If you work in the construction field in New York, then you know that his year-round industry can be dangerous. Accidents involving scaffolding falls, machinery pinning, and electrical accidents can all leave an unsuspecting worker seriously injured or dead. Those who are fortunate enough to survive such incidents may have a lot to deal with in addition to their physical and mental recovery, including figuring out how to pay for their medical expenses and recoup lost wages.

Workers’ compensation, of course, can help cover these losses, but only if the system is successfully navigated. The first step in recovering these benefits is understanding the process. First, an injured worker needs to seek immediate medical attention and notify his or her employer. This notice can be verbal, but written notice must also be provided within 30 days. Then, a workers’ compensation claim needs to be filed.

There are other things that must happen within a timely fashion. Within two days of the injury, for example, the injured worker’s doctor must complete a preliminary report that is sent to the workers’ compensation board, the injured individual’s employer, and the insurance company. The employer must also file a formal injury report with the workers’ compensation board and the insurance company. Payments should begin within 18 days of the employer’s report being received, unless the claim is denied or otherwise challenged, and payments should continue every two weeks thereafter until it is determined that benefits should be stopped. This is often determined by a doctor’s progress report, which is filed with the appropriate parties every month-and-a-half.

Although this may sound pretty straightforward, the truth of the matter is that many workers’ compensation claims are denied for a variety of reasons. A worker may fail to prove that the injury was work related or that the injury in question prevents him or her from carrying out his or her job duties. This is why injured workers need to make sure they are putting forth the best claims they can given the evidence at hand. Even if an initial claim is denied, qualified legal professionals may be able to help with an appeal. So, those looking for assistance with a workers’ compensation claim should think about reaching out to an experienced legal professional of their choosing.