What to Do After a Workplace Accident in Riverdale
In addition to the physical pain of your work-related injury, you might be concerned about missing work and even losing your job. However, your first concern should be protecting your health and preserving your rights under the workers’ compensation program.
Riverdale employers might not do a good job of letting employees know what to do after a workplace accident. However, following some simple, common-sense procedures could help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
First, Notify Employer
An employee could lose their right to workers’ compensation benefits if they fail to make a timely report of the injury to their employer. “Timely” means within 30 days. However, waiting so long could undermine a worker’s claim for benefits.
Further, the insurance companies that provide workers’ compensation coverage to employers often try to limit their liability. One method the companies use is to deny claims by asserting that an injury did not happen at work or at all. Additionally, when a worker waits to report an injury to their employer, they leave themselves open to scrutiny.
It is important to inform an employer of a work-related injury on the same day that it occurred, or within a day or two at most. If the employee delivers the notice in person, they should follow up in writing with a letter, email, or text, so that the employee has a record of delivering the notice, as well.
When Should an Injured Employee Seek Medical Treatment?
Employees who are involved in workplace accidents should also pursue medical care as soon as possible after the incident, even if they are not experiencing any or minor symptoms of injury. Many soft tissue injuries like strains and sprains do not exhibit symptoms immediately. However, medical professionals know what questions to ask to identify injuries that are not yet presenting symptoms. In addition, if it becomes necessary to at some point defend a claim, a local lawyer could use the medical records generated at the initial visit to prove that the employee’s injury is work-related.
The Official Code of Georgia §34-9-203 requires employees to seek initial treatment from an employer-approved provider. The employer must have several approved providers for the employee to choose from. Except in cases of medical emergencies, employees who seek initial treatment from a doctor who is not on the employer’s list of approved providers endanger their right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Keep Thorough Records
An injured worker could help their case by documenting everything that occurs related to their injury in a journal, notebook, or electronic format. The documentation could include:
- Circumstances of the accident
- Descriptions of the injuries the accident caused
- Notes of conversations with medical personnel, including dates and times
- Test results, pharmacy records, receipts, and other proof of injury
- Symptoms and impacts of injury on daily life
Should an employer ever dispute a claim, these records could help a workers’ comp attorney establish the relationship between the injury and the workplace accident.
A Riverdale Attorney Could Explain What to Do After Your Workplace Accident
Many workers’ compensation claims proceed without controversy. The injured employee receives the free medical care and wage benefits they are entitled to, recover fully, and return to work. However, many workers do not receive the benefits they deserve because the employer’s insurance company wants to save money.
Bringing a local lawyer onboard could smooth the process of collecting your benefits. After a workplace accident in Riverdale, an attorney could advise you on what to do to work toward compensation. Preserve your rights by scheduling a consultation as soon as you suffer an injury in a workplace accident.