Under the state’s workers’ compensation system, you can receive monetary compensation for work-related injuries and illnesses.
Your employer is required by state and federal laws to carry this insurance coverage. They are also expected to follow a set number of rules imposed by the government so that they remain in compliance with workers’ compensation policies.
While your employer certainly has a handful to comply with, so do you. As an employee, you have obligations immediately after the injury and continuing while you receive workers’ compensation coverage – otherwise, you will be ineligible for benefits.
What Are the Employee’s Responsibilities for Savannah Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Employees must act responsibly at work. In situations where an employee is drunk or under the influence of drugs, the insurer is not required to cover that work-related injury. Also, knowingly violating policies could make you ineligible.
It is vital that you understand your duties as an employee long before a work injury happens. That way if you do find yourself in the situation where you have been injured at work you know how to act appropriately and secure your compensation.
Employees Must Report the Injury
After an injury, you must report that injury to your employer quickly. Your employer or supervisor must then complete the first report of injury, which starts the case. If your employer does not complete the form, request that they do.
These forms must be turned into the state. Therefore, you will want to review the form carefully and look for any errors. Also, request a copy for your records.
Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation requires that you report the incident within 30 days. If you wait past the 30-day mark, you lose your benefits.
Seek Medical Treatment
Your employer is required to give you information about medical providers, but it is your responsibility to seek medical care.
Your employer has two options for presenting your medical treatment care:
- Traditional Panel – This is a list of six qualified physicians. You can choose one out of the six doctors to receive medical care from. The panel must include an orthopedic surgeon but realize you may only have one option for orthopedics.
- Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization – Under this option, your employer has contracted with a managed care facility to handle all work-related injuries and illnesses. You will receive a phone number to call which is available 24 hours per day. You can contact the managed care group to find a qualified physician for your plan.
Continue Treatment as Long as Required
Once you have begun treatment with an approved physician, you must continue the procedures and follow all doctor’s orders. If you ignore follow-up appointments, skip treatments, or stop taking medications prescribed to you, you are violating your obligations under workers’ compensation laws. Therefore, you could be denied further benefits.
If you disagree with one doctor’s diagnosis or treatment plan, you have the right to seek a second opinion. You can choose from the list of six providers or contact the managed care program to find another qualified physician.
Maintain Safety as Best You Can
Every job carries some risk to employee safety, but as an employee, it is your job to mitigate those risks. That means doing your part to maintain a safe work environment and not purposely cause your accident.
Blatantly ignoring safety protocols, fooling around, or showing up to the job drunk or under the influence of drugs means you have failed in your obligations – and you may not qualify for compensation.
Realize that after a workplace injury is reported, your employer has the right to request a drug and alcohol screen to determine if you were under the influence at the time.
Keeping Accurate Records
Do not rely on your employer, physician, or the workers’ compensation representative assigned to your case to keep records. Instead, do your part to keep records of treatment dates, medical appointments, mileage to and from your appointments, and any expenses you incur.
Give Your Employer a Work Status Report
You must return to work when you are physically able to do so. If your doctor has cleared you for duty, but you do not feel you are ready to return to work, discuss it with your work injury lawyer or the physician.
You must try to return to work. Doing so not only fulfills your obligation but helps establish that you have done your part to mitigate further losses.
You must also keep your employer up-to-date on your work status, and confirm any temporary work situations with your employer before you return.
Follow Physician Recommendations at Work
Even if you are approved to return to work, you may have restrictions assigned to you by your physician. It is imperative that you follow all restrictions and recommendations so that you do not further exacerbate the injury.
Speak with a Savannah Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have been injured at work, report the injury to your supervisor or employer immediately. Then, seek medical treatment so that you remain compliant with your workers’ obligations.
Next, contact a workers’ compensation attorney that will help protect your right to compensation and ensure that your claim is processed quickly.
Attorney Clarke Nash understands what you are experiencing with your work-related injury or illness. You have been seriously injured at work, and he can help ensure you do not lose your wages or pay for extensive medical costs.
Schedule a consultation today at 912-200-5292 or request more information online.