After a workplace injury in Atlanta, it is very important that you see a medical professional right away. You need to see a doctor even if you are not certain that your injury is a serious one and even if your initial symptoms seem mild. Seeing a doctor promptly is important because you want to preserve your right to make a workers’ compensation claim. If your symptoms don’t go away or it turns out the injury is worse than initially anticipated, having medical records documenting the injury after it happened will be very important to being able to make a benefits claim.
There are specific rules you must follow for seeing a doctor and getting your medical bills covered by workers’ compensation. An Atlanta work injury lawyer can help you to understand what the requirements are for making a successful workers’ comp claim to get medical bills paid for. An attorney can also help you if you are not getting the medical care that you believe you deserve after sustaining an on-the-job injury.
The Rules for Seeing a Doctor after an Atlanta Workplace Injury
If you have life-threatening injuries, getting to the hospital is of primary importance and your bills should be covered regardless of which hospital you go to. If your injuries aren’t immediately life-threatening, however, you should make sure you follow the rules for going to see a doctor under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.
Under Georgia law, an employer pays for authorized medical treatment but you have to go to a certain medical care provider. Your employer has to provide a posted list of medical care providers for you to choose from. There are two primary ways an employer can post such a list. Your employer can post a traditional Panel of Physicians which has the name of at least six doctors on it. Your employer could also post the name of a certified Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization that the employer has contracted with.
If your employer uses a Panel of Physicians, you may be able to get an exception and see a doctor not on the list if it is demonstrated that none of the physicians are reasonably accessible to you. The Panel of Physicians also has to include at least one orthopedist and it cannot contain more than two industrial clinics. If it is possible to do so, an employer should also include at least one physician on the list who is a minority.
If an employer uses a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization, your employer has to post a 24-hour toll free number to reach the organization and has to provide notice of medical service providers.
Regardless of which of these two options your employer has chosen, you are allowed to switch your doctor one time once you start getting care, without the permission of your employer. You should promptly find a physician who is on the list or who participates with the Managed Care Organization so you can get treatment right away after a work injury.
The Atlanta workplace accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent employees or their families after a workplace injury or death. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.