Workers Compensation in Buffalo, NY

You aren’t alone if you ask “How does workers comp work?” Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides wage and medical benefits to people who have become ill or injured while at work. The extent of workers’ comp coverage an employer is required to carry is governed by New York state law. Thus, in trying to figure out how workers comp works, it helps to understand the laws on the books in the state where the business operates. If the injury or illness a worker sustains is eligible for compensation, the insurance carrier should help ease the financial burden the illness or injury created on the worker. Learn some of the basic principles of Buffalo, NY workers’ compensation insurance and how the process works.

Workers Compensation Statistics in Buffalo, New York?

If you live and work in Buffalo, NY, you need to understand the local dynamics regarding occupational hazards. In 2019, prison and healthcare workers suffered the highest rate of injuries, according to New York’s Department of Labor. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 140,000 nonfatal workplace incidents, so this problem hits home for all New Yorkers. The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board says that western counties lost over 18,500 work hours due to injuries.

How Does Workers Comp Work in Buffalo, New York?

Unfortunately, going through the process of applying for workers’ compensation begins with getting sick or injured on the job. The circumstances surrounding the incident that led to your problems are especially crucial. For example, the injury had to occur during your regular work duties. While an event that happens during your lunch break wouldn’t apply, getting into a car accident while running an errand for your boss would qualify for a claim. 

Any employer in Buffalo, NY must carry workers’ compensation insurance to comply with state law. Some exemptions do exist for volunteers, independent contractors, and religious employees. Unless special circumstances apply, your employer will have coverage. The largest bi-weekly payment changes annually based on a Commissioner’s report, but the state will pay out up to ⅔ of your average salary. You also have the right to medical coverage, mileage, and compensation for lost wages.

For example, say your supervisor asked you to drop something off on your lunch break. While running this errand you then get in a car accident on your way to the destination. Any resulting injury is eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you are on your lunch break, performing no such task when you get in an accident, it does not qualify for a claim.

The steps you take immediately following a workplace incident in Buffalo, NY are critical for purposes of filing a claim for compensation. Follow the following steps to preserve your rights and learn how workers comp works.

Get Medical Attention

After you get injured or feel ill, the first step is to see a doctor. Don’t delay seeking help from a Buffalo, NY healthcare professional. This could not only jeopardize your health, but you run the risk of missing time-sensitive deadlines in the workers’ compensation process. Having a proper medical report detailing the extent of the damage and how it occured is the first step in the process. Your employer cannot file a claim with their insurance carrier without this information.

When dealing with a job-related illness, the symptoms and diagnosis may not happen right away. You may find yourself attending regular checkups and testing for weeks or months before a doctor finally associates your illness with your job. Your doctor may make the determination that the illness is either the result of your work conditions or aggravated by them. Once they do, see your human resources representative to file a workers’ compensation claim.

File a First Report of Injury

The first report of an on the job injury or illness will provide the workers’ compensation insurance carrier with the details of the events leading up to the injury. In this report, you will provide your physical injuries, the medical treatment you received and the facilities that provided it. It’s always a good idea to bring a copy of the doctor’s report to submit with the report of injury.

If you work in Buffalo, NY, and discover a job-related illness or injury, you have two years to apply for workers’ compensation. After you find out something is wrong, find medical help right away. You only have ten days to report the incident to your employer and file a claim with the New York Workers’ Compensation Board. Your employer must contact their insurance company and send their information to the state. It’s not wise to delay during any stage of the process. Otherwise, your application for benefits may result in a denial.

Timeline and Other Information

The time between application and receiving benefits depends on your particular case. Businesses in Buffalo have ten days to submit an Employer’s Report of Work-Related Injury/Illness to the Workers’ Compensation Board. After that, you will receive a Statement of Rights that includes details about pharmacy networks and diagnostics. An insurer also has eighteen days from the start of your disability to file a notice of controversy if they choose to do so.

Your employer should furnish you with information about the claims process. The adjuster or insurance carrier representative may want to speak to you at some point about the incident and any possible witnesses to the event. In the meantime, the workers’ comp insurer may begin paying medical benefits while the investigation into your claim continues.

Why You Should Hire a Buffalo, New York Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

While workers’ compensation claims may be straightforward for some cases in Buffalo, New York, in others, it may be more difficult. For example, your employer may decide to question whether you were hurt on the clock or your own time. It’s also common for a company to question the full extent of your injury. Hiring a Buffalo workers’ comp lawyer ensures that you have an advocate to fight for your rights as a victim.

Work With an Experienced Local Lawyer In Buffalo, New York

If you are hurt or contract an illness as a result of your job in Buffalo, NY you need to find the right people to help. Since the workers’ compensation claims process can have pitfalls, you should consider getting a local attorney who knows how to avoid them. 

Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!

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