The Appropriate Steps to Take after Sustaining an Injury at Work
When a person wakes up in the morning, gets ready for work, and grabs a cup of coffee on the way out the door, one of the last things on their mind is whether they are going to get injured at work that particular day. Of course, there are some jobs that are more dangerous than others, but workplace injuries can happen at any job, no matter how safe you think it is. There are several things that employees should know to protect their rights if a workplace injury should occur, and many of these can help your Atlanta worker’s comp attorney to build your case.
Report the Injury in a Timely Manner
The best time to report an injury is as soon as it occurs. The earlier the injury is reported to a supervisor, the more likely it will be considered legitimate. Not all accidents can be reported immediately so you have up to 30 days in Georgia to report a work injury to your employer; however, because you run the risk of losing workers comp benefits if you do not report the accident timely we recommend reporting it as soon as possible. Even if you think the injury is minor it is best to address it immediately. Many of our clients have told us they did not report an accident because they did not think they were badly injured only to learn days later that their injury was life-changing.
Seek Reasonable Medical Attention as Soon as Possible
Usually it is up to the injured employee to prove that a workplace injury has occurred. If you fail to seek immediate medical attention, the insurance company may think your injury was not significant or that an accident did not occur, and this can greatly affect the outcome of your case. You should be seen by a doctor as soon as possible to make sure there are no underlying problems that if left untreated could flare up at a later time. By documenting your injury and seeking appropriate medical attention, you help your Atlanta workers comp attorney see your case through to a successful conclusion.
Be Honest with Your Doctor
During your doctor’s examination it is imperative that you be honest about any conditions you have and answer all questions truthfully. It is best to be truthful with the doctor so there are no discrepancies between your medical history and the work-related injury he is treating. Even the slightest omission can impact the outcome of your case.
Discussing Your Case
Talking about your case with anyone is discouraged. Your case information is private and should only be discussed with your Atlanta worker’s compensation attorney. There is no reason to share the details of your case with your employer, co-workers, or friends. Don’t even discuss details of your case with your doctor. Your comments could cause him to make conclusions and issue opinions that adversely affect your claim. It is important to remember that once you file a workers comp claim your medical information is no longer protected.
Keeping Medical Records
Keep all of your medical records. Ask for copies of any procedure or test results, including x-rays and MRI’s. Create a file to store the names and addresses of all your medical providers, appointments, referrals, and records. This is all valuable information your attorney will need.
Taking Medications and Following Doctors Orders
It is imperative to keep all medical appointments and follow your doctor’s orders. Failing to meet your obligations and follow treatment plans provided by your doctor can have an adverse effect on your case. It is also important to take all prescription medicine as directed. If you discontinue treatment before your doctor formally releases you it can be a red flag to the courts and the insurance company. They may assume you are healed and no longer in need of medical care.
Dealing with a workplace injury can be painful, arduous, and difficult. It is imperative to seek out qualified medical and legal professionals to help with your case, and we recommend you do so sooner rather than later. Choose a competent and experienced Atlanta workers compensation firm to handle your case that will advise you and keep you informed as you go through the process of seeking compensation and pursuing medical treatment.