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How to Report Your Work Injury to Your Employer in New York

Protect your rights by complying with NY workers' compensation rules

Suffering a work-related injury or illness can be a daunting experience. You have rights through the workers’ compensation system, but to receive the full benefits you deserve, you must understand the legal process.

One of the most critical steps in the NY workers’ compensation process is notifying your employer of the work injury. This can be tricky, but the step cannot be skipped or delayed. Missing a notification deadline or failing to provide the right information can substantially weaken your claim.

We’ve provided some general guidelines on how to report a work injury or illness in a way that complies with NY workers’ comp requirements. But remember: Every case is different, and circumstances can change deadlines and requirements for individual workers. If you were injured in a work accident in NYC, find out how the law applies to your specific situation. Contact the New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP for a free case evaluation. We have been helping injured workers navigate the process for over 90 years.

When and how to notify your employer of a work injury

If your injury happened at a specific moment of time – for example, a trip and fall, or being struck by an object – then you must notify your employer within 30 days of the incident. You need to notify your supervisor or manager; telling a coworker doesn’t count. Follow your employer’s protocol for reporting an injury if they have one. If not, simply notify your manager (or if you can’t reach them, their manager) as soon as possible.

Although verbal notification is legally acceptable for the purpose of applying for workers’ compensation, we don’t recommend it. It’s always important to have the notification in writing so that you have a written record. It’s also important to have a record of when you notified your employer so that there is no confusion regarding the timing of the notification. A time-stamped email, a signed and dated letter, or even a fax are all acceptable.

Make sure to keep a copy of the notification for your own records, in a place that your employer does not control. For example, if you notify your employer using your work email address, you should also BCC your personal email address or forward the email to yourself so that you have a record outside your employer’s email system. Likewise, if you use an office communication system such as Slack to inform your manager, make sure you save a record of the message and any response from the employer outside their Slack server.

Again, it’s important that you have a record of the notification in writing, and that you get proof of receipt. You don’t want to give your employer or their insurance company any room to argue that you didn’t promptly notify them of the injury.

Information to include – and not include – in the notification

Injured workers should notify their immediate supervisor or employer as soon as possible about the work-related damage. When reporting a work-related injury or illness, include the following information:

  • Your name and contact information.
  • Date, time, and location of the incident.
  • A description of how the injury or illness occurred.
  • Any witnesses to the incident, if applicable.

However, your notification should not include any personal opinions about how the incident occurred. Stick to the facts of what happened and avoid including any unnecessary details that may complicate your claim.

Written notification provides a clear record of the employee's report, ensuring that there is no confusion or dispute regarding the documentation. If your employer denies receiving notification, an attorney can help gather evidence to prove you notified them as required by law.

If the employer or their insurance company asks follow-up questions or requests additional information, proceed with caution. Some requests for additional information are legitimate, but many are attempts to get information they can use against you. Always consult an attorney before providing any additional information beyond the basic facts of when, where, and how the injury occurred.

Attorneys fighting for injured New York workers’ rights

Reporting a work-related injury or illness in New York requires adherence to specific legal guidelines and deadlines. By promptly notifying their employers in writing, injured and ill employees can protect their rights. But even if you did everything right when notifying your employer, navigating the workers’ compensation system is not easy. The workers’ compensation lawyers at Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP can provide invaluable guidance throughout the process and advocate for your rights from start to finish.

If you were injured at work, contact us for a free consultation. We can answer your questions about reporting a work-related injury or illness, ensure you meet legal deadlines, protect your rights, and navigate the necessary legal steps. Do not delay. The clock starts ticking at the moment of injury. Contact us today.

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