According to the Georgia Occupational Health Surveillance Report, an average of 75,000 on-the-job injuries occur within the state each year. Unfortunately, many of these injured workers simply do not know what to do after an accident. This can put their legal rights at risk. It is critical that all injured workers are able to protect their rights, so that they can recover the full and fair compensation they deserve. If you have suffered a work-related injury, the following will outline important steps that you need to take in order to protect your rights.
Four Things You Need to Do after Suffering a Work Injury
- Report the accident to your supervisor: Injured employees should immediately report their accident to their supervisor. The failure to report your injury within the appropriate time frame could put your legal rights at risk. You have a right, and a responsibility, to report your injury. If a supervisor tries to intimidate you into not reporting a workplace injury, please contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
- Seek professional medical assistance: If you require emergency medical care, you should call 911 to receive immediate assistance. Otherwise, ask your employer for the contact information for an approved doctor so that you can schedule an appointment for treatment. Many work injuries are worse than they initially appear, you should always get yourself a comprehensive medical evaluation. This is critical both for your health and for your ability to recover injury compensation.
- File a formal injury report: Georgia law requires you to file a formal report of your injury within 30 days of the initial incident. Even if you have already notified your supervisors, you still need to fill out all official paperwork. The failure to do so could cost you your workers’ compensation benefits.
- Return to work, but only when you are ready: Once your doctor determines that you are able to return to work, you should do so. The failure to comply could put your workers’ compensation rights at risk. In some cases, you may be asked to return to work, but you may be advised that you will have certain physical activity restrictions. That being said, you should not let your employer push you back on the job before your doctor approves it. You have a legal right to take the time you need to recovery.
It is important to note that workers’ compensation benefits will cover your care and some of your lost wages, but it will not fully compensate you for your loss. To be sure, workers’ compensation does not cover pain and suffering.
When to Contact an Attorney
Some workplace injuries are fairly minor, and will not require professional legal assistance. However, if you sustained any type of moderate or serious injury or you were denied adequate work injury benefits, you need to get your case in the hands of an experienced work injury attorney immediately. Specifically, you should contact a Georgia work injury attorney if:
- Your injury prevents you from returning to work, even temporarily;
- Your employer is disputing your injury claim;
- You incurred significant medical expenses; or
- Your settlement offer does not cover the full extent of your losses.
Furthermore, even if you were injured on the job, you may even have a claim against a third party; this would be the case, for example, if you were struck by a car driven by an individual not employed by your employer. Or, if you were shot while working as a property manager, you would likely have a claim against the complex owner.
Were You Injured at Work?
You deserve full and fair compensation for you injuries. If you have been injured while on the job in Georgia, our work injury attorneys can help. Our team has extensive experience protecting the rights of work injury victims. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today to learn more about what we can do for you.