In Georgia, If you were hurt while you were working you are most likely entitled to workers’ compensation. Your employer is responsible for providing medical care and for paying you partial wages while you are recovering. Georgia companies are required to have workers’ compensation insurance specifically for this purpose. Some people who get hurt on the job may be afraid to report the injury or file a claim because they are afraid of being fired. However, companies are not allowed to terminate employment because of an injury the worker suffered while on the job.
On-the-job injuries occur on a regular basis. If you were hurt at work, you are probably entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer must provide you with partial wages and medical care during your recovery. Companies with more than three employees are generally required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. As a worker, you have benefits and protections afforded to you by law. Employers cannot terminate your employment simply because you were injured at work.
What Are Employer Responsibilities?
Employers must follow the rules and requirements set forth by law. In Georgia, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation handles workers’ compensation claims. When an employee is off of work due to a work injury, the employer must keep the job, or a similar position, open for you while you are recovering. You must have a job to return to once your recovery is complete. Your employer cannot require you to return to work until you have clearance to do so from your physician.
A company must provide a safe work environment at all times, and adhere to the safety standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers need to inspect equipment and properly maintain it to ensure safety. They must also train employees on the use of the equipment and need to supervise work. If the employer is negligent, it could cause a serious accident with injuries or fatalities. Employers are required to report a work injury to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. If the employer doesn’t file a claim, you can do so within one year of your injury.
An employer cannot fire you in an attempt to stop you from getting workers’ compensation benefits or filing a claim. Employers may not always agree with a workers’ compensation claim, but they cannot take matters into their own hands and fire the employee. The dispute must be resolved through the workers’ compensation claim process. An employee is generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if he or she is partly responsible for the accident that caused the injury. There may be some circumstances in which a negligent employee will not receive benefits.
Protections for Employees
Generally, employers must follow some rules and regulations regarding workers’ compensation claims. When an employee is out of work due to a work-related injury, the employer is required to keep your job or a similar job open for you. In other words, you will still have a job to return to once you are completely recovered.
Sometimes an employer may think they can terminate an employee to make a workers’ compensation claim go away or as retribution for filing a claim. An employer cannot fire you simply for filing a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, if they were to do so you would be able to file a civil claim against them.
However, you should also keep in mind that your employer can terminate your employment for other reasons. If you have had problems in the past that were documented, your employer may be ready to take action against you for those reasons. However, they would have to show that the reason for termination was not because you filed a workers’ compensation claim.
What Can I Do To Protect Myself?
The best thing you can do to protect yourself against an employer is to document everything. In many of these types of cases, the employer has little or no evidence to back up claims of previous behaviors that would cause someone to be fired. Make sure that you follow up any verbal conversations with an email that outlines the points of discussion. This will document the dates and times of conversations as well as the details that were discussed. Do not allow yourself to get into a verbal or physical altercation because that could certainly be grounds for termination.
If you were hurt on the job, it is usually best not to discuss the matter with other employees. This can make your employer uneasy and create discord between the management and employees. At the same time, talking about the case could cause problems with your claim.
How to Protect Yourself After a Work Injury
As an employee, you are entitled to benefits if you get hurt at work. However, you must follow the proper procedures. You must report the injury to your employer as soon as it occurs. Reporting the incident to your supervisor or human resources department will ensure that the claim gets handled appropriately. Don’t wait to report an injury, because it can be more difficult to prove that you got hurt while you were at work. Visit the doctor or hospital as soon as possible and follow the orders prescribed by the physician. Do not return to work until you get medical approval.
It is also helpful to get guidance from an experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney. Your lawyer understands workers’ compensation cases and will help you through the entire process including filing a claim and working through any problems that may arise. A skilled attorney can mean the difference between a smooth workers’ compensation claim and one that has problems or is denied.
Get the legal help you need from our skilled Rome workers’ compensation lawyers at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers. Contact us today to get answers to your questions and discuss your case.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.