A Georgia worker who gets injured on the job must take the proper steps when seeking medical treatment. Appropriate medical care is necessary for the worker’s recovery and health. It is also important in maximizing workers’ compensation benefits.
If you get injured in the workplace or when performing official work-related duties, you must seek treatment immediately, even if you believe your physical damage is only minor. Seeking treatment quickly brings two benefits.
- Quicker treatment generally means a better chance of recovery.
- Your employer will have less opportunity to argue that your injuries occurred off the job.
Dragging your feet in deciding if medical treatment is necessary will always work against you. Why risk slower recovery or a decrease in benefits?
In Georgia, an injured worker can receive medical treatment at the expense of the employer or the insurance company. Injured workers are commonly treated through a panel of physicians approved by the employer and the insurance company. The employer must post a list of the physicians in a conspicuous place on the company’s premises. Workers must be informed by the employer how to choose a doctor from the panel. The physicians have the freedom to treat the injured worker or to refer them to another specialist.
The doctor providing care, who could be different from the initial physician, will make important decisions such as:
- What treatment is needed?
- Is the injury work-related?
- Are light-duty restrictions needed?
- Is time off needed?
The doctor’s decisions will affect treatment and the workers’ compensation benefits he or she might be entitled to.
The treating doctor controls the medical care and the overall case. It is important, therefore, to choose a good physician from the panel. It is also vital to consult a skilled and experienced Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer to help you navigate the often-confusing workers’ compensation process.