If you have sustained an injury on the job in New York, you will want to act quickly to improve your chances of getting workers’ compensation benefits. Many workers wait to file a claim until the injury worsens, but doing so could mean losing the benefits you deserve.

In New York, as in other states, you have a short window of time to put your injury on record, and then you have two years to file your claim in most cases.

Window to file

Calculating the date when your two years begins can be tricky. Legally speaking, you have two years from the date that you discovered or should have discovered the injury.

For example, if you have a full physical after an accident at work and then two years later discover an injury, it is likely that workers’ compensation will claim that you should have discovered the injury during your physical and that your window to file has passed.

Date of discovery

Similarly, it is not uncommon for injuries to have delayed onset symptoms, but filing late invites disputes and claims that your pain is unrelated.

If you have a fall at work and discover two months later that you have back pain which you believe to be related, your two years to file would begin at the date of discovery. But the sooner you put your injury on record, the better your claim will appear.

Records of incidents

To increase your chances of a favorable outcome later, turn in a written record to your employer within 30 days after any significant incident. Even if you later decide that you do not need to file a claim, you will keep your options open and benefits accessible.