Jobs that involve operating heavy machinery carry added risks for workers. Despite how much training you have or careful you are, accidents can happen. These accidents can result in devastating injuries: fractures, crush injuries and in some cases amputations.
In most situations, Georgia workers’ compensation is designed to pay medical and income benefits for work-related injuries, regardless of who was at fault. You may also be entitled to job retraining benefits and compensation for permanent impairment. Follow this checklist to ensure you receive all of the benefits you deserve.
- Report the injury to your employer as soon as possible.
- Seek immediate medical treatment. In a medical emergency, go the nearest facility that can provide your care. If it’s not an emergency, go to an approved workers’ compensation doctor. Your employer should provide you with a list of doctors.
- Follow through on your medical treatment. Sometimes workers skip doctor appointments if they feel the treatment isn’t helping them. This can be a costly mistake. Your employer or the workers’ compensation may stop payments if you skip treatment.
- If you are offered a light-duty assignment that meets your medical restrictions, you must make an effort to do it. You could be fired and lose your benefits if you refuse.
Employers and insurance companies sometimes look for an excuse to stop paying benefits, especially if they think your treatment will be expensive and you will miss work for a long time. If you have any disputes with your employer, the insurance company or your doctor, don’t say or do anything in anger. Instead, talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to learn more about your options under Georgia law.
An attorney may help you find other sources of compensation if the machine that caused your injury was defective, missing safety guards, or unreasonably dangerous. While workers generally can’t sue their employers for accidents in the workplace, you might have other legal options. If your injury was caused by a third party such as the manufacturer, distributor or installer, you may be entitled to additional compensation by filing a personal injury lawsuit.