Five Key Steps to Take After a Workplace Accident in Georgia
You may be entitled to workers' compensation if you have suffered an on-the-job injury in Georgia. However, there are specific things you need to do after the accident to protect your right to receive benefits.
After a workplace accident occurs, you should take the following steps:1. See a Doctor Right Away
Under Georgia workers' compensation laws, your employer must provide a list of at least six doctors for you to choose from. You must choose a doctor your employer includes as a participating physician, although you are allowed to change doctors once without getting permission.
Suppose your injuries are very serious and you need medical care immediately in an emergency situation. You can seek initial treatment from any licensed doctor, and the bill should still be covered. Even if you don't feel injured immediately, seek medical care regardless. Some injuries may not appear for days or even weeks after the incident. Even a minor injury can worsen into a severe one.
Seeing a doctor immediately after a workplace injury is important to get the medical care necessary to treat your injuries and to ensure your injuries are properly documented. When claiming workers' comp benefits, you may need to show that the injuries were work-related. Comprehensive medical records may help.2. Report Your Injury to Your Employer as Soon as Possible
You should provide a written report of the accident and injury to your supervisor, an HR professional, a manager, or another person of authority at your workplace as soon as possible. Reports of injuries typically must be made within 30 days after the workplace accident or diagnosis of injury to remain eligible for workers' compensation.
Never hesitate to report an injury because you don't think it is serious. Even minor injuries can later turn into major health problems.3. Document Your Time Off From Work
When you miss at least seven days of work, you may be entitled to payment of lost wages through the Georgia workers' compensation system. Keep careful records of all the time that you miss from your job. When your injuries cause you to be out of work for an extended period, you may receive temporary or permanent disability benefits.
Injuries that result in restricted duty can also reduce your earnings. If you must work less or work at a lower-paying job because of your injuries, you may be entitled to partial disability benefits.4. Follow All Recommended Treatment Plans
To continue receiving worker's compensation benefits, you should follow the recommended course of treatment. If you are not satisfied with the medical care you are receiving, you may be able to change doctors or get a second opinion. Take special care not to miss any doctor's appointments or physical therapy sessions, as the other side could use this as evidence to say that you aren't really hurt.5. Contact an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney
Calling a lawyer after an on-the-job injury is a smart choice.
Georgia's workers' compensation laws are intended to protect workers and should cover virtually every injury that occurs as a direct result of work duties. Unfortunately, employers and insurers sometimes fail to act in the spirit of the workers' compensation laws.
Your employer or insurer may try to deny a legitimate claim, deny benefits you should receive, or convince you to return to work before you are fully recovered.
A workers' compensation lawyer in Atlanta or Savannah who knows the Georgia work injury laws can help you to ensure you get the full benefits you deserve.
The worker's compensation lawyers at Parsons & Associates, P.C., in Atlanta and Savannah can help you take action after an on-the-job injury. Contact us today to speak with an experienced lawyer and learn more about how we can help you with your work injury claim.
To speak directly with attorney J. Michael Parsons, call our offices today. We offer personal service, and your call will be returned within 24 hours.