If you are like most people who live in the state of Georgia, you probably go to work with the intention of doing your job and going home to your family once your workday is complete. The thought of being injured on the job is something that has never crossed your mind. Most people only become familiar with workers’ compensation after they have been injured on the job, and they find themselves in need of a Workers’ compensation lawyer in Macon. Due to the fact that on-the-job injuries can occur at any time, it is important for people to understand how it works and how to file a claim should the unthinkable happen.
Workers Compensation Differs From Regular Insurance Plans
The first thing you need to know about Worker’s compensation is that it differs from the health insurance plan your employer offers you. Most benefit plans offered by employers don’t start until after an employee’s probationary period has ended. Worker’s compensation is available to employees immediately. Employees generally share the costs of their health insurance plans with their employers, that is not the case with worker’s compensation insurance. Every employer in the state of Georgia with three or more employees is mandated to provide worker’s compensation benefits. If they fail to do so, employers can be held criminally and civilly responsible for any injuries their employees sustain on the job. In addition, employers may also be fined.
Following the Process
It is important to note, that if you have been injured on the job, and you need to file a worker’s compensation claim in Macon, Georgia, time is of the essence. There are a number of steps you need to take to ensure your claim gets processed in a timely manner so that you can receive the medical attention you need.
Report Your Injury to Your Employer
The first thing you need to do if you are injured in your workplace is to notify your employer as soon as possible. Most employers have a process in place to deal with accidents and injuries that take place on their premises. You need to make sure to follow the policies and the processes your employer has in place so that your incident is documented. You should never hesitate to let your employer know that you have been injured no matter how minor you may think your injury is. There have been numerous instances where employees have been injured on the job and made the assumption that their injury was minor because they weren’t in a great deal of pain, only to find out weeks later, that their injury was much more substantial than they first realized. It should be noted that any injury that is reported 30 days after the fact could lead to you losing your right to file a worker’s compensation claim.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
When you have an on-the-job injury, your employer may send you to employee health, or even an outside clinic that they have contracted with to assist them when employees are injured on the job. Although it is important to comply with your employer’s process, it is also important that you are also evaluated by your own medical practitioner. When filing a worker’s compensation claim, you need to make sure you have as much documentation relating to your injury, how it happened, and your prognosis as possible.
Seek the Services of An Attorney
Oftentimes people who have been injured on the job make the mistake of believing that they don’t need any assistance in filing a worker’s compensation claim. The fact is, once an employee has been injured on the job, things change. You may have a congenial relationship with your boss, but you need to understand that there are a number of factors that come into play after you have sustained a workplace injury.
Depending on the type of injury, and its extent, governmental agencies may get involved. The incident will have to be reported and documented, however, OSHA may decide to conduct an investigation to determine how the incident occurred, and if the employer was at fault. If it is determined that the incident occurred as the result of your employer’s negligence, your employer could be fined.
Once a workplace injury is reported, you need to be cognizant of the fact that your employer’s attorney will be brought into the fray to help protect their interest. It is often difficult for employees to understand why their employer needs to involve their attorneys when they have a workplace injury, and they have a great working relationship with their employer. It is important to remember that your employer is operating a business, and they have to protect their interest. Their actions are not personal attacks against you. They need to protect their interests, and this is why you need to make sure you have an attorney who is there to protect yours.
Obtain and Submit Your WC-14 Form As Soon As Possible
When you have been injured on the job and are unable to work, it is extremely important that you get the financial assistance you need, so that you can keep your household running, and your medical expenses can be taken care of. Working with legal counsel to complete your WC-14 Worker’s Compensation Claim Form as quickly as possible ensures that your form will be completed correctly and in a timely manner. The state of Georgia mandates that WC-14 forms must be submitted within a year of the injury. Many people find WC-14 forms to be tedious and difficult to complete. When they are not filled out correctly, your claim could be denied. Your claim could also be denied if the information on your WC-14 is left blank of information submitted to the Worker’s Compensation Benefits office that is suspected of being falsified. An attorney who specializes in worker’s compensation cases can ensure that your paperwork is correctly completed, and submitted. An attorney will also mitigate encounters with your employer’s attorneys, and ensure that your rights are protected.
Let Us Help You
An on-the-job injury can be devastating and can lead to permanent incapacitation. Above all, making sure that you can live the best quality of life following your accident is the most important thing. To learn more about how to file a worker’s compensation claim in Macon, Georgia, and how an attorney can help you in the process, give us a call here at the Mann Law Firm. We look forward to serving you.