Serious workplace injuries require medical care and time away from the job as you recuperate. This results in expensive medical bills and lost wages.
If injured while performing your job, you should not also suffer financially. You have rights to income benefits and quality medical care under workers’ compensation laws.
1. File a report
Regardless of how mild you think an injury may be, if ever injured on the job, file an injury or incident report with human resources at your place of work promptly. You may not immediately realize the extent of your injury. A record of the incident will be beneficial when you file a claim for workers’ compensation. If you wait longer than 30 days to report your injury to your employer, you may lose benefits. Keep a copy of the report for your records.
2. Visit a doctor
Have a medical professional assess your injury as soon as possible and follow the treatment plan they recommend. Depending on the severity and possible emergency nature of your injury, this step may occur before filing a report with your employer. While this step is essential for your physical well-being, an official medical record of the details and severity of your injury will also benefit a workers’ compensation claim. Your employer must post information regarding medical providers approved for workers’ comp.
3. File a workers’ compensation claim
Follow the official procedure with your employer to file a workers’ compensation claim. Both you and your employer must take action. The goal in filing quickly is to obtain financial assistance as soon as possible so that you may focus all of your attention on your recovery. There is also a limited amount of time available to file a claim. In Georgia, if you fail to file a claim to protect your rights within one year, you will lose out on benefits.
4. Consult a workers’ compensation attorney
Workers’ compensation provides coverage for your injuries, but it protects your employer. If you encounter any trouble when filing a workers’ compensation claim, consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who can help protect your rights to benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits are also available to family members of persons who suffer fatal accidents at work. Dependents receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a specified lifetime maximum.