What should I do if my Georgia employee is injured on the job?
You work hard to make your business a safe place to work. But things happen. And, when they do, you need to react quickly.
There are two major steps to take after a workplace accident in Georgia.
1. Make sure your worker gets medical attention.
If the injury is serious, call 911. Don’t wait. If the injury isn’t serious, show your employee the panel of approved physicians (which should be posted prominently in your office) and explain that they need to select a medical provider from the list.
In either case, getting medical attention for your employee is your first priority.
2. Let your insurance company know.
Complete Section A of the WC-1 Employer’s First Report of Injury form and submit it to your insurance company. They’ll process the form and advise you as to next steps.
Covered the big stuff? Let's look at some other things you need to know.
Who is responsible for filing a Georgia workers’ comp claim?
You are. Your employee is responsible for letting you know about the illness or injury, but then the ball is in your court to file with your insurance company. If you don’t fill out WC-1 promptly, you might be penalized. So don’t procrastinate.
What if my employee’s claim isn’t valid?
If something doesn’t seem right about your employee’s claim, tell your insurer immediately. They’ll be able to advise you as to the appropriate next steps. In Georgia, you have a couple options. First, you can file a Workers’ Compensation Fraud form, which will trigger an investigation by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. It’s also possible to request professional mediation by filling out form WC-100. It all depends on the situation (and your insurer will be able to advise you).
Can I choose a doctor for my employee?
Great question—and an important one. By Georgia law, you are actually required to post and maintain a list of approved medical providers. This posting requirement can take several forms. For example, you could post a list of at least six physicians (or professional associations of physicians) who are reasonably accessible to your workers. Or you might need to post information about the Managed Care Organization your insurer contracts with.
Either way, there’s a pretty specific set of requirements and you’ll need to talk to your insurance company to see what will work for your situation. (You can also find the rules for selecting providers in the Georgia Employer’s Procedure Manual.)
In general? When an employee is injured or gets a work-related illness, they’ll pick a provider from your posted list. (Unless the injury is serious, in which case—emergency room, pronto!)
Can your employee sue you?
If you have workers’ comp, probably not. A big reason that workers’ comp exists is to protect the employer—that’s you—from any lawsuits which might arise from an employee injury or illness. That means your employee won’t be able to sue you in most cases. (Get a quote for workers’ comp now.)
What happens if an employee dies on the job?
If the worst happens, call your insurer immediately. Then you’ll need to call the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) at 1-800-321-OSHA to report the death (this needs to happen within 8 hours of the accident).
Have more questions? Your insurance company has done all of this before.
Long story short? Bring your insurer into your situation as soon as possible. They know what they’re doing and, as soon as they’re notified of the illness or injury, they should be in touch soon to talk next steps. They’re familiar with Georgia law and can walk you through whatever you need to do to stay compliant.
Don’t have a workers’ comp policy? We can help with that. Get an instant estimate on a Huckleberry policy in less time than it takes to get a cup of coffee. Everything’s online. Everything’s easy.