Should I Report A Work Injury to My Employer?
Talk to an experienced New York City attorney about your injury
Workers are hurt in construction accidents every year in New York City. Construction is hard, physical work and injuries are common. Suddenly, a worker is thinking about medical treatment and wondering if they will need to miss time from the job. Some workers if they need to report an injury to their employer.
An injured worker may simply want to get better and return to work as soon as possible. They may not feel their injury is particularly serious or think that dealing with paperwork and employer involvement is not the worth the trouble.
Should you report your work injury to your employer? For many reasons, the answer is yes.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim
The first reason is that if you were injured in a workplace accident, you have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits cover the cost of medical expenses for treating your injury, as well as partial wages while you are unable to work.
However, there is a process for filing a claim and deadlines that must be met. Failing to follow the process can put your ability to receive benefits at risk. If you suffered a work injury:
Get medical attention. A doctor can diagnose your injuries and begin treatment as soon as possible. Your injuries and treatment will also be documented.
Notify your employer about the accident. Under the law, you must tell your employer about the accident within 30 days. You can notify your supervisor. Do it writing and keep a copy of the notification for your records.
File a claim for benefits with the Workers’ Compensation Board. Complete Employee Claim (Form C-3) and submit it. While you have two years from the date of your accident to file this form, it should be done as soon as possible.
Contact a lawyer. You should learn about your legal options.*
Filing a lawsuit against a negligent third party
When you follow the process for filing a workers’ compensation claim, it also creates documentation of the accident and your injury. This can help support your case if you file a claim for financial compensation against a negligent third party.
There are usually many different third parties involved in a construction project. These include the property or business owner, the general contractor, sub-contractors, site engineers, architects, manufacturers of equipment and other materials, and other third parties such as motorists driving near the site.
When the negligence of one or more of these parties caused the accident that left you injured, you have the right to seek financial compensation. But it is a complicated process.
Third parties typically don’t admit to negligence and won’t accept responsibility for the accident. Their insurance companies often dispute liability and may try to shift blame for the accident to another party – or even you. That leaves you in the position of having to prove that the third party’s negligence caused your accident.
An attorney for a third party or the insurance company will also check whether you filed a claim for workers’ compensation, and how long it took you to notify your employer about your injury. If there was a lengthy delay, they will question why and try to use this information against you.
Insurance companies usually have the advantage. They handle claims every day and have many legal strategies they use to deny or limit compensation. That’s why it’s important to talk to an experienced New York City construction accident attorney about your case.
How a lawyer can help
An experienced attorney will have a thorough knowledge of federal and state laws addressing worker safety and can determine how they apply to your case. An attorney can also identify third parties who may have been involved in your accident and will know where to look for evidence of negligence.
A law firm will have the resources to investigate your accident and gather evidence. This involves collecting tangible evidence, reviewing any photos or video of the accident scene, carefully reviewing accident reports and other documentation, and interviewing witnesses. If needed, industry experts can be consulted to help determine fault.
What types of damages can you seek compensation for in a third-party lawsuit? It depends on the circumstances of your case. But in general, you can seek compensation for medical expenses and lost wages not covered by workers’ compensation, lost earning capacity, home and vehicle modifications, and other damages such as pain and suffering.
Insurance companies will often fight aggressively against this type of claim. But when presented with a strong case built on evidence, they may want to avoid going to court. A lawsuit against a third party is often resolved through a negotiated settlement. This can happen at any point during the process. But in some cases, it may be necessary to go to trial.
Talk to a work injury lawyer to learn your options
While there is no guarantee of recovering financial compensation, you should at least know what your options are. If you were hurt in a workplace accident, get medical attention for your injury. Report the injury to your employer. File a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, following the proper procedure.
Then talk to an experienced New York construction accident lawyer. A lawyer can review the details of your case, go over your options for recovering financial compensation, and talk about what to expect of you pursue a lawsuit. You can also get answers to any questions you have about your accident and your injury.
Keough Crispi, P.C. is ready to help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.
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*Please note that Keogh Crispi, P.C. does not handle workers’ compensation claims. We handle third-party claims for injured workers. If you need help with your workers’ compensation claim, we can refer you to a workers’ compensation attorney.