It is very important that you take the proper steps upon suffering an injury on the job in order to preserve your right to Workers’ Compensation benefits. Here is a general step-by-step guide to preserving that right.
- Report the accident to a supervisor or your employer as soon as possible.
- Make sure a written report detailing the accident is made and you get a copy of this report. If your supervisor or employer will not make a written report, you should write a report of your own.
- A panel listing physicians should be posted in a common area that you are allowed to see for treatment of your injury. If you do not see the poster, ask your supervisor, the personnel department or your employer about this list of authorized doctors. If there is a posted list and you do not go to a doctor on that list, your employer or their insurance company will not have to pay for your treatment. If the list is not posted and you are unable to find such a list, then you may go to any doctor of your choice.
- Pick a doctor and make an appointment to see the doctor as soon as possible.
- If an emergency arises due to your injury, go to the nearest hospital, emergency room or your personal family doctor regardless of whether the treating doctor is or is not on the authorized list. Your employer and the insurance company must pay for any emergency treatment regardless.
- It is very important that you take heed and follow all instructions given you by the doctor. Attend all appointments with your doctors or therapists and follow the work restrictions you are given.
- If a doctor restricts your work or excuses you from work, get it in writing. Keep a copy and forward a copy to your employer. It is very important that you keep your employer up-to-date on your situation and treatment.
- If a doctor excuses you from work indefinitely, inform your employer immediately and find out how often you are to call in. Comply with this requirement religiously.
- Most employers have insurance companies to handle all their workers’ compensation claims. Know who the insurer is. You may speak directly to the adjuster, be careful of what you say. Confirm that information by contacting the insurance company. You may speak directly to the adjuster, but be careful of what and how much you say. Down the road you may have to justify or defend what you say now. Make sure your insurance company has received the first report of injury from your employer. Make sure they also know about your doctor, your treatment, your work restrictions plus your job status.
- To protect and preserve your right to Workers’ Compensation benefits, you must file a claim with The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (with some minor exceptions) WITHIN ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF THE ACCIDENT. You may obtain a claim form by calling the State Board at (404)656-3818 or (800)533-0682.
Your case is different and unique to your situation.
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- STOP — State law requires the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident to immediately stop his vehicle at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible without obstructing traffic more than is necessary. DO NOT LEAVE THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT UNTIL YOU ARE GIVEN PERMISSION TO BY THE POLICE OFFICER AT THE SCENE. You may be charged with more serious offenses if you do not remain at the scene of the accident.
- ASSIST THE INJURED — Check for injured persons. If someone is injured, ask the emergency operator to send an ambulance immediately. Do not move the injured person unless you know what you are doing. Good intentions on your part may result in further injury to the victim.
- PROTECT THE SCENE — Take all possible precautions to prevent further accidents. Warn approaching vehicles about the accident. If the accident occurs at night, use road flares, reflectors or flashlights.
- CALL 911 — Calmly notify the emergency operator of the accident and give as close a street address or cross-street locations as possible. If there are injured people, ask the operator to send an ambulance immediately.
- COMMENTS — Keep your comments about the accident to a minimum. Do not offer any opinion on the accident. Keep all your notes and information strictly to yourself. Share this information only with your attorney. Do not offer to pay for any damages. After careful investigation, you may find that the other party may be equally negligent or more negligent than you are. Allow the legal system to take its course.
- ASSIST THE OFFICER — Give the officer your driver’s license and insurance card. If asked by the officer, offer only the most basic facts as briefly as possible. Refrain from any argument with the other driver, regardless of what he says. Remember - what you say here, you may have to defend in court. Any statement made may be used as an admission. You have the right to consult an attorney before making any statement. Consult an attorney as soon as possible.
- IDENTIFY THE OTHER DRIVER — Obtain the other driver’s name, address, phone number and the registration number of the vehicle he is driving, and request him to physically exhibit to you his driver’s license.
- WITNESSES — Obtain and write down the names and addresses of any and all witnesses of the accident as soon as you can.
- PICTURES — Use your cell phone or any other camera available to take as many pictures of the scene as possible.
- WHEN TO LEAVE THE SCENE — Only leave the scene of the accident after the police officer at the scene says you are allowed to leave. Be certain that before you leave, obtain from the officer, the accident case or report number. Ask him when and where you can obtain an official copy of his report.
If you are cited (given a traffic ticket) at the scene, sign the citation. Signing the citation does not mean you are accepting blame, admitting wrong or pleading guilty to anything. Any argument to the contrary should be made in front of the judge, not the officer.
- SEE A DOCTOR — Many times, physical signs of injury do not show up immediately. To be safe, go see a doctor. Have yourself evaluated by a physician as soon as possible and do what the doctor tells you.
- CALL YOUR LAWYER — It is important to preserve your legal rights in this accident. Your attorney will give you more instructions to follow. Refer all calls from the other driver, especially the other driver’s insurance company and all other inquiring minds to your attorney. Do not make any more statements about the accident to anyone else without first checking with your attorney.
