If you fall off a delivery dock and break your leg at work, cut off your finger while slicing vegetables at the deli, or contact a long term illness from work, workers’ compensation insurance is supposed to cover your medical expenses and pay for any lost days of work. Though employers notoriously underreport on-the-job accidents, millions of Americans are hurt at work each year. Almost 8,000 people in Georgia made official workers’ compensation claims between January and June of 2019 alone!
During the stressful aftermath of a workplace injury, employees who apply for workers’ compensation will also be facing intimidating regulations, specific deadlines, and may not even be aware of all their rights and protections. Atlanta workers may differ from rural workers, and injury claims and procedures can vary widely by industry across Georgia.
There are steps employees can take to protect themselves in the event of a workplace injury.
- Immediately report every injury or work related illness to your supervisor, your HR Department, and your union representative if you have one.
- Visit the employer-specified medical provider, or workers compensation may not cover your full bill.
- Tell the medical providers you were injured on the job.
- Make sure your medical records are detailed and complete.
- Request your employer’s workers compensation policy handbook or brochure.
- If your employer says you’re not covered, he or she may not be correct (or may be lying). This could significantly delay your claim.
If your claim is denied or significantly delayed, perhaps it’s time to contact the best workers compensation attorney Atlanta has to offer. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney knows the laws regarding coverage in Georgia, and remember that procedures in Atlanta may differ as much from Las Angeles as from New York in important ways. Legal counsel will protect YOUR best interests and can help you navigate a sometimes daunting system during a time of physical, emotional, and financial difficulty.
Your counsel will request a formal copy of the Employee’s Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits form, accurate and detailed records of your injury (or illness), and a record of the days of missed work, dates of treatment, driving and/or expenses for medical treatment, and all of your out-of-pocket prescription costs. The more accurate your records, the stronger your case will be. Therefore, following the steps above will help you significantly during a difficult time.