In the unfortunate event that you suffer an injury while on the job in Georgia, you are entitled to medical treatment and income benefits as per the Workers’ Compensation Act. While almost all types of injuries are covered under this insurance program and there is no requirement for the employee to prove fault, many injured employees miss out on benefits due to failure to meet certain obligations required under the law. One obligation is reporting a work injury in Smyrna, GA.
The first and most crucial step in the path to filing a successful workers’ compensation claim is to report the injury to their employer, and in a timely manner as stipulated by the state. Failure to do this within the set deadline and your claim can be denied by your employer and your rights to seek benefits will be forfeited. Your employer or their insurance company can also seek other reasons to deny your claim.
Therefore, it is highly recommended that you hire a Smyrna workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible after a work-related injury to guide you through the process and help you avoid common mistakes that can hurt your claim. Our attorneys at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition have a lot of experience dealing with workers’ compensation claims and can help you maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. Call us today for the best legal representation.
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How Long Do I Have in Reporting a Work Injury in Smyrna, Georgia?
As per Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws, anyone injured while on the job should report their injury to their employer promptly but within a period of 30 days. This 30-day period is meant to provide the employer with enough time to conduct their own investigation while the evidence is still fresh and reliable.
This notice can be given orally or in writing. It is wise to do it in writing and keep a copy as this will help to provide proof that you notified your employer and at what date in case of any issues.
You also need to ensure that you provide as much information as possible about the accident and subsequent injury when reporting the injury as this will help to strengthen your claim. Your claim can be denied if you fail to provide any witness details or inadequate information about the accident and your injury.
Failing to report the injury to your employer within the set deadline will provide your employer will legal grounds to deny your claim which is the last thing you want. Thus, you need to take this very seriously.
Who Do I Have to Report a Workplace Injury to?
If you suffer an injury while at work, you will need to report it to your employer and within the 30-day deadline. In the event that you can’t reach your employer, you should notify your immediate supervisor or your employer’s representative. And while you aren’t required to provide written notice when reporting the injury under Georgia workers’ compensation laws, it is always prudent to do so.
Employer Responsibilities After a Workplace Accident
To begin with, all employers with three or more employees are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage in addition to providing a safe working environment for their employees.
After you have reported your injury to your employer, they are required to conduct a prompt investigation into the accident and collect all the relevant facts to verify your claim. They are then required to inform their insurance carrier of your injury and provide all the details gathered in regards to the accident. This is done by submitting the first report of injury form.
The employer will also make plans to ensure that you receive the necessary medical treatment. Your employer should provide you with a list of approved doctors (referred to as the panel of physicians) that you can visit. Unless in a medical emergency situation, do not use another doctor not available on the approved list. If a list of approved doctors has already been provided to you but you use another doctor of your own choice for medical treatment, your employer can deny your claim.
Your employer should also be transparent in regards to the type of benefits that you may be eligible for.
Employee Responsibilities After a Workplace Injury
In the event that you are injured while carrying out your work duties, there are certain steps that you need to take in order to protect your right to receive maximum compensation:
Notify Your Employer
Nothing else you will do in the claims process will matter if you fail to report your injury to your employer within the 30-day deadline. Thus, this is one of the most important steps after being injured in a workplace accident.
Document the Scene
Remember to take photos of the scene of the accident, any visible injuries, and note down any important details including all witnesses present. Also, note down who you reported the injury to and at what time.
Seek Medical Treatment
Visit an approved doctor to seek medical treatment for your injuries. Your employer should provide you with a list of approved doctors (referred to as the panel of physicians) that you can visit.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Next, you need to file a workers’ compensation claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This is done by filling out and submitting the WC-14 form. You should provide your employer and their insurance company with a copy of this form.
Call Us Today When Reporting a Work Injury in Smyrna, Georgia
If you are looking to file a workers’ compensation claim in Smyrna, you need a highly trained and reliable lawyer who will help you file a successful claim. At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, we know what it takes to have a successful claim and ensure maximum compensation for all our clients.
Keep in mind that your employer and their insurance company will be actively looking for ways to deny or devalue your claim. Our team will fight aggressively to ensure that your right to full compensation is protected. But this can only be achieved if you get in touch with us as soon as possible after suffering your workplace injury.
Remember, there are many complexities and pitfalls in the claims process that can jeopardize your chances of recovering workers’ compensation benefits. But you can avoid all this by engaging a lawyer early on in the process. Call us today for the best outcome in your claim.