No one ever plans on getting hurt. When we do get hurt, most of us hope that it will be something minor that just gets better on its own.
However, sometimes injuries that seem minor end up causing major problems if not treated properly. Because of that, it is important to handle an injury the right way from the very beginning. Here are five important things you should do if you are injured at work.
Report the Work Injury to your Employer
Sometimes people do not report an injury because they do not think it is serious. Sometimes people do not report an injury because they think their employer will get upset with them.
Georgia workers’ compensation laws require you to notify your employer. If you don’t give your employer notice of your injury, you can be barred from receiving workers’ compensation benefits for your injury. So, be sure to let your employer know about your injury as soon as possible.
Get seen by a Doctor
When you are injured at work, your employer has a duty to provide you with medical treatment. Even if your injury is minor, it is better to be safe and get it checked out by a doctor.
Sometimes, what you think is a pulled muscle in your back may be a more serious injury like a herniated disc. It is important to get evaluated by a professional so you have the best recovery possible.
Get a copy of the Panel of Physicians
Georgia workers’ compensation laws give you some choice in the doctor who will be authorized to treat your work injury. Usually, your employer will have a “posted panel of physicians”. This is a list with at least six doctors on it.
This list determines what doctors your can choose to treat your injury. Also, if your employer does not have a proper list, you will have greater choice of doctors. It is important to get a copy of this list so that you can know your rights about medical treatment.
Follow your Doctor’s Orders
The doctor that you see will give you some important advice about at least two things: medical treatment and returning to work. It is important to get the medical treatment the doctor recommends.
Sometimes, you may run into problems getting that medical treatment because your employer or their insurance company does not approve it. You can read more about how to handle that here.
Your doctor will also tell you whether you should go back to work or stay out of work for some time. Usually, when the doctor says you can go back to work, the doctor will give you some work restrictions.
The reason that the doctor gives you work restrictions is so that you do not get reinjured. Be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions. If you go back to work on light duty, be sure to stay within the restrictions that the doctor gives you.