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How Long Can A Workers’ Comp Claim Stay Open in New York?

What is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is a benefit that all companies have to offer to their employees.

Workers’ comp provides medical care to workers who have suffered a work-related injury or have developed an illness due to their activities at work. However, medical care is not the only compensation benefit provided.

Workers’ compensation provides coverage for lost wages, funeral expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenditures related to the injury. 

How Long Can A Workers Comp Claim Stay Open? | Contact Us To Get Help
How Long Can A Workers Comp Claim Stay Open?Contact Us To Get Help

How long is a workers’ compensation claim valid?

One frequently asked question is, how long can a workers’ compensation claim stay open? The answer will vary depending on the state where the claim was filed.

Even though workers’ compensation is a federal program, compensation law is not the same for all states. Every state can determine different laws and rules for workers’ comp claims. In some states workers’ comp cases can stay open indefinitely, whereas, in other states, there is a time limit.

In the state of New York, for example, an injured employee in a workplace accident has to report the occurrence in 30 days or less and can file a claim within 2 years from the date of the event. The claim can stay open for two years from the date the accident occurred or from the date of the last payment.

Whichever date is later is the one that will be used to start counting down the two years before the statute of limitations expires.

For example, if the accident happened on March 1st, 2021 but the last payment was March 15th, 2021, the statute of limitations will expire on March 15th, 2023.

As previously stated, the statute of limitations can vary from one state to another. As a result, if you have been injured at work, it is critical that you seek legal assistance from a compensation lawyer who is familiar with your state’s legislation.

How is the Cost of Workers’ Compensation Determined?

The cost of a workers’ compensation claim is difficult to calculate. Remember that an injured worker might seek compensation for their medical treatment costs (both current and future), lost pay, and, in the event of death, burial expenditures.

Worker’s compensation claims should pay all expenses incurred as a result of the injury. This may appear simple, calculating all expenses and then determining what you should be compensated for. Nonetheless, it is not as simple as that.

In many cases, some injuries can leave workers with sequels for many years or even permanently. As a result, estimating how much money will be spent on medical care for the remainder of a person’s life can be challenging.

Furthermore, if the worker who was wounded at work is unable to execute certain tasks that prevent them from doing what they used to do for a living, they must be compensated for the potential loss of income.

For all of these reasons, it is frequent to see injured workers who have obtained compensation for a workplace injury but the amount of money received is insufficient to meet all expenses that may occur over time.

Experienced worker’s compensation attorneys can help you accurately determine the amount of money you should be compensated for. 

Workers Comp Claim | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help
Workers Comp Claim | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

What Is the Time Limit for Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

The amount of time an injured worker can file a workers’ comp claim varies depending on the state where the claim is filed.

For example, in New York, a person who suffered an injury at work has 2 years from the date of the accident to file a worker’s compensation claim. However, if we are talking about an illness that developed over the years due to the nature of their job, the statute of limitations is two years from the date “you should have known”.

Consider someone who has worked in a factory for 20 years and is experiencing signs of respiratory disease. This person visits a doctor, who concludes that the worker has a respiratory condition as a result of the chemicals utilized in the plant.

The date this person “should have known” would be the date that the doctor diagnosed the illness.

In conclusion, no matter in which state you live, the recommendation will always be to file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible, no matter if the symptoms are mild.

Do not make the mistake of filing a claim only when the pain is unbearable, especially if the pain could have been avoided. 

What is Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)?

Permanent Partial Disability is a benefit that is paid to workers who have lost the use of a body part, system, or organ permanently and this impairment prevents them from working.

Workers do not instantly receive PPD benefits. PPD benefits begin to accrue once temporary total disability (TTD) benefits have expired, or from the date of the injury if no TTD is paid. 

Can an old injury be covered by workers’ compensation?

It is possible that an old injury will be aggravated after a few years. If this happens, in the state of New York, it is possible to file a second claim.

Keep in mind that insurance companies will not make it easy for you to recover further compensation. But if you have a good workers’ compensation attorney and medical records and more evidence that supports your claim, it is very likely that you can be compensated. 

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Are There Exceptions to the Statute of Limitations?

In New York, there is a special rule for hearing loss. Workers who suffer hearing loss may not notice it immediately. For that reason, New York compensation laws allow workers to report the hearing loss within 3 months after the workers left the noisy workplace or stopped working for the company. 

I reported a work injury, can I get fired for that?

Getting fired for reporting a work injury is possible but it is also something very suspicious. After being fired, you may lose your compensation benefits.

If you were fired after reporting a work injury and you believe that it happened because your employer does not want to be responsible for your injuries, you need to take legal action immediately. Seek legal representation from an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Greenberg & Stein P.C. is a prestigious law firm in New York. Our lawyers have vast experience handling workers’ compensation cases. If you recently suffered an injury at work and you do not know what to do, do not hesitate to contact us.

To arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys to go through your case, contact us at 212-681-2535.

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Blog > Accident Lawyer > Tags > Can You See Your Own Doctor On Workers’ Comp?

Can You See Your Own Doctor On Workers’ Comp?

Suffering an injury at work can be a very stressful and problematic situation. Most injured workers not only have to put up with the injuries and the recovery process, but they also worry about the financial burden that medical bills may cause.

However, if you suffer a workplace injury, you have the right to file a workers’ comp claim to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, and physical therapy if necessary.

