If you are injured at work during a workplace accident, it is imperative that you take the steps highlighted below:
- Seek medical attention: your health is a priority, and you must treat it as such. Following the workplace injury, seek immediate medical care. Even if you do not have any visible injuries, you should still visit your doctor for a thorough examination. Some injuries are internal and can be life-threatening without medical intervention. An advantage of visiting the hospital is that you would have medical evidence to support your claims when you decide to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If you skip or delay this step, you risk your employer and their insurer questioning the severity or existence of your injuries.
- Report the accident to your employer: this report is another vital step that can determine your eligibility for receiving benefits. Even if it is a minor accident, notify your employer or immediate supervisor. Per the laws in Georgia, an employee who fails to submit a written report of a workplace injury or occupational disease within 30 days of the accident may forfeit their right to compensation, according to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) Title 34 Appendix. § 61. Missing this deadline, even if you are deemed eligible for compensation, can have a significant impact on the terms of approval of your claim and how much you receive in the settlement.
- Complete the forms: after officially informing your employer of the injury, they will provide you with the Workers’ Compensation Form to complete. Fill the form as accurately and completely as you can and mail it to the nearest office of the workers’ compensation board. You should know that your employer’s insurance company will gain access to this form, so ensure that it is devoid of errors.
- Speak to a personal injury lawyer: the road to collecting benefits can be tough. Having legal representation in your corner can help protect your rights and navigate the insurance company’s process. Your lawyer can inform you of the laws regarding workers’ compensation, determine what your claim is worth, let you know if you can change the doctor selected by the insurance company, and the role independent medical examinations will have on your claims.
Your Rights if Injured at Work
Every injured employee seeking workers’ compensation benefits will have to deal with an insurance company. The lack of legal knowledge of workers’ compensation can make it possible for the injured employee to make an error in the insurance company’s favor. It is helpful to know that as you gear up to pursue compensation, you have the right to:
- Report your injury to your employer and complete the necessary paperwork
- File for a claim for your occupational disease or workplace injury in a civil court
- See a doctor and receive medical treatment for your injuries
- Return to work if your physician clears you
- Receive some type of disability compensation if you are unable to return to work, whether temporarily or permanently.
- Select another doctor to treat you
- Disagree and appeal any decision made by your employer, your employer’s insurance company, and the court
- Have legal representation
The Benefits You Are Entitled to Receive
There are four types of disability benefits, each covering specific damages and weekly wages compensating for lost income and loss of future earning capacity.
- Temporary total disability: this benefit covers employees who are off work for a limited time due to a temporary disability that impacts their ability to perform any job duties.
- Temporary partial disability: those who can perform light job duties until they get to work and function at their previous capacity can receive this benefit.
- Permanent total disability: this benefit covers employees who are permanently and totally disabled and unable to return to work after suffering from workplace injuries.
- Permanent partial disability: employees receive permanent partial disability if the complete or partial loss of the body or body part partially impacts their ability to work.
Family members are entitled to death benefits under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-265 if the employee died due to a workplace injury.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Common Workplace Injuries
According to the National Safety Council, an employee suffers injuries on the job every seven seconds. The most common workplace injuries include:
- Trips, slips, and falls: these accidents account for a significant number of workplace injuries. The reason it happens frequently can be attributed to wet or oily surfaces, uneven sidewalks, loose rugs, poor lighting, clutter, and more.
- Being caught in the throes of a machine: employees that work with heavy machinery are likely or be caught or struck by a moving machine. This accident may result in severed body parts, blindness, crushed arms and hands, and possibly death.
- Motor vehicle accidents: collisions and other types of car accidents, such as being struck by a moving car or falling from a moving car, can cause employees to suffer debilitating injuries that can be fatal.
- Repetitive strain injury: this injury is common in the workplace since most jobs have a routine movement. The repetitive motion of the wrists, arms, and legs can result in serious fractures over a prolonged period.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Are Here to Help
If you or a loved one was injured at work, you may benefit from investigating your legal options. As a personal injury firm, we have dedicated our time and efforts to protect the rights of the injured and help them fight for compensation for their damages. If you would like assistance, call us now at (404) 888-8888 to discuss your case with a member of our team.