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 of 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 posted list, 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 you do not comply with your medical treatment, your benefits could be stopped.
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. They may be looking for an excuse to fire you.
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 workers’ compensation insurance adjuster is. Confirm that information by contacting the workers’ compensation 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 of Workers’ Compensation at (404)656-3818 or (800)533-0682. Your case is different and unique to your situation.
Contact the Monk Law Firm immediately for a free consultation. We would like to help you and your family during this difficult time.