Work-related injuries or illnesses often result in medical expenses, lost wages, and diminution of earning capacity. Unlike in other personal injury cases, individuals who get injured while on the clock are readily covered by workers’ compensation. Under this insurance system, workers who suffer work-related injuries are entitled to benefits regardless of who is at fault for the workplace accident.
Employees who suffer work-related injuries have rights and responsibilities in the claim process. Among the many responsibilities is reporting the injury in a timely manner. Prompt reporting ensures that your employer investigates the workplace accident that resulted in your injury and allows the employer’s insurance carrier enough time to process your workers’ compensation benefits.
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, we can help handle your claim to ensure that you receive the benefits you’re entitled to from the moment of reporting a work-related injury in Vidalia. Call us today at 770-796-0919 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our Vidalia workers’ compensation lawyers.
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How Long Do I Have in Reporting a Work-Related Injury in Vidalia, GA?
Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act provides that you have 30 days to report your workplace injury for you to receive workers’ comp benefits. However, it is advisable to report your injury immediately to allow your employer ample time to establish the facts of your workplace injury. Failure to report your injury in time may result in the loss or forfeiture of your workers’ comp benefits.
Who Do I Have to Report a Workplace Injury To?
If you have suffered a work-related injury due to and in the course of your employment, you are required to report to your employer, immediate supervisor, or a Human Resource (HR) personnel. Workers in the construction sector can report their injuries to their foreman to ensure that they receive the benefits they deserve. If you need emergency medical care and can’t report your injury immediately, ensure that co-workers present at the time of the workplace accident report your injury.
Employer Responsibilities After a Workplace Injury
Business and company owners have various responsibilities to fulfill in a workers’ comp claim. Below are some employer responsibilities in workers’ compensation.
Investigate a Workplace Accident
The employer is required to establish the facts of the work-related injury to avoid awarding benefits to an undeserving employee according to the workers’ comp requirements. Proper investigation of a workplace accident could involve speaking to employees who were present at the time of the accident. This helps the employer get reliable information about the accident.
Report the Injury to Insurance Carrier
Under workers’ compensation, an employer is required to file an Employer’s First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease (Form WC-1) with their insurance carrier within 7 days of knowledge of the worker’s injury. After determining that an employee was indeed injured due to and in the course of their employment, employers are required to notify their insurance carrier immediately for timely processing of benefits.
Ensure that Essential Notices Are Posted
Besides a Panel of Physicians, employers are obliged to post a notice indicating their compliance with the law (to show that they carry workers’ compensation). Additionally, they are required to post the State Board of Workers’ Comp Bill of Rights for the injured employee. The name of their insurance company must also be posted.
Send the Injured Worker to a Doctor
Employers are required to provide a list of posted Panel of Physicians, which is a list of doctors from whom workers can seek medical care if injured on the job. This list should, at a minimum, consist of six doctors representing six different medical practices. Posting a valid Panel of Physicians at all times is not only a legal requirement under workers’ compensation but also gives employers control over the medical costs in workers’ comp claims.
Other employer responsibilities under workers’ compensation include offering an injured worker a “lighter” job if they can work even before they reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), as long as it is approved by the treating physician.
Employee Responsibility After a Workplace Injury
If you’ve been injured on the job, here’s what is expected of you:
Report Injury to Employer
Under Georgia’s workers’ comp laws, you are required to report your injury promptly and not later than 30 days from the date of the injury. Failure to report your injury within the time limits could result in the loss of your right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Seek Medical Treatment
It is your responsibility to accept reasonable medical treatment from a doctor on your employer’s Panel of Physicians after suffering a work-related injury. If you don’t seek medical treatment, or seek it from a doctor not recommended by your employer, you risk losing the right to receive medical benefits.
File a Workers’ Comp Claim
Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws, employees who are injured on the job have 1 year from the date of the workplace accident to file a workers’ comp claim. You risk losing your right to receive benefits if you fail to file your claim within the allowable time.
Submit to a Drug Test
When investigating a workplace injury, your employer may request you take a drug test to establish whether you were intoxicated at the time of the workplace accident. It is important that you submit to the drug test as failure to do so would be deemed a positive drug test.
Keep the Employer Informed
It is important that you keep your employer updated on developments regarding your injury. Ensure that you inform your employer if your treating physician recommends that stay off work for the statutory time. Doing so allows your employer to plan for your plan absence at the workplace and know when they can expect you back.
Call Us Today When Reporting a Work-Related Injury in Vidalia
Relying on the legal advice of an attorney when reporting your work-related injury ensures that you fill the required forms accordingly and that you do it within the required time. Call us today at 770-796-0919 to speak to one of our Vidalia workers’ compensation lawyers.
Workers’ comp ensures that workers who get injured on the job receive benefits to cover their medical expenses and lost income. To be eligible for these benefits, your injury must have resulted from and in the course of your employment. What’s more, you must report your injury within the statutory time. Reach out to the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition today to start your claim process by reporting your injury.