Today’s post comes from guest author Matthew Funk from Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano.
QUESTION: I filed an accident report at work and notified my supervisor. Do I have to do anything else?
ANSWER: YES! The C-3 claim must still be filed with the Workers’ Compensation Board by the injured worker.
Right before going on a cruise with his lovely wife for their 25th wedding anniversary, Joe got a pretty bad gash on his arm while fixing a pipe at work. The ER fixed him up quickly and when Joe got back to the office, he filed an accident report and then notified his supervisor, Mike in writing. Mike stuck his head out of the office and told Joe he would take care of the rest and to “get the hell out of here and enjoy that cruise!” Thinking he had covered all his bases to receive Workers’ Compensation, Joe gathered up his work gear and headed out to sail the next day to the Caribbean. Stop, Joe! Stop!!
When a worker is injured HE or SHE must file a C-3 Claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
It is the worker’s obligation to file this claim, NOT the employer, even if the supervisor says, as Mike did in this case, that he will file on behalf of the injured worker. Mike could have had the best intentions but suddenly be called to take care of something or have a family situation or a phone call and within seconds forget to file this essential form, which MUST be filed within two years of the accident. As noted in previous columns, filing must happen within two years to ensure protection of the injured worker’s claim. In the unfortunate cases where the C-3 has not been filed within two years of the accident, while not a total lost cause, it is difficult to find exceptions to the law to allow a claim be processed past that deadline.
So always, always, ALWAYS file a C-3 claim form with the Workers’ Compensation Board and always, always, ALWAYS do it within two years of the accident. The Workers’ Compensation Board now has new regulations and a case will not even start until that C-3 form is filled. So file that C-3 form immediately. In Joe’s case, he remembered reading somewhere that he was responsible for filing his own Workers’ Compensation claim. So he took a few minutes out before going on vacation and filed the C-3. Now he was truly covered and could enjoy his vacation with his wife.