The Timeline Following a Workplace Accident

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The workers’ compensation process differs from a civil lawsuit to collect damages for third-party liability or other types of personal injury claims. You and your employer are held to strict procedures and timelines governed by Georgia workers’ compensation laws.

To collect benefits under the Georgia workers’ compensation system, you must follow these procedures in a timely manner:

  • Report your injury immediately — Notify your supervisor, manager or foreman about an accident within 30 days or you risk losing your benefits.
  • Find out where to seek treatment — Your employer should have posted a list of eligible medical providers from whom you are permitted to seek treatment under the workers’ compensation program.
  • Obtain medical treatment — Your employer’s insurance carrier is required to cover authorized bills for doctor visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, prescription medications and travel expenses related to your occupational injuries.
  • Continue with medical treatment — If you sustained your injuries after July 1, 2013, your medical care is limited to 400 weeks (unless you suffer catastrophic injuries, which may entitle you to lifetime medical benefits). However, your doctor may determine you have reached maximum medical improvement before that period expires.
  • Receive income benefits — You are entitled to income benefits if your injury prevents you from working for more than seven days. Expect to receive your first check 21 days after your first missed day of work.
  • Determine whether you qualify for disability benefits — Your authorized treating physician may provide you with a permanent disability rating, which affects whether and how much compensation you receive.
  • File a claim for benefits — If you do not receive your benefits, you must file a claim with the State Board of Workers' Compensation within one year from the date of your accident.
  • Request a hearing — A hearing is scheduled typically within 60 days from the date the judge receives your request. A Georgia Administrative Law Judge decides whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits and the amount.

Topics:  Damages, Third-Party Liability, Workplace Injury

Published In: Worker’s Compensation Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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