Five Steps to Save Your Job and Protect Your Right to Workers’ Comp Benefits
When you are injured on the job, you should receive workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, some employers and insurers don’t pay what they are obligated to by law. Even worse, sometimes employers will actually try to fire a worker who has gotten hurt or who is on workers’ comp disability in order to avoid continued benefits.
You need to understand your rights, take the necessary steps to get benefits, and get appropriate legal help to protect your job. Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect yourself. These 5 steps below can help you to save your job and your workers’ compensation case so you benefit from the protections the law provides.
Knowing what to do after a claim can be complicated, even if you follow this advice. The best way to protect yourself is to put your case in the hands of an experienced legal professional. A Savannah workers’ compensation lawyer at Parsons & Associates, P.C. can represent you in your case and help you to get the benefits you deserve. Parsons & Associates, P.C. also has Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers who can help with your claim. Give us a call at (770) 422-9000 in Atlanta or (912) 303-5850 in Savannah to schedule a free consultation.
Protecting Your Job and Your Georgia Workers’ Comp Benefits
If you are injured at work in Atlanta, Savannah or anywhere in Georgia, taking these five steps will help ensure your bills and losses are covered and your job is protected:
- Report the accident to a supervisor immediately. You have a limited amount of time to report the incident that caused you harm. Telling a friend or a co-worker is not enough; someone in a position of authority needs to be alerted. Ensure that the supervisor you tell writes a report of the incident and ask for a copy of the report.
- Find the list of authorized doctors. You must see a doctor authorized by your employer in order for your medical bills to be covered. There should be a list of six company doctors, called a “panel of physicians” on the wall in your workplace. If you do not see a list of approved physicians, ask your supervisor or the personnel or human resources department. If there is no list of company doctors, you may choose any physician you like. However, if a list exists and you go to your own doctor, the employer and insurer may not be obligated to pay treatment costs.
- Get medical help as soon as possible after your injury. Emergency treatment can prevent more serious injuries from occurring, and it must be paid for by your employer regardless of whether there is a posted list of doctors or not. Even if you are not sure you have been badly hurt, it is best to get checked out in case your injuries turn out to be serious. The sooner you get medical help, the easier it is to document that your job caused your injuries and that you are thus entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You’ll also need to follow all doctor’s orders in order to continue receiving benefits.
- Keep your employer updated. When your doctor imposes work restrictions or says you cannot work, your employer must be notified. You need to provide written proof of the doctor’s orders to your employer and you should keep a copy yourself for safekeeping. Your employer may have rules on when you need to call in, and you should be sure to comply so you do not lose workers’ comp disability benefits.
- Make sure an insurance claim is filed. Your employer is responsible for filing a claim with the workers’ compensation insurer after you report your injury. The insurer cannot begin paying you benefits unless the employer provides notification. You can, and should, verify with your employer that the First Report of Injury is sent to the insurer. If your employer or the insurer will not give you the information you need, contact the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Following these steps should help you to make a successful claim and should help you to avoid being terminated due to a work injury.
Unfortunately, there are some situations where getting benefits is a lot more complicated than just reporting your injury. An experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to do everything possible to get the full benefits you deserve. Call (770) 422-9000 today to speak with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer or (912) 303-5850 to speak with a Savannah workers’ compensation lawyer at Parsons & Associates, P.C.