- INFORM YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY — Call your insurance company and inform them of the accident. Ask you attorney for advice. Do not give a long complicated report. Make the report as simple and as basic to the facts as possible. Failure to make a prompt and correct report may affect your rights.
- MEDICAL TREATMENTS & REPAIRS — Work with the advice and consent of your attorney. Continue with your medical treatments as you are told. Generally, it is a good idea to obtain at least 3 repair quotes to get your car repaired from 3 different reputable auto-repair facilities.
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS BEEN THE VICTIM OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE, CONTACT AN ATTORNEY IMMEDIATELY.
Medical Malpractice cases are often complicated and costly. There cases are usually very fact and medicine intensive. Expert analysis is required. Further, victims’ rights have been significantly impacted in recent years by the Georgia State Legislature. A determination about the viability of any potential claim can only be made by competent counsel. A tremendous amount of litigation has occurred in this area of law. Victims and their families need someone whose opinions they can trust.
Gather as many of the medical records related to the possible malpractice as you can to assist in the case evaluation.
Contact counsel as soon as possible. Medical malpractice cases almost never settle without a lawsuit being filed. There is a two year statute of limitations from the date of the malpractice in which to file suit. Significant time may be necessary for a proper evaluation so that experts can be contacted for their opinions. In addition, significant resources may be required to fight and prevail in these cases. It may take $50 - 100,000.00 just to get a case to trial. Choose counsel carefully and choose someone you can trust to fight for your rights.
Cooperate completely with the counsel you choose. Once you have made this important decision, counsel will need your full cooperation to build a case that can win at trial. Listen carefully to the advice you are given.
Medical malpractice claim can put a great strain on you and your family. Let us help you take some of the worry away. Call today for a FREE CONSULTATION.
IF YOU BELIEVE A CRIMINAL ACT HAS BEEN PERPETRATED AGAINST YOUR LOVED ONE IN A NURSING HOME, CALL THE POLICE IMMEDIATELY.
Listen intently to your loved one. Listen to what they have to say. Take into consideration they may have limited capabilities to communicate with you about their situation. Careful monitoring on your part may be required.
Look for signs. Frequent visits to the nursing home may be necessary. Make your visits at different times so as to assess the care provided during all times of the day, but also on weekends and holidays.
Observe what is going on around you when you visit. Take note of the interaction between the staff and the residents. Watch them eat. Look at what they eat. Taste their food.
- Visit frequently. Vary your visits to different times of the day and evening to assess the care provided during all times of the day, night, weekends, and holidays.
- Talk to nurses and aides about your concerns.
- Talk to the Director of Nurses, Social Worker and Administrator.
- Talk to the doctor about what medical care is available.
- Call the long-term care ombudsman. The ombudsman is a state appointed advocate for nursing home residents and helps protect residents' rights. The ombudsman can, with the resident's permission, investigate and try to resolve the concern. However, the ombudsman does not regulate the facility. The state of Georgia’s ombudsman can be reached at:
Office of the State Long-term Care Ombudsman
2 Peachtree Street, NW, Suite 9-231
Atlanta, GA 30303-3142
Tel: 404-463-8383 Tel: 888-454-5826
- Nursing homes in the state of Georgia are regulated by the Georgia Department of Human Resources. This agency is required by law to investigate your complaint. If they substantiate your complaint, they have the authority to issue a citation against the facility, impose a fine, and require corrective action. The Georgia Department of Human Resources can be reached at (404) 657-5258 or (404) 657-5319 and at http://dhr.georgia.gov/portal/site/DHR/
Finally, you may pursue legal action against the nursing home on behalf of your loved one. There are time limitations for such an action to be taken. Attorney Tom Monk will help and provide guidance on how to proceed with such an action.
State Bar of Georgia Nursing Home information link.
If you believe a defect in a product caused your injury, the law gives you the right to potentially bring a claim against the manufacturer of the product. A product can be anything from an automobile, a machine, a tool, a chemical, medicine, food or drink. A product can be defective in one or many ways. It is very important that you take the proper steps in preserving your right of recovery and compensation caused by the defect in that product.
Here are some important steps to follow.
- Seek medical help immediately, when necessary.
- Make sure the doctors know about the involvement of the product that harmed you.
- Do what the doctors tell you to do.
- Document the entire incident by writing down every detail possible about the incident, regardless of your feeling about its importance.
- Identify and document (by name, addresses and phone numbers) any witnesses that may have seen the mishap.
- You MUST keep the product or what is left of the product.
- Do not let the manufacturer or its insurer have or look at the product.
- It is very important that the product be kept as pristine as possible as evidence.
- If the product is too large and you cannot take control of it, pictures must be taken as soon as possible to prove what the product was like at the time of your injury.
- It is important to have the accident promptly investigated and the product examined by an expert while the evidence is fresh and witnesses still available. Delaying investigation may make it harder to prove.
Proof of a defective product is complicated and usually requires technical experts in the product to testify. Sometimes, it is even difficult to identify the responsible party. Seek advice from a lawyer experienced in these cases.