What to Do When Injured at Work
At Cruz & Associates, our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers have helped thousands of clients all over the Atlanta area handle their workplace injury claims and other civil actions. We understand how jarring and confusing a workplace injury can be. The workers’ compensation claims process isn’t exactly straightforward, and many issues can interrupt, delay, or lead to denial of a claim. We want Georgia employees to know what to do after a workplace injury.
Report Your Workplace Injury
The first step any injured worker should take, aside from seeking medical care, is to report the injury to his or her supervisor. While some serious injuries may demand emergency medical attention, employees who suffer less severe workplace injuries should report them as soon as possible. Although the Workers’ Compensation Law allows employees 30 days to report an injury starting on the date of the injury, any delay can weaken the employee’s claim.
It’s important to remember that some injuries do not appear immediately. Repetitive motion injuries or other stress-related injuries may take time to develop noticeable symptoms. In these situations, the 30-day time limit begins on the “date of discovery,” or the date the employee started noticing symptoms. An injured employee should ideally report the injury immediately to start the claims process. It’s also wise to reach out to a reputable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney for guidance during the claims process.
Seek Appropriate Medical Treatment
Once an injured employee has reported his or her injury, the employer must provide the employee with contact information for acceptable doctors to provide treatment. Each employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will cover treatment at a list of several doctors. The employee must choose from one of these doctors, except in case of emergency. If an injured employee requires immediate medical attention, any doctor will do. However, once the employee’s emergency situation ends, he or she must receive treatment from a doctor on the employer’s list.
It’s essential for injured employees to seek appropriate medical treatment and refrain from exaggerating the extent of an injury. Any dishonesty or other issues with a claim could lead to an early termination of benefits or a dispute from the employer. For example, if you claim benefits for an injury that prevents you from working for a month, but your employer notices recent pictures on your social media profiles that conflict with your story, your employer may dispute your claim for exaggerating the extent of your injuries.
Seek a Reliable Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If an employer or an employer’s insurance carrier unjustifiably terminates or denies a claim, it’s vital to connect with a reliable workers’ compensation attorney. The right attorney can help you file an appeal on your claim, gather the evidence necessary to strengthen your case, and uncover any impropriety on the part of your employer or the insurance carrier.
Cruz & Associates has the resources and legal experience to handle the most complex workers’ compensation claims. A workplace injury can leave an employee wondering what to do next, and we are here to help. Reach out to our firm to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our attorneys. We will review your situation and let you know your options and how we can help.