In Atlanta, most workers are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance compensates workers who are injured by paying income and medical benefits during the time they are recovering from an injury and are unable to complete their job duties. Medical benefits are an extremely important component of workers’ compensation, especially for serious injuries. Although medical expenses are covered under the insurance, workers should be careful to follow the regulations for receiving treatment for injuries set forth by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act, or they may risk losing benefits altogether. If you have questions about medical benefits or are having trouble having your medical expenses paid after a workplace injury, you should speak to a workers’ compensation attorney. Here are some of the key points that every Atlanta worker should know about medical benefits through workers’ compensation.
Panel of PhysiciansWhen a worker is injured in Georgia, the law requires that his or her employer pay for the appropriate medical treatment and rehabilitation necessary for the worker to recover as fully as medically possible. However, a worker cannot see his or her personal physician or any physician of his/her choosing. In order to have their medical expenses paid for, an injured worker must select an authorized treating physician from a panel of physicians chosen by the worker’s employer. This panel is listed on an official notice that must be posted in the work. According to the law, this panel of physicians must consist of a minimum of six physicians, professional associations, or corporations of physicians that are reasonably accessible to employees for treatment. Additional requirements for the panel include:
- At least one physician must be an orthopedic surgeon;
- One must be a minority physician; and
- No more than two can be physicians from industrial clinics.