Georgia workplaces often have a wide range of hazards that can lead to catastrophic injuries or even death. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 200 people lost their lives because of workplace accidents in Georgia.
If you suffer a workplace injury in Georgia on the job, you may be unsure what to do next. Georgia workers who sustain catastrophic injuries often cannot return to work and may need extensive medical care. Besides the financial stress caused by lost pay, the high price of medical care and rehabilitation services can be devastating.
It is essential to note that if you get hurt seriously on the job, you shouldn’t have to worry about losing your income, regardless of how the accident happened. A seasoned personal injury attorney in Georgia can help you file for workers’ compensation benefits.
Knowing the steps to take after a workplace injury is essential. You must take specific actions in the first 30 days after a work-related accident to ensure that you remain eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Contact an accomplished Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney for more information on the best course of action.
Workers’ Compensation After a Workplace Injury in Georgia
According to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC), workers’ compensation is an accident insurance program funded by your employer, which may provide you with medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits if you sustain injuries while working.
When an employee gets a workplace injury in Georgia, workers’ compensation benefits are designed to help them return to work after recovering from their injuries.
How do you tell if your employer has workers’ compensation coverage? Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for businesses with three or more employees, including temporary or seasonal workers, according to the SBWC.
If you suffer a workplace injury in Georgia, and your employer is obliged to have coverage, you can file a claim as soon as the first day you start working for them. You may find out if your employer has workers’ comp insurance through the SBWC website.
What Are Your Responsibilities as an Employee After a Workplace Accident?
It is normal to get confused after an accident. Workplace accidents can be life-changing and cause severe injuries. Follow the steps below to protect your legal rights after an accident at the workplace.
Report Your Injury Before the End of 30 Days
The first and most significant requirement of the SBWC is that you notify your employer of your workplace injury in Georgia within 30 days of the incident.
You may be unable to collect workers’ compensation if you wait longer than 30 days to report the accident. Therefore, it is crucial that you adhere to this timeline and realize that you need to act fast if you want to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.
Ensure to notify your boss, supervisor, or foreman as soon as possible after the accident.
Seek Prompt Medical Attention
Getting checked out and treated after sustaining a work-related injury requires scheduling time with a doctor certified by the Workers’ Compensation/Managed Care Organization (WC/MCO).
The SBWC Employee Handbook emphasizes the importance of seeking medical attention from a doctor on the employer’s posted list to continue receiving workers’ compensation payments. Local Georgia laws state that your employer must provide a list of at least six doctors to choose from.
However, this rule can be exempted in case of a medical emergency. There is no need to stick to the posted list or medical practitioners if you need emergency medical care from a doctor who is not on it.
However, you must consult a doctor on the accepted list once the emergency has passed. You must also be open and honest with your attending physician as part of your treatment. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company will foot the bill for your medical care if you sustain an injury while on the job.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Once you have obtained medical attention for your workplace injury in Georgia and reported it to your employer, you can proceed with filing your workers’ compensation claim. A seasoned personal injury attorney in Georgia can help you fill out a WC-14 and submit it to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation for processing.
You must give your employer and the company’s workers’ compensation insurer copies of the WC-14 form you fill out after a workplace accident.
The process of filling out the workers’ compensation claim usually involves multiple steps:
- Fill out the WC-14 form
- Ensure you have at least three copies of your finished WC-14 form by making multiple duplicates
- Submit the original WC-14 form to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation
- Send a copy of your completed WC-14 form to your employer
- Send a duplicate of the completed WC-14 form to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer
- Keep a copy of your completed WC-14 form for personal records
- Document all medical appointments and injury-related expenses
If you are unable to work for more than seven days after filing your claim, and your treating physician agrees, you may be eligible for weekly income benefits. According to the SBWC, injured workers are entitled to two-thirds of their average weekly income, up to a maximum of $575 each week.
Contact a Seasoned Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta Today.
It can be stressful to try to remember everything you need to do to file a workers’ compensation claim within the first 30 days after an injury.
If you have been injured while working in Georgia, you deserve fair compensation for your injuries. You don’t have to handle this ordeal alone. Get the help you deserve from an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney at Bethune Law Firm.
Our team of dedicated and compassionate lawyers has years of expertise representing clients in workers’ compensation cases across the state of Georgia. We’ll help you file a workers’ compensation claim and handle all correspondences with your employers’ insurer so you can focus on what matters most: recovering fully from the injuries.
Call 1-800-INJURED to speak to one of our dedicated team members and schedule a free consultation to evaluate your case.