This Legal Guide provides injured workers with recommendations regarding what course of action they should take if they sustain a workplace injury.
NOTIFY YOUR EMPLOYER
Under Georgia law, you have 30 days in which to notify your employer of a workplace accident. Notice can be either written or verbal and can be given to your direct supervisor. While you may have 30 days to notify your employer of your workplace accident, it is always in your best interest to notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible.
GET MEDICAL TREATMENT WITH A PANEL DOCTOR
By law, nearly all employers in Georgia are required to maintain what is known as a "panel of physicians." This panel must include a list of at least 6 doctors from which you are allowed to seek medical treatment. After you have notified your employer of your injury, be sure to ask your employer to see the panel of physicians and then choose a doctor from that list.
YOUR HEALTH IS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT - GET MEDICAL TREATMENT
When you are hurt at work, getting medical treatment is the most important thing you can do. In the event that your employer either does not have a panel of physicians or does not make the panel of physicians available to you, seek treatment at an emergency room or walk-in clinic. Should you be forced to treat at an emergency room or walk-in clinic, make sure that you tell the doctor that you were hurt at work and explain to them the circumstances surrounding your accident so that they can be documented in your medical records.
MAKE SURE THE DOCTOR ADDRESSES WORK RESTRICTIONS
Whether you end up seeking medical treatment with a panel physician or at an emergency room or walk-in clinic, make sure that the doctor treating your specifically addresses your ability to return to work. When treating for a workplace injury, a doctor will either remove you from work completely, allow you to return to work with certain light duty restrictions, or release you to return to work at full duty without restrictions. The type of work restrictions placed upon you following your accident will be of vital importance moving forward, so be certain that your doctor addresses your work restrictions following the accident.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY WHO SPECIALIZES IN WORKERS' COMPENSATION
When you are injured at work, it is never too early to obtain legal counsel in order to ensure that your rights are protected and to ensure that you receive all of the workers' compensation benefits to which you are entitled.
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