By Leon M. Kelly
There are potential hazards associated with working in high-risk occupations (construction labor, heavy machinery operations, electrical powerline installation, etc.) that demand constant physical exertion and/or exposure to chemicals. In such occupations, workers often suffer injuries, have accidents, or become ill from diseases due to overexposure to harmful chemicals. Accidents, injuries, and diseases from job-related tasks will likely require the employer to compensate the employee for lost wages and medical expenses. To be eligible for workers’ compensation, the employee must seek immediate and appropriate medical attention, notify the employer of the injury, accident, or occupational disease, and file a timely claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
All employees who suffer work-related injuries must get the appropriate medical assistance immediately following their injuries or accidents. All areas affected by the injury must be documented and explained in detail. The Worker’s Compensation Board has medical providers whom it has authorized to provide care to the injured parties. The employer must provide its employees with such a list. Using any party not on the list may result in the employees having to pay their medical expenses incurred at the time of treatment. Employees are exempt from having to use a Board-approved medical provider only in emergencies.
Notifying the employer of the injury is a must. According to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board’s website, injured employees must notify their “supervisor about the injury and the way in which it occurred, as soon as possible.” This is an important step, as failing to do so could again result in the workers having to pay their medical expenses and losing “the right to workers’ compensation benefits.”
Employees filing workers’ compensation claims must file their claims promptly on Form Employee Claim (C-3) by mailing the form to the appropriate Board District Office.” “This must be done within two years of the accident, or within two years after the employee knew or should have known, that the injury was related to employment.”
Seeking immediate medical attention from authorized medical providers, notifying the employer of the injury, and filing a timely claim are required if employees want to be successful in their claims for workers compensation. The extent of all injuries should be documented by the person providing medical attention. It is up to the employees to state all injuries upfront. The guidelines must be followed for employees to collect workers compensation benefits from the employer.
Leon Kelly is a student in the Chamber Coalition Paralegal Certificate Program. For details about this program, please visit www.freeparalegal.org
If you need advice relating to this particular workers’ compensation issue or any other legal matter, please call 855-768-8845 or visit www.askthelawyer.us to schedule a free case evaluation. Remember, the lawyer you hire, does make a difference!