Anne Marie du Toit
Work Related Injuries: What to do if you are injured at work.
Studies show that the average person spends 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. When you spend such a significant amount of time doing something, the risk of sustaining an injury while engaged in that activity is not insignificant. In fact, the National Safety Counsel estimates that every 7 seconds a worker in the United States is injured on the job. If you find yourself involved in a work related accident it is important that you do your part to facilitate the workers' compensation process.
Most importantly tell your supervisor or manager what happened. This is true even if you think the accident and resulting injuries were minor. Sometimes pain does not become evident until a day or more after the accident occurs. Timely reporting reduces the risk of workers' compensation benefits being denied.
File a WC-14 with the State Board of Workers' Compensation, and provide a copy to your employer and their workers' compensation insurance carrier.
If you need medical treatment ask your employer for a copy of the panel of physicians. In Georgia, an employer subject to the Workers' Compensation Act must have such a panel posted in a prominent place, inform injured workers' of their ability to treat with a provider of their choice on the panel, and assist employees with contacting panel providers if needed. If your employer does not have a panel of physicians, you are entitled to treat with a doctor of your choice.
If receiving medical treatment, attend all appointments as scheduled. Be sure to communicate any work restrictions to your employer and insist that your restrictions be observed. If you begin losing time and money due to your restrictions, you may be entitled to compensation even if you continue to work in some capacity.
The workers' compensation system can be difficult to navigate. We highly recommend that you speak with an attorney to assist with protecting your rights over the course of your workers' compensation claim. Please feel free to reach out to the team at Payne & du Toit at 1-877-238-3221 for a free consultation.