In this article we answer a question about one of the responsibilities of the insurance company during a work related injury.  Work related injuries are covered by insurance policies governed by the Georgia worker’s compensation law.  If you have not read it, visit our article “What is Georgia Worker’s Compensation” for a general understanding of the law.  There are many detailed aspects to worker’s comp so we have created a large number of videos and articles to help explain it.

What Are the Requirements of Worker’s Comp?

It’s a reasonable question to ask if the employer is required to take care of you while you are out with a job related injury.  In fact, it’s a common question.   This answer is fact specific to your situation.  The short answer is: maybe.   To answer the question, we need to know a few things:

  • First of all, are you an employee?
  • Second of all, does your employer have three or more workers full time?
  • Third, do they have workers compensation insurance coverage? Some guys don’t. And if they don’t, it’s much more difficult to deal with an employer directly when they’re not covered under the Georgia Workers Compensation Act.
  • Where you employed and on the job at the time of your injury?
  • Where you acting in the scope of the job?
  • Did you follow the procedures by notifying the employer that you were injured on the job and seek appropriate medical treatment?

What Is Required of the Employer in a Worker’s Comp?

The employer must provide a valid insurance policy to provide for you if you are injured while in the scope of your job duties.  This is where things get complicated.  If your employer has the insurance, follows the rules and your injury is cut and dry in the scope of your employment, you probably have a valid work injury.  You are required to notify your employer of the injury immediately (or as soon as you are able).  Do not assume that they know you are injured.  You must let them know to be on the safe side. Easily remove the guesswork by saying, “I was just injured.” Tell them if you need treatment.

Employers are required to provide you with a panel of Physicians where you can get treatment.  The key is to get you better and back to work.  If you are following these steps and your employer is not responding, you should find a qualified and experienced Georgia Worker’s Compensation attorney.  There is no need to suffer and no need to allow your injury to become worse.  You may not need to hire an attorney, but you can get some direction on how you need to proceed and get things on track for your care.

There are cases where the insurance company delays, over and over.  This is in the hope that you will be too frustrated and just give up and return to work or go work elsewhere.  Many people do.  The issue here is that many employers are not familiar with the process themselves.  They have a worker’s comp insurance company and they figure that’s the extent of it.  Most of the time, that’s what happens but the insurance company is all about shifting the financial responsibility back onto the company so if they can get you whole again and back to work, they are no longer paying.  Your employer begins paying you again.

An employer must hold a job for you in the event of a work injury but it does not mean it will be the one where you were injured.  It also may not be one where you made the same amount of money.  This is often where the point of contention comes in; the employee is better, ready to return to light duty and learns that the employer has no light duty job available.

What’s Next?

As you can see, things can either go smoothly or get pretty complex.  This all depends on the facts of the situation.  Employer requirements in worker’s comp cases often have many issues to resolve.   This is why we review cases regularly to offer guidance to employees on how they should proceed.  Not every case needs a lawyer to intervene, but when it does, we are here.  Contact us here if you need us.

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