Georgia law requires employers to provide medical and income benefits to employees who have been injured in a work-related incident through its service of Reporting Work Related Injury.
Employers are normally covered by an insurance carrier to provide these benefits which are referred to as workers’ compensation. In order for an employee who has been injured in the workplace to claim workers’ comp, they need to report the injury to their employer.
If the injury is not reported, then the employer cannot start the process of claiming benefits from their insurance carrier. However, both employers and insurance carriers will do what they can to deny benefits for any reason that they can find.
To avoid your workers compensation benefits from being denied, it is essential to speak to compensation lawyer before you report your injury.
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How Long do I Have To Report A Workplace Injury In McDonough, Georgia?
You have 30 days from the date of your injury within which to report it to your employer. If you do not report the injury before the 30 days is up, then you will forfeit all benefits. Any medical care that you receive before reporting the injury may also not be covered by your workers’ compensation.
It is therefore critical to report your injury as soon as possible rather than waiting.
To Whom Must I Report A Workplace Injury?
In general, a workplace injury should be reported to your direct supervisor or manager. If this person is unavailable, you can report the injury to another person who has authority in the company or organization. It is also recommended to report it to the HR (Human Resources) department or person if the company has one.
You may be asked to complete and incident report or make a written statement to record the date of the injury, the incident that caused the injury and details regarding the injury. However, it is not legally required to have a record of reporting a work-related injury in McDonough.
This said, it is recommended to keep your own record of when you reported the injury, to whom and details about the incident and injuries.
If you feel that you are being pressure to provide a written statement or fill out an incident report form, contact WCL Atl today.
What Are The Responsibilities Of The Employer After A Workplace Injury?
Your employer is first and foremost required to provide you with immediate medical care if you were injured at work. This can be in the form of first aid for minor injuries or calling an ambulance to take you to hospital if you were seriously injured.
An employer must inform their insurance carrier of the injury within 7 days of you reporting it to begin the claims process. The employer may investigate the cause of the injury as well as the injury before contacting their insurance carrier. The insurance carrier may conduct their own investigation to decide whether to award or deny your workers’ compensation claim.
Your employer is required to provide you with a list of doctors that are authorized by the insurance carrier to provide medical care for a work-related injury. This is referred to a panel of physicians. If you do not use one of the doctors on the list, then you may forfeit your workers’ comp benefits.
Employers are required to offer you “light-duties” until you are able to return to work in your full capacity. Light-duties may mean reducing the hours that you work, your workload or avoiding any tasks that may aggravate your injury. Your doctor must clear you to return to work on light-duties. You will still receive workers’ compensation if you are on light-duties.
Your employer is required to pay for your medical care and provide you with income benefits while you are recovering from your injury. The period over which they will pay benefits depend largely on the nature and extent of the injury.
If you are permanently disabled and not able to return to work, your employer must offer you occupational benefits to provide you with the skills to work in another position within the company or do another type of job.
What Are The Responsibilities Of The Employee After A Workplace Injury?
The most important responsibility that an employee has after being injured at work is to report it to the relevant person. It is recommended to report the injury immediately or as soon as possible and not wait.
You must also receive a diagnosis and treatment from a doctor in the panel of physicians that your employer will provide. If you do not use an authorized doctor, your employers’ insurance carrier has the right to deny your medical benefits and you will have to pay for your medical bills yourself.
If you don’t agree with the diagnosis or treatment, you have the right to request a second opinion from one of the other doctors on the list or submit to an independent medical exam.
You are also required to follow the care and treatment instructions provided by your doctor. If you don’t follow instructions, it can appear as if you are trying to delay your recovery and the insurance carrier can deny your benefits.
You are required to return to work as soon as you have recovered from your injury either on light-duties or in your full former capacity. Your doctor must clear you to return to work either way.
You must stay in contact with your employer and/or their insurance carrier to inform them if you want a second opinion, how your recovery is progressing and any other important information.
However, if you already have legal representation, then it is advisable to avoid communication with either your employer or their insurance carrier. WCL Atlanta will take care of communication and other legal issues allowing you to focus on your recovery.
If you have been injured in the workplace, you have the right to claim workers’ compensation under Georgia law. If your employer or their insurance carrier denies your benefits, then you can contact a lawyer to resolve your dispute.
To avoid having your claim denied in the first place, give WCL Atlanta a call today for legal advice before you report your injury.