Injured On The Job? Fight Back

1 of the most common mistakes injured workers in Georgia make

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | Workers' Compensation

Workers in Georgia get hurt on the job every day. Every industry has unique risks, such as contact with equipment in a factory or chemical exposure in an industrial facility. There are also injuries that are a concern for people in any profession. A teacher could slip and fall just as easily as someone working as a server in a restaurant.

An injured employee who gets hurt on the job can usually apply for workers’ compensation benefits. Employees in Georgia typically have workers’ compensation coverage provided by their employers. If they get hurt while working, that workers’ compensation policy can cover their expenses related to medical care and even provide them with disability benefits.

Unfortunately, workers often make mistakes that can impact their benefits. For example, the following is potentially the most common mistake made by those in need of workers’ compensation coverage in Georgia.

People fail to report their injuries to their employers

Many injured employees hope that they can recover quickly. Particularly if they are partially responsible for their injury because they made a mistake at work, they may not want to disclose what happened to their employers. It may only be when their condition progresses and they realize they cannot keep working like they normally do that they seek out benefits.

By that point, the situation may have gone too far. There are actually relatively strict rules about reporting an injury or diagnosis to an employer. The law governing workers’ compensation coverage in Georgia requires that injured employees inform their employers of their condition within 30 days.

If someone suffers an injury in a specific precipitating incident, they need to make management aware of that incident as soon as possible to protect their right to benefits. The same is true of a worker diagnosed with a job-acquired medical condition, like carpal tunnel syndrome.

Once a worker notifies their employer, the company must take steps to address the matter, including notifying the workers’ compensation insurance provider. The insurance company usually has 21 days to investigate the claim and make an initial determination on it. Even if the company tries to dispute the claim, the worker still has rights. Workers can appeal unfavorable determinations, but only in cases where they follow the right protocol when seeking benefits.

Those who report the matter to their employer and seek medical care as soon as possible may have the best chance of getting the coverage they need. The failure to report an injury to an employer and the failure to file a claim until after someone’s condition worsens can leave them ineligible because of the state’s reporting requirements.