If you work in a high-risk industry such as construction or in a mill or factory, the chances that you may suffer an injury on the job are above average. If you do sustain an injury on the job, you should prepare so you know the next steps to take.

These simple tips can help you understand the basics in terms of your rights and responsibilities following an on-the-job injury. Although it can be a painful and confusing time, the good news is that there are laws that protect your rights and you can get help.

1. Report your injury

Although reporting your on-the-job injury may seem like a very obvious step, not all workers immediately report their injuries. Many employees fear that if they report their injury, they could be fired and lose their only source of income. However, in Georgia, if you wait more than a month to report your injury to your employer, you could lose the opportunity to claim benefits.

2. Calculate your wages if you miss work

The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act provides benefits to employees for lost wages in the event that the employees have to miss work due to their injury. Claiming the lost wages requires that you calculate your wages following a specific calculation based on your earnings in the 13 weeks prior to the injury. This calculation can be complex, and oftentimes, workers turn to the professional assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney to help them arrive at the correct figure.

3. Keep accurate medical and administrative records

Make sure you document all of your medical and doctor visits and treatment as well as any administrative documents such as bills or communications with your employer. Keep a copy of everything so that if you do have to work with an attorney to settle your case, you can provide the documents to support your claim. 

The most important thing for you to remember if you suffer a workplace injury in Georgia is that you do have legal recourse to help you seek compensation for your injury. The best place to start is to contact a workers’ compensation attorney, as many offer free initial consultations, to examine the particulars of your situation and get advice about your case.