Workers’ compensation is a safety net. If you become injured while doing your job, workers’ comp can provide supplemental income to help you through the tough times.

The rules do not always make it easy to get these benefits, however. One misstep can have serious consequences. With that in mind, here are four mistakes you should make sure to avoid after being injured on the job.

Not telling a supervisor immediately

It’s vital that an injured worker tell their supervisor about the issue as soon as possible. Wait too long, and you might not be able to file a claim. Keep in mind symptoms of some ailments – particularly back and neck injuries – may not show up immediately. As soon as you suspect something is wrong, notify a supervisor.

Going to an unauthorized doctor

It may not be ideal, but under Georgia law an injured worker has to see an authorized medical provider. An employer should provide the names and contact information of six different physicians – called the Traditional Panel of Physicians – or the name of a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization. If you’re injured on the job, you have to seek medical care through these avenues.

Ignoring appointments or medical treatment

Do not miss any of your doctor’s appointments, and do not ignore what the doctor tells you to do – or not do. It’s vital you stick to the treatment plan as laid out by the physician. This includes trying to do work your doctor says to avoid. Deviating from their direction could impact your workers’ compensation claim.

Skipping work without permission 

It may be tempting to not go into work because of your injury. Do not skip your job without permission and documentation from the authorized physician. If your doctor determined you can not go into work, that is fine. Do not take it upon yourself to make that decision, however. If you are still at work and think you’re being treated unfairly, or believe a manager is trying to get you to do more than you should, contact an attorney.

If you’re filing a workers’ compensation claim, you’re already going through a stressful time. While the rules guiding the process may seem inconvenient, it is important to follow them. Ignoring them may ultimately worsen your case and influence any compensation you might receive.