Did you know that employers report over 2.7 million non-fatal injuries each year? We all want to believe that our employers our looking out for our best interests when an awful accident occurs.
Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Many businesses do not want to pay the increased insurance premiums caused by a work-related injury. So, sometimes, that can involve denying you benefits that they are required by law to give you.
That’s why it’s important to know exactly what to do after workplace accidents occur. Luckily, we made this guide for you.
In it, we’ll walk you through everything you should do to get the compensation for your injuries that you’re entitled to. Let’s get started!
Call 911 and Seek Medical Attention
Your safety is the first thing that matters. As such, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as you can. In the event of an injury that needs to be treated right away (like broken limbs or deep cuts), you should call an ambulance.
Other injuries, like sprained ankles or concussions, might not seem like a big enough deal to take time off from work. But it’s important to note that these injuries can often be more serious than they appear.
So, if you’re able, you should take time off from work to visit a health facility authorized by the employer. If you can’t get off from work, then go immediately after. Make sure you tell the healthcare provider about the accident in detail, including what caused it.
You should also keep documents related to all your medical visits. This includes doctor notes and billing documents. All of these are important for later filing your claim.
Report Your Injuries to Your Employer
Once your work-related injuries have been taken care of for the time being, then it’s time to report your injuries to your employer. Don’t wait to do this.
Under Georgia law, you have 30 days from the date of injury in which to provide notice of your injury to the employer. You shouldn’t rely solely on a verbal report. Tell your employer that you want the necessary paperwork to file a written report of injury and keep a copy.
It’s their job to provide you with an official claim report. However, certain stubborn employers might require you to get a second opinion from a doctor provided by the company.
If they won’t budge on this point, then undergo another round of assessments. And don’t worry. If they deny your claim based on evidence from the second assessment, then you have the right to appeal.
File A Workers’ Compensation Claim
Once you get your form, both you and your employer will need to fill it out. It’s considered good form if your employer files this report as soon as the accident happens.
That way, all of their records are completely up to date. It’s generally recommended that you hire a lawyer to help fill out your claim. This is especially true if your employer seems reluctant to provide you with benefits.
That can help ensure that you complete it correctly and have the highest chance of getting your claim. Once you submit your claim, make sure you keep a copy of the document for your records.
After you submit the claim, your employer’s insurance company will have fourteen days to respond.
Remember that you want to act as fast as possible when submitting your claim. You won’t be able to access any of the benefits until all of the paperwork has been completed.
What Happens If Your Claim Is Denied?
If your claim is denied, or you aren’t happy with the benefits that come with them, then you have workers’ rights to seek an appeal. However, the first thing you should do is reach out to the insurance company.
In some cases, the denial might be due to a paper filing mistake or similar error. If the claim denial wasn’t a mistake, then you might be tempted to accept the outcome.
However, it’s important to fight these instincts. Remember that some employers will attempt to save costs by any means possible. This can include dangerous work practices and poor workers’ compensation benefits.
By fighting for an appeal, you not only get yourself the benefits you deserve, but you also create a safer workplace. After all, if you don’t do anything, then there’s nothing preventing another employee from getting hurt, just like you.
If you apply pressure, then your employer will put up employee safety measures that stop it from happening again.
Just make sure that you seek the help of a professional lawyer when seeking an appeal. These professionals can fight for you to ensure that you have the best chance of winning.
Are You Eligible For Disability Compensation?
In some cases, your injury might require you to get long-term assistance. Or, worse, it can lead to life-changing complications in the way you live your life.
If you fall in this category, then you have the right to apply for one of the four programs offered by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (or OWCP).
These programs can provide you with medical treatment, wage replacement, vocational rehabilitation, and more benefits. However, whether or not you can claim them will depend both on the nature of your injury and the duration.
Injured in Workplace Accidents? Contact Hollington Brown LLP
We hope this guide helped you learn what to do right after workplace accidents occur. Here at Hollington Brown LLP, we know how stressful and traumatic these injuries can be.
That’s what makes it so unfair when employers or insurers refuse to properly compensate you for your time and injury expenses. Luckily, we’re here to help you.
Whether you need help filing a workers’ compensation claim or legal help if you’ve been denied one, we can assist.
If you need help, then contact us today to get the compensation that your workplace injury deserves.