Being injured in your workplace can have serious impacts. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control, 18% of the 1,176,340 nonfatal work injuries resulting in days away from work in 2020 were related to slips, trips, and falls. Whether you suffer a slip and fall, a broken bone or even a burn, getting injured at work can be a life-changing moment.
Instead of being able to earn money for you and your loved ones, you have to deal with surgeries, doctors’ appointments, treatments, and recovery time. Meanwhile, the bills pile up. It’s tough, but at Morrison & Hughes, we know what it takes to get your life back.
If you do sustain an injury on the job, it is important to act as soon as you can and understand your rights. In the moments after your injury, you should seek medical care immediately.
Then, after securing your health, you should start collecting the necessary documentation. The first piece of documentation in a workers’ compensation case is the injury report that you submit to your employer.
Regardless of the nature of your workplace injury, when you’ve been hurt, you’ll need time to focus on your well being and ensuring your family is taken care of. When the injury is serious, it can set a lot of obstacles in place: how do you balance your recovery or medical treatment while you pay your bills and watch over your loved ones?
In this blog post, we’ll review some major reasons why you should report your workplace accident. We’ll discuss everything from the documentation you’ll need and when you should report your injury.
Delaying a Report Could Hurt Your Case
You should report any injury to your employer right away. Waiting too long may impact your workers’ compensation claim if you decide to file later. It could also give your employer and their insurance company an opportunity to claim that your injury was not serious, not caused by a workplace incident or even made up. That’s why it’s important to report your accident as soon as possible so that you can start the process on your claim.
According to Georgia law, you have 30 days to report your claim to a supervisor (or an appropriate person in management of the company). However, waiting 30 days to report your claim, rather than reporting it immediately, will likely make your employer and their insurance company skeptical of your claims. You also have only one year after your injury to actually file a claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensations. You cannot rely on your employer, or their insurance company, to do this for you.
Not Reporting At All Means You Will Not Get Compensation You Deserve
Sometimes, injured employees do not bother to file a claim or even report an incident because the injury does not seem significant. But what many people don’t realize is that even minor injuries can have lasting impacts. This is especially true if your particular position requires physical labor that exacerbates the injury over a long period of time.
So, what do you need when documenting your injury? The time after an injury at work can be chaotic. If you are able to do so, you should keep track of the following information, but if you are unable due to the nature of your injury, have a witness (like a trusted coworker) keep track of them for you:
- Written, dated report of injury
- Texts and emails between you and your employer.
- Police reports, EMS reports, OSHA reports, and other governmental reports on the accident
- Independent Medical Evaluations (IME) or peer review
- Statements from the you (the employee), your employer, and any witnesses
Reporting Your Injury
Now that you know how important it is to report your injury in the state of Georgia, let’s review the different pieces of information you need to include in your workplace injury report.
You may be asked the following information:
- Date and time of the workplace accident that caused your injury
- Where you were when your injury happened
- What task you were engaged in when you were hurt
- The symptoms you experienced that made you aware of your injury
- The parts of your body affected by your injury
- Coworkers or colleagues who witnessed the incident and the subsequent injury
Injury reports are particularly strong when they have a lot of detail, are clearly worded and give a complete picture of the incident’s circumstances. You should also make sure to list every single body part that was injured, otherwise you are unlikely to get any care for that injury. At Morrison & Hughes, we may assist you with completing your injury report. Furthermore, we don’t back down from pushy employers who might want to wrongly blame the injury on you instead of their own negligence.
Reporting Quickly Means You Can Get Compensated Sooner
After you’ve reported your injury, you should organize any communications you have between you, your employer, and your employer’s insurer. When you have all of the documentation, the filing process can begin very soon–and you can get compensated much more quickly.
Consider getting an attorney involved early to walk you through the process of getting the claim fully reported and getting medical care set up. Claim documentation can be complex, and your employer’s insurers will try to direct you to the most insurance-friendly doctors, to ensure that you get the least amount of payment possible. This helps them close the claim quickly, and without an attorney, they are good at accomplishing this result. A good attorney will help you pick your doctor, and educate you about your rights when it comes to medical care.
This process can be difficult; it’s a good idea to stay informed about the facts regarding this matter. When you’ve been injured at work, it’s crucial to keep track of all of the documentation that comes with your injury as soon as you are able.
When in doubt, always err on the side of caution and keep anything having to do with your injury, even if you don’t think it’s important. This could include files, prescriptions, doctors’ notes, papers or emails that are sent to you–and emails that you send. Your attorney will want to review these records.
No matter the nature of your injury–how minor or how serious–it’s important to report it as soon as possible to your employer. Reporting your injury as soon as possible will ensure the strength of your workers’ compensation claim, and it could very well get it resolved more quickly than if you had waited or not filed at all.
But if you’ve been injured at work, you should know that you’re not on your own. At Morrison & Hughes, we don’t back down against insurers who don’t want to pay out. Leave the work to us while you recover from your workplace injury. We’ve got a team of trusted professionals who employ our wealth of knowledge and the latest technology to get you the compensation you need.
If you’ve been injured, reach out to us today for a free consultation of your case.
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