Five Steps to Take After a Work Accident
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.
At 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.