Workplace Injury: What’s The First Thing You Should Do?

A workplace injury can happen without warning. Injured workers are eligible for a variety of workers’ compensation benefits, provided they follow the regulations and rules. Workers’ compensation can be complicated, and many people make mistakes after they sustain an injury that might hinder the process of swift compensation.

An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can help ensure you get the benefits you deserve.

Your daily life can have a significant impact if you are involved in a workplace injury. You may worry about numerous issues, including:

  • How will you pay the bills?
  • Who should you tell?
  • Is there a chance of permanent impairment?
  • Are there any safeguards you can take?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an incidence rate of 2.5 work-related injuries and illnesses per 100 full-time equivalent workers among Georgia’s private employers in 2019.

Five Steps to Take After Your Injury:

Atlanta law stipulates that certain steps must be followed within a set period to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These include complying with the following steps:

Inform Your Employer About the Workplace Injury:

The supervisor or manager must be notified as soon as possible after the workplace injury. If you do not inform your supervisor or manager within 30 days of the injury or diagnosis of occupational disease, you may not qualify for any benefits. Do not wait days or weeks to see if the pain subsides or disappears on its own. In addition to an oral report, send a written or email notification so that you have some evidence.

You should notify your supervisor as soon as possible so that your supervisor is aware of when, where, and how the workplace injury occurred. Your employer should ask you to fill out an accident report that elaborates on the scenario. Otherwise, ask for the accident report form. To ensure your records are accurate, keep copies of everything you send.

Work Accident Reports Should Be Filled Out:

You have the right to obtain a copy of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration accident report, and your employer must make it available to you when you are injured. If you are injured, ask if the report should be completed, even if you are told it is not necessary. Furthermore, you are also suggested to get a copy for yourself for the purpose of adequate documentation.

Get Medical Care as Soon as Possible:

Whenever you suffer a workplace injury that requires immediate medical attention, you should get help. You can go to the nearest emergency room and report your injury once you get treatment.

Even if you think your injuries are minor, you should see a doctor immediately. This ensures that you are provided with the appropriate medical care, and the documents you obtain can provide you with evidence should you have a dispute with your employer’s insurance company.

For continued treatment, you must choose a doctor from the employer’s list of approved medical providers. Each employer is required by law to post a list of approved medical providers.

Keep copies of all documents related to your workplace injury, including doctor’s visits, medical bills, and dates you were out of work. The documents you obtain are crucial in case your employer’s insurance company disputes your claim.

Atlanta workers' compensation lawyer

Claim Your Benefits:

Workers’ compensation provides weekly income benefits if you are unable to work for more than 7 days. Your first check should be mailed within 21 days after the first day you missed work. If you miss more than 21 consecutive days, you will be paid for the first week.

If you don’t receive your benefits, you must file a claim with Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the date of your accident.

Consult an Attorney:

Workers’ compensation can be extremely complex. If the insurance company doesn’t pay your benefits, you should hire a lawyer as soon as possible to protect your rights. An experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer will guide you through the complicated process of filing your claim and make sure you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled under Georgia law.

Some Accidents Are Not Covered:

Occasionally, an employee’s injuries might not be covered by workers’ compensation. For instance, if the employee was under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances at the time of the accident, their injuries are not covered by workers’ compensation.

Employers may require employees involved in workplace accidents to submit to drug testing. Workplace fights and horseplay are also generally excluded from coverage. Accidents that occur while an employee is on the way to or from work are also generally excluded from coverage.

What Should Companies Do to Improve Work Safety?

Regardless of the size of an organization, employers should cultivate a safe working environment for their employees by requiring adherence to safety protocols and providing safety education. Management should prioritize safety, provide education and training, and praise best safety practices to show employees that safety is important to the organization.

The company should identify workplace safety gaps and implement changes to prevent further incidents. Utilizing an accident as a learning tool, workers and management should reflect on what could have been done to prevent injury and how the response could have been more effective.

Call an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer:

It is also a good idea to consult with a well-known and experienced workers’ compensation lawyer before settling your workers’ comp claim. Contact a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta today to request your free consultation. They can help you understand your rights and build a bullet-proof case for compensation.