(US Law & general legal tips) People who are injured on the job in New York are entitled to worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation covers employees’ medical bills as well as providing them with some of their wages if they cannot work due to the injury. If you have been injured on the job, there are several steps you need to take to ensure you get the compensation to which you are entitled.
Report Injuries Immediately
You need to report injuries to your supervisor as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Your supervisor will fill out an incident report and give you a copy. He or she will also refer you to a doctor for treatment of your injuries. Perecman.com suggests that if you’ve been injured in a work accident there is a good chance that you are entitled to compensation, and your incident report is the best evidence of your injury. Even if you are unsure about whether or not your injury is serious enough to cause you to miss work, report the incident anyway in case you do have cause to seek compensation. As an example, without this evidence and even with a personal injury lawyer New York litigation is difficult at best. Your employer is not liable for injuries if you don’t report them, so make sure you do so as soon as possible.
Use Your Employer’s Doctor
The reason your employer refers you to a doctor for treatment is that only certain doctors are covered under his worker’s compensation insurance plan. If you are not confident with your treatment options, you are free to seek a second opinion from your personal doctor but you will need to be assessed by the employer’s physician to help with your case for compensation. If you are unhappy with the care you receive from your employer’s doctor, you may be able to see a different doctor. Talk to your construction accident attorney before visiting another doctor to find out how to proceed without hurting your case.
Get a Written Doctor’s Note
Your employer’s doctor may state that you are unable to work due to the injury. If so, you need to get his or her opinion in writing. This serves as evidence of your inability to safely perform your job. If you don’t get this information in writing, you won’t be able to prove that you are entitled to compensation for lost wages. The law is very clear regarding worker’s compensation and anything you can do to strengthen your position will only work for you in the end.
Be Careful On Social Media
Your social media activities can affect the outcome of your worker’s compensation case. Until your case is settled, presume that your social media accounts are not private. Even if you have high privacy enabled, your employer’s attorney can ask a judge to require you to give him or her access. Defense attorneys often use social media posts to discredit plaintiffs in worker’s compensation cases.
In general, you should avoid the following types of social media posts:
* Bragging about having time off work or how much compensation you think you’ll get.
* Rage against your employer for causing your injury.
* Talking about what you’ll do with compensation money.
* Photos taken after the accident showing you on vacation or otherwise living an unimpaired existence.
* Photos and posts suggesting you drink often.
Follow the rules regarding worker’s compensation. People often try to create situations whereby worker’s compensation can be used to get over on the system, so expect some sensitivity to that possibility. However, rest assured that the system is just as concerned with making sure that injured individuals are compensated fairly as they are with stopping offenders. By following a few simple steps you can be confident in the strength of your worker’s compensation claim.
Alan Gray is a worker safety advocate who often writes about work accident issues and he is a contributing author for The Perecman Firm. Over the last thirty years this company has won some of the largest settlements in New York history.