 30 days, the employee may lose the right to Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Once the employee reports the injury to their employer, they should seek medical treatment. While an employer may generally not refer their employees to any particular health care provider, (except for in cases where the employer participates in the Preferred Provider Program or an Alternative Dispute Resolution Program), the employer must inform their employee of the right to choose their own doctor.

An insurance carrier may require an employee to obtain diagnostic testing from an in-network provider. An insurance carrier may also require the employee to obtain prescriptions from their in-network pharmacy. In both cases, notice must be provided to the employee.

In order for the injured worker to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits, the employee must file a claim with the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. Ideally, the claim should be filed as soon as possible after the injury occurs. The claim shall be filed no later than two years from the time and date of the accident or onset of symptoms.

To file a claim, the injured worker must complete a Form C-3.0 and submit same to the Workers’ Compensation Board.

If the claim is accepted and established, the injured worker may be eligible for the following benefits:

  1. Medical benefits: the carrier will pay for medical treatment related to the work-related injury.
  2. Wage replacement benefits: if the worker is unable to return to work due to the work-related injury, they may be eligible for wage replacement benefits. The amount of said benefits will depend on the worker’s average weekly wage prior to their injury.
  3. Permanent disability benefits: if the employee’s injury results in a permanent disability, they may be eligible for permanent disability benefits. The amount of these benefits will depend on the extent of the disability and the average weekly wage before the injury.
  4. Death benefits: if the work-related injury results in the death of the employee, the employee’s dependents may be eligible for death benefits.