After last week's post on our Syracuse workers' compensation blog about the steps injured workers should take - which include seeking medical attention and notifying your employer of the accident - let's spend some time this week looking at what happens to your workers' compensation claim once you've filed it. There are key milestones that must be reached within certain time frames in the process. This information is general in nature only, not to be taken as specific legal advice.
According to the New York State Workers' Compensation Board website, a claim must be filed either within two years of the accident or within two years of the injured worker knowing of the work-related nature of the injury. This can be an important distinction when talking about an occupational disease, for example, or illness related to toxic of which an employee was unaware at the time. The claim is filed by mailing form C-3 to the relevant district office.
A doctor must complete an initial medical report and mail it to the same office (with copies to the victim, his or her legal representative, the employer and the employer's insurance carrier) within 48 hours of the incident. The employer then has 10 days within which to report to the state board and the insurance company about the injury. The insurer will inform the employee of his or her legal rights and -- if applicable -- contact information for any network with which it contracts for diagnostic testing within two weeks of receiving the report.
From this point, payment of workers' compensation benefits may begin. There are additional milestones, however, once that point has been reached, and it's important for employees to be aware of those as well; we will look at them in our next blog entry.
Source: New York State Workers' Compensation Board, "Understanding the Claims Process," accessed on March 6, 2015