Certain types of employment or industries are commonly associated with workplace injuries, including plant operation and construction. However, the fact is workplace accidents can occur even in the “safest” environment. Whenever such accidents happen, injured employees potentially face time off work and huge medical expenses.
Workers’ compensation is a government-mandated insurance system that ensures that injured workers are compensated for their medical expenses and lost wages in the event of a workplace accident. To receive these benefits, injured workers are required to report their injury promptly to their employer. Failure to do this within 30 days of the accident could result in the forfeiture of workers’ comp benefits.
Getting in touch with an experienced Covington workers’ comp lawyer soon after your injury ensures that you report promptly to your employer and that you maximize your chances of receiving medical and indemnity benefits.
If you have suffered a workplace injury and haven’t begun the claim process, call us for help reporting your work injury in Covington, GA.
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How Long Do I Have in Reporting a Work Injury in Covington, Georgia?
Reporting your workplace injury promptly is the best way to protect your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In Covington, Georgia, you are required to report your injury no later than 30 days after the date of the injury. This allows your employer ample time to look into the facts of the injury and file the claim with their insurance carrier as well.
Who Do I Have to Report a Workplace Injury To?
Depending on your type of employment, injured workers can report their workplace injury to various persons. Normally, you’d have to report your injury to your employer, immediate supervisor, foreman, or any top-ranking official in the Human Resource (HR) department.
Employer Responsibilities After a Workplace Injury
Business and company owners are required to play their part in ensuring that injured workers receive the indemnity and medical benefits they deserve after a workplace injury. Some of their responsibilities include:
• Investigating Workplace Injury: Establishing the facts of the workplace accident or injury is essential in ascertaining that the worker was indeed hurt while on the job and that they are not trying to get workers’ compensation benefits through fraudulent means.
• File the WC-1 or First Report of Injury With Their Insurance Company: Employees are required to complete Section A of the WC-1 immediately upon their knowledge of the worker’s injury. This form should then be sent to their insurance company office, and not the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Failure to do this may result in a penalty.
• Report serious injuries immediately to the insurer’s claims department by telephone and file the WC-1 form later.
• Provide Prompt Medical Care to the Injured Employee: This is done by allowing the injured employee to choose a physician from the employer’s posted panel. The employer is also required to explain the panel to their employee.
• Offer the Injured Employee a Return-to-Work Option: In most cases, employers will assign light-duty work to the injured employee to ensure that they keep earning even if they have been injured.
Employee Responsibility After a Workplace Injury
If you have been injured while carrying out your employment duties, you are required to do the following to ensure that you receive workers’ comp benefits:
Report Your Injury Promptly
If you have been injured or diagnosed with an occupational disease, you are required to inform your employer once the injury or disease becomes apparent. Under the workers’ compensation laws of Georgia, you are supposed to do this not later than 30 days from the date you were injured. Failure to report your injury or disease within this time limit may result in the loss of your workers’ comp benefits.
Get Medical Care
Seek medical attention from your employer’s panel of physicians. Getting prompt medical care is key to making a quick recovery, and you are required to choose a doctor from the posted panel.
File a Workers’ Comp Claim
File a workers’ compensation claim within the allowable time limits. If you are to receive medical and indemnity benefits, you are required to file a worker’s compensation claim not later than 1 year from the date of injury. Some workers wait until it’s too late to file a claim probably thinking that they can easily shake off their injury and continue working.
File Form WC-14 if Your Claim Is Denied
If for any reason, your claim is denied by your employer or their insurer, it is your responsibility to file a Form WC-14, Notice of Claim, not later than 1 year from the date of the accident with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Take a Drug Test If Requested by Your Employer
Your employer may request you to take a drug test to confirm whether your injury occurred due to intoxication. Refusing to take a drug test implies a positive result, which means that you could lose your workers’ compensation benefits if you don’t submit to a drug test.
Accept Light Duty Work
Take up any light-duty work offered by your employer. This is a common return-to-work option that many employers use to keep employees who are not severely injured working and earning.
Keep Your Employer Informed
Keep your employer informed of any doctor’s recommendations. If your doctor advises you to take time off work until you attain maximum medical improvement (MMI), it is important that you inform your employer. This allows for proper arrangements regarding finding a temporal replacement as well as knowing when to expect you back.
Speak to a Covington Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Working with a workers’ comp lawyer is not mandatory under Georgia laws. However, having one after you have been injured ensures that you observe all the laws that govern reporting a workplace injury and filing a claim.
Call Us Today When Reporting a Work Injury in Covington
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Covington, our lawyers understand the workers’ comp laws of Georgia and can guide you through the process of reporting your injury. By letting us handle your claim, you can focus on making full recovery and returning to work.
If you have sustained a workplace injury, reporting in a timely manner ensures that you receive your workers’ comp benefits and reduces the chances of denial of the claim. Reach out to us today at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Covington at 770-796-0919 to begin your claim process.