When discussing their case with an Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer, employees mostly care about employer duties. Few of them realize that employees have duties as well.
These are very important, as failure to comply with them could cost the employee their workers’ comp benefits. Here are the most important duties employees have according to the workers’ compensation law in force in the state of Georgia:
Employees’ Duties under Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law
- Employees have to follow all safety rules and reasonable procedures and policies established in writing by their employer.
- Workplace accidents should be reported as soon as possible, within maximum 30 days from occurring. The report should be addressed to the employer, their representative, the employee’s foreman or their immediate supervisor. Employees who fail to report their workplace injuries risk having their workers’ compensation claims denied.
- Employees have the duty to accept any reasonable medical treatments and recovery services the State Board of Workers’ Compensation may order. If they do not, the Board may suspend their benefits.
- Workers’ compensation benefits are not available if the injury or death was the result of the employees’ willful misconduct.
- Employees who change address have the obligation to notify their employers’ insurance carrier of their new address.
- They should also announce when they can resume work either part-time or full-time and report their weekly income. They may be entitled to some benefits even after their return to work.
- Dependents of deceased employees should notify the employer’s insurance carrier of their address changes or remarriages.
- If the treating physician approves a job, it is the employee’s duty to try it. If it involves lower pay, the employee may qualify for additional benefits. Those who do not risk having their benefits suspended.
- Employees whose employers or employers’ insurers refuse to pay them benefits should file a workers’ compensation claim.
- Workers’ compensation claims are subject to strict deadlines. The employees should file them within one year from their last authorized medical treatment. Another option is to file them within two years from the last benefits payment. In case of delays, the employee may lose their right to benefits.
- Dependants who do not receive the due benefits should file a claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. The deadline is of one year from the death of the employee. Delays could lead to loss of benefits.
- Employees needing to travel for medical reasons are entitled to travel benefits. They should submit their travel expenses reimbursement request to their employer or the latter’s insurer. Requests should be filed within one year from the date of incurring the expenses.
- Employees have the duty to submit themselves to any drug tests following a workplace injury. If they refuse, the employer may presume that their workplace accident or injuries were the results of drugs or alcohol consumption. Claims that do not overcome the drug or alcohol consumption premise by clear evidence could be denied.
- Employees should avoid making false statements or including misleading information in the workers’ compensation claim. They risk being charged with a misdemeanor. Convictions can lead to fines of up to $10,000 and prison conviction of up to 12 months.
- Any false statements and evidence provided during hearings in administrative court or to the appellate division qualify as perjury. False statements wilfully made by the employee with the purpose of obtaining benefits qualify as a crime. They are subject to penalties that can reach $10,000 per violation according to A. Code Sections 34-9-18 and 34-9-19).
As you can see, Georgia workers’ compensation law protects not only employees injured on the job but employers as well. Employees claiming workers’ compensation benefits have their own duties and responsibilities. Failure to comply with them could cost them their benefits.
If you incurred workplace injuries, you should consider getting legal advice. It will help you know your rights under Georgia law and obtain the benefits you deserve. Dealing with insurance companies is not easy, so you will need any help you can get.
Get Help With Your Claim from an Experienced Atlanta Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Has your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company refused to pay your medical bills? Are you worried they may deny you the benefits you deserve? They may if you failed to comply with some of the above duties. Some do it simply because they want to avoid costs.
At Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, we can help you. We have handled hundreds of workers’ compensation cases. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers know the law by heart and have their ways of convincing insurers to pay.
Whether you want a free case evaluation or legal representation, you can count on us. Call and schedule a consultation now! Our Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer will provide all the information and advice you need.