Stephen Hasner | Workers' Compensation | September 2, 2016
If you suffer injuries in a workplace accident in Atlanta, GA, what do you need to do to ensure you receive all the benefits under Georgia workers’ compensation to which you are entitled?
Dealing with the aftermath of a workplace accident can be frustrating, especially when your family relies on your income.
How does workers’ compensation in Georgia work? As the State of Georgia explains, workers’ compensation can provide employees who get hurt on the job with “medical benefits, rehabilitation support and supplemental income.”
Yet, simply sustaining an injury or suffering an illness at work does not mean that these benefits will immediately be available to you. Rather, injured workers need to take numerous steps to ensure that their workers’ comp benefits are commenced and continue.
Workers’ compensation law in Georgia can be complicated, and it is always important to discuss your case with an experienced Georgia work comp lawyer.
The State of Georgia and the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation provide information about claims in Savannah, Atlanta, and across the entire state of Georgia. To help you get started, we have boiled down this information into 10 tips:
- Report your injury to your employer immediately.
If you get hurt at work in an accident, or if you suffer an illness related to your employment, you need to let your employer know as soon as possible. Your employer will have paperwork for you to fill out and will require you to be as specific as you can about when, where and how your injury occurred.
- Provide specific details about the accident and your injury.
As we mentioned above, you will need to be very specific about how your accident occurred. Even if you got hurt in an accident that resulted from your own mistake on the job, you should know that you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Keep your own record of the accident.
It can be difficult to remember specific details of an accident in the days and weeks that follow it. Since you will need to be truthful and precise when filing your workers’ compensation claim, you should jot down your own record of the incident just after it occurs.
- Be consistent in reporting the accident and your injuries.
Every accident for which a workers’ compensation claim is filed will be investigated. Your employer, as well as the insurance company that is handling the workers’ compensation claim, will do an investigation to determine how and why your injuries occurred. Given that each claim will be investigated, it is extremely important to be consistent in the facts you provide about your injuries. Having your own record of the accident—mentioned above—can help to ensure that your story remains consistent. If you are not consistent, your claim can be denied. In addition, you should know that failure to cooperate in a claim investigation can lead to the denial of benefits.
- Identify potential witnesses.
Did another employee witness the accident that caused your injuries? Perhaps someone else nearby saw the accident? If there were any witnesses to a workplace accident that led to your injuries, be sure to get the names and contact information for those potential witnesses. At a later date, those witnesses may be able to help prove that you got hurt at work and should receive workers’ comp benefits.
- Visit a doctor as soon as possible.
Typically, you will need to visit a doctor to receive treatment for your workplace injury or illness. A doctor will perform a medical examination, and she or he will include information about your injuries and work status in your medical records. Make sure to keep any notes and records provided to you by the doctor. If you refuse a medical examination by an authorized treating physician, you can be denied workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.
- Do not miss any of your scheduled doctor’s appointments.
Just as it is important to visit an authorized treating physician to be evaluated for the purposes of workers’ comp in Atlanta or Savannah, it is also important to cooperate when it comes to subsequent medical evaluations, treatments and rehabilitation services.
- Save your mileage receipts.
Under Georgia workers’ compensation law, you are entitled to reimbursement for trips to doctors’ offices, pharmacies and physical therapy facilities.
- Do not give a recorded statement to the insurance company.
While it is important to cooperate, it is also extremely important to hire an experienced Georgia workers’ comp attorney before you give any kind of written or recorded statement to the insurance company. When you give a recorded statement, specific language that you use can be misinterpreted. An experienced work comp lawyer can help you in the event that you need to provide a recorded statement to the insurer.
- Seek help from an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer.
Last but certainly not least, hiring a dedicated Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer can help to ensure that you receive all the benefits you deserve.
If you were hurt in a work accident, it is important to understand how to file a successful workers’ compensation claim. Although the days and weeks after an accident can be difficult to handle, there are many significant steps that need to be taken soon after you sustain an injury so that you remain eligible for benefits.
An experienced Atlanta workers’ comp attorney can discuss your case with you today. The advocates at our firm have a combined 60 years of experience helping employees with workers’ compensation claims. Contact Hasner Law for more information about our services.