Reporting a Work Injury in Georgia
How and When You Report Your Injury Makes a Difference
Successes and failures in life often come down to following protocol, and this is especially true in matters of workers’ compensation. Correctly reporting your accident is just the first of many procedural requirements that will likely be scrutinized by your employer’s insurance provider. What you do or fail to do now could have an impact on your claim.
At The Law Office Of Arthur E. Snead, LLC, I guide injured workers in the Atlanta area through the claims and appeals processes, ensuring that all requirements are met and that workers’ rights are protected. Keep reading to learn how you can protect your ability to file a claim after getting injured.
Need a workers’ comp attorney now? Contact me today to schedule your free consultation.
I Had an Accident at Work, What Are My Rights?
Injured workers in Georgia have a number of rights when it comes to receiving workers’ compensation for their injuries. By law, employers must provide medical treatment and wage replacement benefits for any workers injured while on the job. In addition, the employer is also responsible for providing compensation for any permanent disability or disfigurement that results from an injury sustained at work. In serious cases, the employee may be entitled to additional compensation such as vocational rehabilitation or survivor benefits if a family member was killed due to an on-the-job accident. It is important to note that employers are not allowed to terminate or otherwise discriminate against employees who file a workers’ comp claim. With the help of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, injured workers can ensure that their rights are protected and that they receive fair compensation for their injuries.
Report Your Injury as Soon as Possible & in Writing
The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act (GWCA) requires that you report your injury to your employer or supervisor within 30 days. However, it’s generally best to do so as soon as possible. You wouldn’t want to give your employer any reason to suspect that you were withholding information or that the injury wasn’t suffered at work.
If you initially report your injury verbally, it is a good idea to follow up with a report in writing (after you have received emergency medical treatment is fine, if such treatment is necessary). Save a copy of your written report for your records.
Ways to Protect Yourself & Your Claim
Work within employer guidelines when possible. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may need medical treatment immediately. In such cases, it is appropriate to go to the nearest emergency room. If your health and safety allow, however, you may want to ask your employer for a list of approved treatment providers and choose your provider from that list.
Comply with medical requirements. It is common for post-injury medical examinations to include drug tests. If possible, take the test. Don’t give your employer a reason to deny your claim.
Get records in writing and save copies for yourself. Any time that a company is asked to pay out money, it will necessarily involve a paper trail. You should have access to those same papers to ensure that everything is documented and communicated correctly. Ask for copies of medical records, witness statements, and other documents that could be important to your claim.
Don’t give more information than you are required to give until you talk to an attorney. In theory, employers are supposed to cover workers’ compensation claims regardless of how the accident happened. They are also prohibited from retaliating against you for reporting a workplace injury. Unfortunately, many employers violate both the spirit and the letter of the law.
You need to report your injury right away, but you may want to avoid giving any official statements or answering any questions until you’ve had time to talk to a lawyer. It is the best way to safeguard your rights and options.
Contact an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Don’t leave your claim up to chance or the generosity of your employer. An experienced attorney can advocate for you, protect your rights and ensure that your claim is thorough and complete. Though we are located in Atlanta, The Law Office of Arthur E. Snead, LLC, serves clients all over Georgia.
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