Understanding The Time Limits For Work-Related Injury Claims

If you've suffered a work-related injury, it is crucial to know the timeframes for filing a claim to ensure you receive the benefits you rightfully deserve
Understanding The Time Limits For Work-Related Injury Claims
Published Date
May 25, 2023

If you've suffered a work-related injury, it is crucial to know the timeframes for filing a claim to ensure you receive the benefits you rightfully deserve. Many people grapple with questions like, 'How long do I have to sue for work-related injuries?' In this discussion, we'll provide clarity on the time limits for reporting injuries and the steps to claim the benefits you're entitled to.

How To Report A Work-Related Injury?

If you've been injured while performing your job, promptly inform your immediate supervisor. New York's Workers' Compensation Law mandates that employees report their injuries within 30 days of the incident. Failing to do so could jeopardize your ability to seek compensation through the workers' compensation system.

In cases where an injury leads to delayed pain and suffering, you have up to two years from the date of the incident to initiate a claim. For example, if you initially injure yourself at work and subsequently experience pain, you may still file a workers' compensation claim. This two-year limit also applies to work-related illnesses or injuries that manifest over time, such as repetitive stress injuries. The New York State Workers' Compensation Board provides employees with two years from the date of incapacity or the date they knew or should have known that their ailment resulted from their work activities.

How to File a Workers' Compensation Claim?

Here are the steps you should follow to claim your workers’ compensation:

  1. After a workplace injury, seek immediate medical attention. A visit to a workers' comp doctor, who specializes in work-related injuries, is advisable. 
  2. Provide your doctor with your employer's information, as they will need to submit medical reports to your employer or their insurance provider and the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. The medical reports play a vital role in the claims process, especially if your case is contested. Thus, it's essential to choose a doctor experienced in workers’ comp cases and well-versed in the required paperwork, such as the one in HEMA.
  3. To avoid delays in benefit approval, ensure your employer receives written notice of the injury within 30 days of seeking medical care. Your employer should submit a C-2 form to the Workers' Compensation Board upon receiving your injury notice. 
  4. Simultaneously, you or your workers' compensation attorney must report your injuries by filing an Employee Claim (C-3) form as soon as possible. Timely submission of these documents is critical to prevent benefit delays.

Remember, you have a two-year window from the date of the injury to file your claim. Failure to meet this deadline could result in claim rejection. Your C-3 form can be submitted online, by phone, or by mailing a paper copy to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board. Upon acceptance of your claim, your medical care and lost-wage compensation will begin. If your claim is contested, the Workers' Compensation Board will guide you through the dispute resolution process.

How To Consult A Workers' Compensation Attorney?

Navigating New York's complex workers' compensation laws can be challenging. Workers often lack a comprehensive understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities. If your initial claim is disputed, seeking the guidance of a New York workers' compensation attorney is a prudent step. These attorneys are paid directly by the WCB or the insurance company and do not take a percentage of your benefits. If you have any work-related conditions or injuries, even if you haven't filed a workers' compensation claim, it's advisable to document them promptly. This documentation will prove invaluable should you require treatment in the future.

In summary, timely reporting of work-related injuries is crucial to ensure you receive the benefits you're entitled to. To safeguard your rights, consider seeking the assistance of a workers' compensation attorney and consult a doctor who specializes in workers' compensation, authorized by the State of New York, to handle your case.

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