If you get hurt at work in Georgia, you have the right to claim workers’ compensation from your employer. Workers’ compensation provides you benefits to cover the cost of your medical care and ensure that you receive an income while you recover from your injury and are unable to work.
However, in order to claim workers’ comp, you need to first inform your employer that you have been injured while at work. If your employer does not know that you have been injured, then they cannot start the process of claiming benefits for you. Your employer will most likely claim these benefits from their insurance carrier.
On the other hand, your employer and their insurance carrier don’t really want to pay those benefits and will do what they can to deny your claim. It is therefore recommended to call a Gainesville workers’ comp lawyer before you report the injury or as soon as possible afterward.
Call 770-796-0919 today if you’re reporting a work injury in Gainesville, GA.
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How Long Do I Have to Report a Work Injury in Gainesville, Georgia?
You have 30 days from the date of your injury to report it to your employer. However, it is recommended to report the injury immediately or as soon as possible after being injured. It is easy to forget details of the incident that caused the injury and any medical care your receive prior to reporting the injury may not be covered by your workers’ comp benefits.
If you miss the 30 day deadline, you forfeit your right to benefits and your employer and their insurance carrier are no longer obligated to pay for medical care or for loss of income.
Who Must I Report a Workplace Injury to?
You can’t just report the injury to anyone or assume that your employer is aware of the injury. This said, if your employer is aware of the injury and provided first aid or called an ambulance to take you to the hospital, then you shouldn’t need to report the injury.
However, it is always a good idea to report the injury to the designated person in the company or to a supervisor or manager. You can also report the injury to the HR (Human Resources) department or person in the company.
You may be required to make a written statement or complete an incident report detailing the incident that caused the injury and the nature and extent of your injury. There is no legal requirement to fill in the form or make a written statement and refusing to do this should not affect your claim for benefits.
If you feel that you are being pressured to complete an incident report or make a written statement, call Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Atlanta today to find out what to do.
What Are the Responsibilities of the Employer After a Workplace Injury?
Your employer must first and most importantly provide immediate or urgent medical care. For minor injuries, this care normally involves first aid and making an appointment to see a doctor. In the case of a serious injury, your employer must call 911 or an ambulance to take you to the hospital.
Your employer is required to inform their insurance carrier of your injury within 7 days of the injury being reported and initiate the claims process. The insurance company and/or the employer will investigate the incident and the injury to ensure that it is compensable. In other words, if it fulfills the requirements to be covered by a workers’ compensation claim.
Your employer must provide you with a list of doctors that are authorized by their insurance carrier to provide treatment. You must choose a doctor from this list to treat your injuries. If you use your own doctor, you may forfeit your benefits.
Your employer is required to offer you “light duties” until you are able to return to work in your full capacity. Light duties may mean working shorter hours or not being asked to do tasks that can aggravate your injury. However, an employer can use light duties as a tactic to get you to return to work faster. You should not return to work in any capacity unless your doctor clears you to do so.
If you feel that you are being pressured to return to work before you have recovered, give Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Atlanta a call and we help you address the issue.
What Are the Responsibilities of the Employee After a Workplace Injury?
The most important responsibility that you have is to report the injury as soon as possible.
You are also responsible for choosing a doctor from the authorized list that is provided by the insurance carrier and ensuring that you receive treatment from the selected doctor. You must follow the care and treatment instructions from your doctor. If you don’t, it may seem that you are attempting to delay your recovery and you will forfeit your medical and income benefits.
You are required to return to work as soon as possible after your injury whether on light duties or in your full, former capacity. Remember that your doctor must clear you to return to work. If you feel that you are not ready to return to work or disagree with the diagnosis or treatment from the authorized doctor, you have the right to a second opinion.
Contact Us If You’re Reporting a Work Injury in Gainesville
If you have been injured in the workplace, you must report it to your employer as soon as possible in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. But before you do this, you should call a lawyer. Getting the best legal advice and legal representation from the start of the process can help avoid having your claim denied by your employer or their insurance carrier.
Always keep in mind that your employer would prefer to have you back at work in your full capacity rather than paying any benefits at all. Your lawyer has the experience and expertise to ensure that no tactics are employed to deny your workers’ compensation.