Work-related injuries can happen to virtually any person at any time, no matter what line of work you may be in. Even if you are in a profession that typically doesn’t include many occupational safety hazards, you can still sustain serious injuries. If this happens to you, these are a few of the most important steps that you need to take on order to make sure your workers’ compensation claim and your medical treatment are handled correctly.
This is perhaps the most important thing you must do after getting injured at work. Unless it’s a medical emergency, the doctor that you see must be authorized by the New York State Worker’s Compensation Board (NYS WCB). There are a few ways you can find these healthcare professionals. You can go directly through the New York Worker’s Compensation Board, ask for referrals or use our doctor search engine tool. The great thing about being treated by these doctors is that they not only specialize in treating work-related injuries but they will handle the paperwork for you and send your bills directly to the New York Worker’s Compensation Board and your worker’s compensation insurance carrier.
You need to report your injury with your supervisor. You need to file a written report and make sure that there is documentation of your accident and any resulting injuries. According to the New York Workers; Compensation Law, you must do this within 30 days of your accident. Once you have reported your injury, you need to make sure that your supervisor creates an accident report. You need a copy of that report as you may need it later. Afterwords, your employer has 10 days to report this accident to the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board.
You should file Form C-3 (Employee Claim Form) with the NYS Worker’s Compensation Board describing injuries you’ve suffered as a result of your on-the-job accident. Although technically you have two years to file Form C-3, you should do it as soon as possible. If you had similar or pre-existing injuries to the same body parts in the past, you must file Form C-3.3 (Limited Release of Health Information).
When searching for a doctor to treat your injuries, your doctor must be authorized by the New York Worker’s Compensation Board (NYS WCB)to treat injured workers. WCB-authorized doctors are the only medical professionals that can file a valid request for an authorization of medical treatment (Form C-4) from your insurance company. This is important for your medical bills to be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance.
In some instances, your employer may be enrolled in the Preferred Provider Organization or PPO. In this case, your employer must give you at least two physicians to choose from as well as two different hospitals within the PPO network that you can visit. According to New York law, for the first 30 days from the initial treatment, you need to continue care within the PPO network healthcare providers. After the 30 days, you can continue your treatment with a doctor of your choice. One caveat being that the doctor you switch to must also be authorized by the New York Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB).
As long as you following the steps outlined above, your medical treatment for work-related injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance or directly by your employer. If you have any questions about the process or your coverage, you can always visit the New York Worker’s Compensation Board website or call 1-800-781-2362 for more information.
The good news is, many medical professionals in New York who specialize in treating injured workers. It is essential to find the right workers’ compensation doctor who not only knows how to treat work-related injuries like this, but who knows how to make sure you have all of the proper documentation you need following a work-related accident. The right doctor is paramount to your recovery process and to make sure you can heal and get back to life and work as healthy and as quickly as possible.