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Injured at Work in New York? Learn Your Rights and Steps to Take

Injured at Work in New York


Suffering an injury at work can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Knowing the proper steps to take can ensure you receive the benefits and support you need. In New York, workers’ compensation provides crucial protections for employees who are injured on the job. This article outlines the essential steps to take if you are injured at work, the benefits you are entitled to, how to file a claim, and tips to navigate the process effectively.

Employees’ Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

Medical Benefits

If you are injured at work in New York, you are entitled to medical benefits that cover necessary treatments related to your injury. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any other medical expenses required for your recovery. Here are some key points to consider regarding medical care under workers’ compensation:

Choosing a Doctor: Your employer or their insurance carrier may require you to see a specific doctor or visit a certain network of healthcare providers for the initial evaluation and treatment. However, after 30 days, you have the right to choose your own healthcare provider within the Workers’ Compensation Board’s list of authorized providers.

Emergency Care: In case of an emergency, you should seek immediate medical attention at the nearest hospital or urgent care facility. Ensure you inform the medical staff that your injury is work-related so they can document it accordingly.

Ongoing Treatment: Workers’ compensation covers all necessary medical treatments for your injury, including follow-up appointments, specialist consultations, and rehabilitation services. It’s essential to attend all scheduled appointments and adhere to the prescribed treatment plan to support your recovery and strengthen your claim.

Medical Documentation: Keep detailed records of all medical treatments, prescriptions, and any correspondence with healthcare providers. These records are vital for substantiating your workers’ compensation claim and ensuring you receive appropriate benefits.

Independent Medical Examinations (IME): At times, the insurance carrier may request that you undergo an IME by a doctor they choose to evaluate your injury and determine the extent of your disability. It is important to attend this examination and be honest about your symptoms and limitations.

For more detailed information on medical care under New York workers’ compensation, visit the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.

Wage Replacement Benefits

Workers’ compensation provides wage replacement benefits if your injury prevents you from working. These benefits typically cover two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a state-defined maximum amount. It’s important to note that there is a waiting period of seven days before wage replacement benefits start, but if your disability continues beyond 14 days, you will be compensated for the initial waiting period.

Disability Benefits

Disability benefits are categorized based on the extent of your injury:

  1. Temporary Total Disability (TTD): If you are completely unable to work for a temporary period.
  2. Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): If you can return to work in a limited capacity.
  3. Permanent Total Disability (PTD): If you are permanently unable to return to any type of work.
  4. Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If you have a permanent disability but can still perform some work.

Death Benefits

In the unfortunate event of a work-related death, workers’ compensation provides death benefits to the dependents of the deceased employee. These benefits include funeral expenses and weekly cash benefits to surviving family members.

How to File a Claim

1. Report the Injury

The first step after a work-related injury is to report it to your employer as soon as possible. In New York, you have 30 days to notify your employer of the injury. Failure to do so within this timeframe may jeopardize your claim.

2. Seek Medical Attention

Obtain medical treatment immediately. Inform the healthcare provider that your injury is work-related, and ensure they document this in your medical records. Your employer may require you to visit a specific doctor or clinic for the initial evaluation.

3. Complete a Workers’ Compensation Claim Form

Fill out Form C-3 Employee Claim, which can be found on the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board website. This form should be submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Board as soon as possible, but no later than two years from the date of injury or the date you knew the injury was work-related.

4. Keep Records

Maintain detailed records of all medical treatments, expenses, and any communication with your employer or the Workers’ Compensation Board. Documentation is essential to support your claim.

How to Get Help With Your Claim if Needed

Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you encounter difficulties with your claim, consider consulting a workers’ compensation attorney. An experienced attorney can help navigate the complex claims process, ensure all paperwork is correctly filed, and represent your interests in any disputes.

Seek Assistance from the Workers’ Compensation Board

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board offers assistance to injured workers. They can provide information on your rights, help with filing forms, and offer mediation services if there is a dispute.

Utilize Union Resources

If you are a member of a union, they may offer resources and support for workers’ compensation claims. Contact your union representative for assistance.

Tips and Best Practices for Injured Workers

Prompt Reporting

Always report your injury to your employer immediately. Delayed reporting can raise questions about the validity of your claim.

Follow Medical Advice

Adhere to the treatment plan prescribed by your healthcare provider. Failure to follow medical advice can negatively impact your claim and recovery.

Keep Detailed Records

Document all aspects of your injury and recovery, including medical appointments, treatments, and any correspondence related to your claim.

Stay Informed

Educate yourself about your rights and responsibilities under New York workers’ compensation laws. Knowledge is power and can help you navigate the process more effectively.

Avoid Social Media

Be cautious about what you share on social media. Insurance companies may monitor your accounts to find evidence that contradicts your claim.

Information to Be Aware of Regarding COVID-19 Claims

Work-Related COVID-19 Exposure

If you believe you contracted COVID-19 as a result of your work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. It is crucial to provide evidence that your exposure occurred at work and is related to your job duties.

Filing a COVID-19 Claim

The process for filing a COVID-19 claim is similar to other workers’ compensation claims. Report the illness to your employer, seek medical attention, and complete Form C-3. Be prepared to provide detailed information about your work environment and any potential exposures.

Legal Guidance for COVID-19 Claims

Given the complexity of proving work-related COVID-19 cases, consulting with a workers’ compensation attorney can be beneficial. An attorney can help gather the necessary evidence and navigate the claims process.

FAQ Section

1. What should I do immediately after being injured at work?

Immediately report the injury to your employer and seek medical attention. Document the incident and keep records of all communications and treatments.

2. How long do I have to report a work-related injury in New York?

You have 30 days to report a work-related injury to your employer. Failing to report within this timeframe can jeopardize your claim.

3. What benefits am I entitled to under New York workers’ compensation?

You are entitled to medical benefits, wage replacement benefits, disability benefits, and, in the case of death, death benefits for your dependents.

4. Can I choose my own doctor for treatment?

Initially, you may be required to see a doctor chosen by your employer or their insurance carrier. After 30 days, you can choose your own workers’ compensation doctor from the Workers’ Compensation Board’s list of authorized providers.

5. How do I file a workers’ compensation claim in New York?

Complete and submit Form C-3 to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board as soon as possible, but no later than two years from the date of injury.

6. What if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

If your claim is denied, you can request a hearing before the New York Workers’ Compensation Board. It may be beneficial to consult a workers’ compensation attorney for assistance.

7. How much compensation will I receive for lost wages?

Workers’ compensation typically covers two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a state-defined maximum amount.

8. What is an Independent Medical Examination (IME)?

An IME is an examination requested by the insurance carrier to evaluate your injury and determine the extent of your disability. It is conducted by a doctor chosen by the insurer.

9. Can I receive workers’ compensation benefits if I contracted COVID-19 at work?

Yes, if you can provide evidence that you contracted COVID-19 as a result of your job duties, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

10. What happens if I can’t return to my previous job after an injury?

If you cannot return to your previous job due to your injury, you may be eligible for vocational rehabilitation services to help you find suitable employment.

11. Are my workers’ compensation benefits taxable?

No, workers’ compensation benefits are generally not considered taxable income.

12. How can a workers’ compensation attorney help me?

A workers’ compensation attorney can assist with filing claims, gathering evidence, representing you in hearings, and ensuring you receive the benefits you are entitled to.


Being injured at work can be a challenging experience, but understanding your rights and the steps to take can make the process more manageable. In New York, workers’ compensation provides essential benefits to help you recover and return to work. By following the outlined steps, seeking appropriate help, and staying informed, you can ensure that you receive the compensation and support you deserve.

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