If you have been injured on your job, the first and easiest way to protect your legal rights is to report your injury to your employer. Most states require that you report your injury within a certain period of time, but like in any personal injury matter, the less time you delay the better.
Work injuries can occur in many ways. Often, people may not even realize that they have been harmed by a "work related" injury. Some examples include: falling in the parking lot of your work or a place you have been sent in the course of your employment; being injured in an accident on the way to, from or between job locations; injuries to the back, knee, shoulder or other body parts as a result of occupational disease from long term or repeated work related tasks; an assaults.
The next step you can take to protect your rights is to talk to an attorney to determine whether you have a personal injury case, a workers’ compensation case, or both. Surprisingly, they’re not the same thing!
If you are injured at work, you have the right to:
1. File a claim for your injury or illness in workers compensation court;
2. See a doctor and to obtain medical treatment;
3. Return to your job, if you are released to return to work by your physician;
4. Some type of disability compensation if you are unable to return to work because of your injury or illness, whether permanently or even temporarily;
5. Appeal any decision made by your employer, the employer’s insurance company or the workers' compensation court;
6. Be represented by a lawyer throughout the process; and
7. Be free from retaliation as a result of your workers’ compensation claim.
If you have suffered a work related injury or illness here in New York City or New Jersey, hiring an attorney who has experience handling these types of matters can be of the utmost importance. Doing so quickly can make or break the viability of a case and directly affect the outcome of the case and how much compensation you receive.