A lot of people wonder if they can see their own primary care physician on workers’ comp, especially if they have a pre-existing medical condition that has been treated by their doctor for a long time. 

Every state has different rules and regulations when it comes to switching doctors or medical providers while on workers’ comp.

In New York, for example, it is possible to see your medical practitioner only if the chair of the NY Workers’ Compensation Board approves it. Generally, after filing a workers’ comp claim, your employer or your employer’s insurance company will provide you with a list of doctors, hospitals, or medical providers approved by them.

The state of New York requires all employers or their insurance carriers to provide injured workers with at least two options in each medical specialty and two hospitals to visit for the injured worker to choose from. Even if you want to see your own doctor, you will be required to start the treatment with one of the medical providers pre-approved by the insurance company.

If you still want to continue to seek medical treatment with your own doctor, you can do it 30 days after starting the treatment with the medical provider assigned by the insurance company. Keep in mind that your doctor needs to be approved by the chair of the New York Workers’ Compensation Board first. 

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Can I See My Own Dr. For Workers Comp? Contact Us To Get Help

What happens if I don’t see an approved doctor when my state requires it?

If you decide to visit a doctor that is not approved by your employer or their insurance company, they may dispute your workers’ compensation claim.

If, in the end, your case is denied because you visited another doctor, you will have the financial responsibility to pay for your medical treatment. Depending on the severity of your injuries, your medical bills could be enormous. For that reason, if you want to choose your own doctor for treatment, you should speak to an experienced compensation attorney.

Since every state has different laws and procedures, speaking to someone who has experience in the field is the best decision you can make.

Should I see a doctor or talk to a lawyer first after getting hurt at work? 

Immediately after an accident, you should go to the emergency room to receive medical care as soon as possible. Some workplace injuries can be life-threatening, therefore, going to the ER is crucial.

Once you are in the emergency room, you or someone who is with you need to notify the doctor in charge that you suffered a work-related injury. This is a very important step because this will open your workers’ comp claim.

Additionally, when you specify that the injury you suffered was at work, the doctors in the emergency room will have to include that information in the medical report. That way, your visit to the emergency room will be covered by your workers’ compensation benefits.

After your visit to the ER, you will most likely need medical treatment to fully recover from your injury or illness. If your doctor is not on the list of pre-approved medical providers, you should contact a lawyer first.

A workers’ compensation lawyer will explain how to use a doctor outside the insurance company’s network of medical providers.

Nevertheless, before making any decisions, you should consult with your medical physician. Not all doctors or clinics accept workers’ compensation patients. Medical providers that treat injured workers must adhere to certain limits and criteria.

Filing A Workers Comp Claim | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help
Can I See A Workers Compensation Doctor From My Own Medical Provider Network? | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

How to best deal with doctors who treat you for your injury?

If you are being treated by a doctor who is part of your employer’s insurance company’s network of approved medical providers, you should be aware that they have a business relationship with the insurance carrier.

That means, they will offer the medical care you require while also attempting to limit expenses in order to keep the commercial partnership. For that reason, you need to carefully document everything that the doctor tells you in every appointment.

You also have to express any concerns that you may have about the treatment that is being provided. Make sure that the doctors also include in your medical records everything that you tell them or any symptoms that you feel.

In case you feel that your medical treatment is not working and you want to see another doctor, you will have evidence that you have been reporting every concern to the treating doctor and you require a second opinion. 

Do I have to see the business’s doctor for medical treatment?

In most cases, you will be required to receive medical treatment from the company doctor or the doctor provided by their insurance company at least for the initial treatment.

After a certain period of time, you may be able to see a different doctor if your state’s workers’ comp commission approves it. This does not only apply to the primary care provider, this can also be the case if you request alternative care such as chiropractic care or acupuncture.

Just make sure to seek legal counseling with a workers’ compensation attorney before making any decisions that may compromise your claim. 

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Workers Compensation Insurance Company | Greenberg & Stein | Contact Us To Get Help

Will an injury sustained at work be covered by my insurance?

You should not use your own health insurance to pay for your medical treatment if you suffered a workplace injury. It is your employer’s responsibility to pay for your medical treatment, lost wages, and other out-of-pocket expenses caused by the injury you suffered while working.

Furthermore, using your own health insurance may cause you to pay very high deductible fees that you should not be paying. Some health insurance carriers may pay for your medical treatment, but they will ask you to sign a document where you agree to pay them back if you receive a settlement. 

What not to do while on workers’ comp:

If you are on workers’ comp avoid doing the following:

  • Missing medical appointments with the doctor who is treating you.
  • Not following every indication given by your medical provider. 
  • Missing physical therapy sessions.
  • Seeing other doctors who have not been approved by your state’s workers’ comp commission. 

If you start doing any of the things listed above, your workers’ compensation case can be compromised.

The insurance company will have grounds to deny your claim by alleging that your injuries were not as serious as you claimed or that you are fully recovered. 

What else do I need to know in order to protect my workers’ comp claim?

Since every state has a different set of rules and regulations it is important to seek legal advice from a workers’ compensation lawyer that has vast knowledge about your state’s laws. 

Greenberg & Stein P.C. can help you if you were injured at work in New York City. We are a respected law company with some of the state’s best attorneys. Our legal team has represented numerous people who have been injured at work.

We can assist you in fighting for your right to fair compensation. Do not hesitate to contact our law firm. Call our law offices at 212-681-2535 to schedule a free case consultation with a member of our legal team. 

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