In Georgia, employers who employ three or more people are required by law to provide workers’ compensation coverage to be used to reimburse injured workers in the event of an accident. This system bars an employee from suing their employer for compensation. Unfortunately, the system can be highly complex, and many injured workers are unaware of their rights after an accident. Many people who attempt to handle their claims on their own can end up unknowingly doing something that can hurt their case and cost them valuable benefits. Don’t let this happen to you!
If you have been in an accident at work that has caused an injury, you may have questions about what to do next. In order to reap maximum benefit after a work-related accident, there are certain steps that you should take to protect your health and your claim:
- See a doctor right away. Any kind of injury should be taken seriously. If your injury is serious, immediately visit the emergency room. If not, ask your employer for a list of approved workers’ compensation doctors. Georgia law requires that employers keep a list of six doctors for you to choose from. Any delay in seeking treatment could be disastrous to your health and potentially harm your claim as well.
- Report the incident to your employer. If you’ve been hurt at work, it is extremely important that you report the accident to your employer immediately. Any delay could result in a denial of your claim, which means that you will be responsible for paying your own medical bills and other injury-related losses.
- Establish a paper trail. Keep records of anything related to your accident. Start by taking note of the date, time, and location of the accident. Then, keep copies of any documentation related to doctor visits, medical treatment, time away from work, lost earnings, and receipts that show how much your injury has cost you. This paper trail is proof of the damages you have suffered and is important to support your claim.
- Stick to your doctor’s prescribed course of treatment. In order to receive benefits, you must follow your doctor’s treatment instructions. If you don’t, this may be viewed as prolonging your injury and could cost you benefits. If you are unhappy with your current doctor, you have a right to seek a second opinion and can do so if you notify your employer or insurance adjuster. You may also request to choose a different doctor from the six-doctor panel (note that this can only be done once).
- Talk to a lawyer. It is a good idea to speak with an attorney who is familiar with Georgia workers’ compensation laws. A lawyer can help you identify which benefits you may be entitled to receive and provide you with valuable legal advice.
If you have been injured at work, we encourage you to contact Kaufman Law, P.C. to schedule a free evaluation of your case. We have handled countless workers’ compensation cases in our decades in practice and know what it takes to pursue maximum results for our clients. Our goal is to ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated for your losses.
Call us today at (678) 712-1115 to get started.