When you are injured at work, it could result in losses such as medical expenses and loss of income while you recover. Under Georgia law, you have the right to claim compensation for these losses from your employer if the injury occurred while you were fulfilling work-related duties.
Employers are generally required to have insurance to cover the cost of workers’ compensation claims. However, it is important to follow the correct process for reporting a work injury in Athens and filing a claim.
Contact the best Athens workers compensation lawyers at Workers Compensation Lawyer Coalition to find out how to report a work-related injury or file a claim.
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How Long Do I Have to Report a Workplace Injury in Athens, Georgia?
Georgia law states that you have 30 days from the date of your work-related injury to report it to your employer. However, we recommend that you report it as soon as possible after the injury occurred. The sooner you report the injury, the sooner the claims process can begin.
If you do not file your claim within 30 days, your employer and/or their insurance has the right to deny your claim. This means that you will not have the right to medical treatment or income benefits.
Who Do I Need to Report a Workplace Injury To?
You need to report the work-related injury to a person of authority within the company – for example, a supervisor or manager. You can also report the claim to your HR (Human Resources) person or department if there is one in the organization. The report should preferably be made in writing so that there is evidence of the report.
Most companies have an official incident report form that you will need to complete when you report the injury. It is not required by law to have a written record of the injury report or to complete the incident form as the information can be used against you at a later date by insurers to deny your claim.
If you are being forced to make a statement or complete an incident report, contact Workers Compensation Lawyers in Athens immediately.
What Are the Employers’ Responsibilities After a Workplace Injury?
Your employer should first and foremost offer and provide medical treatment. In the event of a serious injury, they are required to call emergency services to take you to the hospital. They are also required by law to report a serious injury to OSHA (Occupational Health And Safety Administration) within 24 hours of the injury. A serious injury is one that requires hospitalization or results in the loss of a limb or vision.
Your employer is responsible for investigating the injury and the incident that caused it. The employers’ insurance provider may also investigate the injury to ensure that the injury is covered under workers compensation law. This is referred to as a compensable injury which basically means an injury that will be compensated.
Your employer must provide you with a list of a panel of physicians that has been approved to provide medical treatment. You will be required to consult and be treated by one of the physicians. If your employer does not provide a panel of physicians, you have the right to seek treatment from any physician.
Your employer is obligated to report the injury to their insurance provider and recover the costs for treatment as well as loss of income or wages. The insurance company will then decide whether to award or deny the claim. If the claim is denied, you will be responsible for paying your own medical expenses and will not receive any income benefits while you are recovering.
What Are the Employees’ Responsibilities After a Workplace Injury?
You have several important responsibilities after a work injury.
Report the Injury
Your first responsibility is to report the injury. It is recommended to contact Workers Compensation Lawyers before or as soon as possible after reporting your injury. Keep your own record of the date you reported the injury and to whom the injury was reported.
You have the right to conduct your investigation into the incident and collect evidence such as witness statements or video footage. This information can be vital to having your claim awarded.
Follow the Doctor’s Instructions and Keep Records
You need to seek medical treatment as soon as possible from one of the doctors on the list of physicians provided by your employer. It is your responsibility to follow the medical instructions from the doctor you choose from the list. If you don’t, your claim will be denied. Should you not agree with the diagnosis or treatment, you have the right to a second opinion from another physician on the panel or to submit to an independent medical evaluation.
Return to Work as Soon as Possible
You have the obligation to return to work as soon as possible after you have recovered from your injury and have been cleared for work by your doctor. Your doctor may request that you be put on “light duties” to get you back to work faster. If you feel you aren’t ready to return to work or are being pressured, speak to your lawyer at WCL.
Communicate with Your Employer
You also have the responsibility to communicate with your employer as to how your recovery is going, how soon you can return to work and respond to their communications with you. However, if you have retained our legal services, it is advisable to allow us to take care of all communication with your employer. You get to focus on recovering from your work-related injury while we take care of the legal issues regarding your workers compensation claim.
Suffered a Work-Related Injury? Contact Workers Compensation Lawyer Coalition in Athens Today
It is vital to report your workplace injury, no matter how minor or serious to your employer as soon as possible. It is recommended to get legal advice from WCL in Athens before you make your report. It is also important to keep your own record of when and to whom the injury was reported.
Record other details of the incident that caused the injury and collect evidence such as witness statements to support your claim.
If you are unclear regarding any of the steps that you should follow in reporting a work-related injury, contact the Workers Compensation Lawyer Coalition today for advice and assist you with your workers compensation claim.