If you suffer an on the job injury, you may be entitled to compensation
thanks to our state’s workers’ compensation laws. However,
this process can be complex and failing to follow it properly can result
in denied claims and denial of benefits that you may desperately need.
The start of your claim will influence the rest of the process significantly,
so here are five steps you should take immediately after you are injured at work.
1. Ask for an Approved Physician
You should always notify a supervisor or HR representative of your injury
as soon as possible. Georgia law requires that all employers have a medical
provider network of at least six doctors you can choose from in order
to receive treatment. You must see one of these six doctors for your initial
diagnosis but rest assured, you can choose to see a different one later on.
However, in emergency situations, you may see any doctor you like and still
be covered. Don’t hesitate to go to the hospital or any licensed
doctor for treatment immediately; you may not have time to report your
injury and get a list of approved doctors without making your condition worse.
2. See a Doctor & Report Your Injury
See one of the approved doctors on your list of approved medical providers,
or a medical professional in the event of an emergency. Be sure to tell
them it occurred while on the job and they’ll make sure to give
you the appropriate paperwork that you need to report your claim to your employer.
At this point you should have what you need to officially file a claim
with your employer for your injury. These usually must be made within
30 days of the accident or a diagnosis of your injury in order to maintain
your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits. Get the proper
forms from your supervisor or HR department and be thorough on your statements;
they will be used extensively in your claim.
3. Document Your Time Off
If your injury or illness keeps you out for more than a week, you may
be eligible to receive lost wages payments. Keep track of the time you
miss carefully throughout your case. If your injury keeps you out for
an extended period, you may be eligible to receive temporary disability
payments while your case is still ongoing.
4. Stick to Your Treatment Plans
Workers compensation can provide you with benefits, but does so under
the presumption that you are doing everything your power to return to
work in full capacity. This means going to all required medical professional
appointments, treatment sessions, and following all doctor orders to the
fullest. Not following through on these duties can lead to your claim
being dropped and your benefits being stopped. Remember, if you do not
like the care you are receiving, you can choose to see a different doctor
or seek a second opinion.
5. Retain an Attorney
On the job injury can be extremely complex, which means it’s a smart
idea to retain an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney early on
in the process. Workers’ compensation insurance companies are in
business to make money, and look for every possible way to avoid having
to pay out on a serious claim, by using underhanded tactics or delegitimizing
your claim. Your employer may contest your claim to try to avoid having
it against their record. And both will likely have the benefit of multiple
lawyers on their side. Having a legal professional on your side who knows
and understands workers’ compensation law can help protect you and
your rights and pursue the justice you deserve for your on the job injury.
Cummings & Middlebrooks, LLP, we take your injury very seriously, and fight tirelessly to help you
obtain the financial relief you are entitled to. With more than 30 years
of combined experience and thousands of satisfied clients, our track record
of substantial success speaks for itself. We firmly believe those who
have been injured at work deserve an ally on their side who can help them
stand up to those who would wish to deny them their compensation, and
we make your success our highest priority.
Need assistance with your workers’ comp claim? Call Cummings &
Middlebrooks, LLP today at 404-990-4432 and request your
free initial consultation!