Mar 18, 2024

What to Do If You’re Hurt At Work in Georgia

Injured workers have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for their medical bills and partial wages. However, handling a claim alone can be confusing. What should you do if your claim is denied or the compensation is unfair?

Many injured Atlanta workers turn to The Law Offices of Hansford McDaniel – Workers’ Compensation Attorneys to fight for their rights and fair compensation. Our experienced workers’ comp lawyers are experienced in fighting for workers who were hurt on the job. We have over 60 years of collective legal experience and will passionately advocate for fair compensation for your injuries. Call (470) 251-9607 to discuss your workers’ compensation case.

Man With A Broken Arm Talking On The Phone And Smiling

What Is Workers’ Compensation?

Workers’ compensation is an accident insurance program paid for by your employer that compensates the medical bills, income, and rehabilitation for workers hurt on the job. Common covered injuries are falls, slips, trips, transportation accidents, and contacts with objects and equipment.

Workers’ compensation benefits are provided to you on a no-fault basis. Compensation is also provided to family members if a work-related injury causes a death.

The law requires businesses with at least three employees, including part-time workers, to carry workers’ comp insurance. The workers’ comp system covers you from the first day of your employment. You are entitled to workers’ comp benefits if you cannot work for at least seven days. Your first benefits check should arrive within 21 days after your first day of missed work.

Workers receive two-thirds of their average weekly earnings before the injury but not more than $800 per week for any accident on or after July 1, 2023. You may be eligible for up to 400 weeks of benefits, but you could receive lifetime benefits if the injury is catastrophic.

Workers with permanent disability will receive weekly benefits according to the type and extent of injury. According to the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, your treating physician will determine your rating by the American Medical Association.

What to Do After Being Injured On The Job

A benefit of Georgia workers’ comp coverage is you typically do not need to prove fault to receive compensation. If the injury happened on the job, you should receive benefits for medical treatments, wages, and rehabilitation. However, there are essential steps you must follow to receive benefits on time.

Report Your Injury

Under state law, you must report your job-related injury to your company within 30 days of the accident. Just telling a coworker who isn’t your manager or supervisor is insufficient. You should give the report verbally to a supervisor or in writing as your company policy dictates. Never presume that your employer knows you were hurt; always officially report the matter to a supervisor. You could lose the right to essential benefits if you don’t report the injury within 30 days.

When reporting the accident, detail how it happened, when it happened, and what injuries you suffered. The company should give you a workers’ comp claim form to fill out, and they will complete one, too. If you can, get a copy of their report.

Get Medical Treatment

Get medical treatment for your injuries as soon as possible. If it’s an emergency, you can get medical treatment from any doctor, and your company will cover it. It’s critical to receive medical treatment quickly after the injury. If you don’t, your claim could be questioned or even rejected.

Get a List of Approved Medical Professionals

If it is a non-emergency, your company may give you a list of approved medical providers. If you don’t get a list, ask your supervisor or HR department. You can go to a doctor of your choosing if you don’t receive a list of approved doctors.

File the Claim With the State Board

Next, file your workers’ comp claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You should keep a copy of this form for your records.

Keep your employer updated about your claim. You may need to give the employer information from your doctor about your medical treatments and restrictions. This documentation is critical to communicating the issue with your company and their insurance company.

You may want to obtain an experienced workers’ comp attorney anywhere in this process. Your attorney can help you deal with the system’s complexities and possibly negotiate a higher settlement than you can get alone. Your lawyer also knows the rules in Georgia about going back to work and could help you select a doctor who will best help your case.

If your workers’ comp claim is rejected, you have the right to an appeal. Your attorney will be invaluable in filing your appeal with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

Woman Holding Her Neck In Pain At The Doctors Office

Common Challenges In Workplace Injury Claims

The law says most employees in Georgia are entitled to workers’ compensation if they are injured at work. But sometimes, a valid workers’ comp claim is denied. Common issues with these cases are:

  • The worker doesn’t report the accident promptly.
  • The worker doesn’t see the doctor immediately.
  • The employer stalls the claim after the worker reports it.
  • There were no witnesses to the accident.
  • The employer says the worker has many prior injuries.
  • The worker doesn’t disclose a preexisting condition or injury.

You must protect your claim to workers’ comp benefits, so avoid making any mistakes during the reporting and follow-up process. Retaining an experienced workers’ comp attorney ensures your claim will be taken seriously and handled quickly.

Speak to an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

If you were injured on the job in Georgia, speak to a workers’ compensation attorney today. You could receive more compensation for your work-related injury with an attorney’s help than handling the claim alone.

Our attorneys have an impressive track record of six- and seven-figure workers’ comp claims, and we can assist you. We have successfully represented injured warehouse workers, coal miners, landscapers, airline workers, truckers, police officers, and more. If you were hurt on the job and have medical bills and lost wages, we can help you. Speak to a workers’ compensation attorney at The Law Offices of Hansford McDaniel today at (470) 251-9607.