Runaround from Employer
Are you getting the runaround from your employer? Sometimes supervisors or human resource directors don’t understand workers’ compensation, and sometimes, they simply want to bully you out of making a claim. The bottom line is that with few exceptions, you are automatically covered by workers’ compensation if you are injured on the job – even if you were at fault in the accident.
Examples of “compensable” accidents and injuries include the following:
- you fell from a ladder and hurt your hips and back
- your back “pops” when you are picking up a box;
- your job involves moving heavy boxes and your back strain or neck pain has become worse and worse over a period of weeks or months;
- your job involves typing or other repetitive motion and your wrists are aching and swollen (carpal tunnel syndrome)
- you were hit on the head with a metal beam and you are now having trouble remembering or seeing clearly
- you twisted your knee at work a week ago, and it remains swollen and painful;
Georgia law requires you to provide notice of injury to your employer within 30 days of that injury. Your employer is required by law to file a “first report of injury” with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
If your employer does not cooperate or seems to be giving you the runaround, you should file a notice of claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation to protect your rights under the law. The State Board form is called a “Form WC-14” and you can download this form directly from the State Board. I use a computer program that generates as Form WC-14 and I file it electronically on behalf of my clients.
If you choose to complete and mail in a WC-14 on your own, please be careful as the information you include on this form will become part of your official claim file.
Employers are not allowed to choose any other option than workers’ compensation if you report an on-the-job injury. I sometimes hear from clients that their employer (who often may be the owner of a small company) offered to pay medical expenses directly or encouraged the injured worker to file a claim under health insurance. Employers do this to avoid using their workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
If your employer tries to discourage you from filing a worker’ compensation claim you should be very suspicious. I can tell you from experience that these situations never work out well for the injured employee. If you are not sure what to do, please contact me confidentially to discuss your options.