Workers’ Compensation Notice Requirements: The Burden is on the Injured Worker
If you or one of your family members has been injured in a workplace accident in Georgia or has developed a medical condition as a result of daily job duties, it is very important for you to know how and when to seek workers' compensation benefits. Georgia’s workers' compensation law is a no-fault system. This means that you may receive lost wage benefits and medical treatment regardless of who is responsible for your injury as long as your injury arose out of and in the course of your employment.
Georgia places the burden of reporting a work related injury on the injured worker. This means that it is your responsibility to report an on-the-job accident to your supervisor or someone in management with your company as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Although the law allows for a 30 day notice requirement, the longer you take to give notice of an accident, the higher the likelihood that your claim will be denied.
When you report your injury, it is essential that you inform your supervisor that you would like to receive medical treatment. It is also critical that you tell your employer about every body part that you think may have been injured in the accident. Your employer is required to show you a list of doctors to choose from for your FIRST visit. Your employer should NOT just send you to the local company clinic and give you no choice of medical providers.
In Georgia, whoever controls the workers’ compensation medical treatment, controls your case. Your best bet is to contact a workers’ compensation attorney immediately after your injury. An experienced attorney will know which doctors on the panel would be best suited to provide you with the highest quality medical treatment for your particular injuries. You should not give a recorded statement to an insurance adjuster without consulting with an attorney first!
When you see the initial doctor for your injuries, it is imperative that you tell the doctor about every body part that is hurt. If you seek treatment for body parts months several months or even years after your accident that were not originally listed as part of your claim, treatment will be denied by the workers’ compensation insurer.
It is never too early to speak to a lawyer about your case. But waiting to talk to a lawyer can cost you thousands of dollars when it is time for settlement. If you would like to learn more about how to protect yourself or a family member after experiencing an on-the-job injury, please contact our office for a free consultation. We will provide you with the expert advice that you need!