At the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, our legal team knows how to fight the “big” insurance company that may try to take advantage of you when you file a claim to receive workers’ compensation benefits. There’s no question that the entire process can be confusing and overwhelming if you don’t know what to do or know what rights you have.
Our goal is to help injured workers throughout the claims process. We will fight insurers who fail to provide fair resolutions to your case and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
In workers’ compensation cases, you also have certain responsibilities to meet. Knowing what these are and what your employer’s role is will pay off in the long run.
Steps to Take After Being Hurt on the Job
If you are injured on the job, taking the appropriate steps to protect your right to recover benefits is important. The steps to take in this situation include:
- Report the accident or incident to your employer, which means the HR department or your manager. If possible, file a report in writing and keep a copy of it.
- Get medical treatment as soon as possible and be sure to follow the treatment plan provided by your doctor.
- Keep a written journal or record of all the injuries and symptoms you experience after the accident and injury.
- Take photos of the accident scene (before leaving after the accident) and any visible injuries you sustained.
- File a workers’ compensation claim with your employer’s insurance company.
- Get in touch with our legal team to help you with the process.
How to File a Marietta Workers’ Compensation Claim
As mentioned above, there are specific steps to take after being injured on the job. However, additional steps must be taken to file a workers’ compensation claim. These include:
- Report the incident to your employer within 30 days.
- Fill out a WC-14 form if the insurance provider denies your claim. Keep copies of the completed form before sending it to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. A copy should also go to your employer and their insurance provider.
Your attorney can help you fill out and file the required forms to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Reasons Your Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim May be Denied
Sometimes, your employer or their insurance company may deny your claim. This can happen for several reasons.
Failure to Report the Incident or Accident
For example, if you do not report the incident or wait too long to report it, your claim may be denied. At this point, your employer or their insurer may claim the accident did not occur at work, which is why you failed to report it promptly. By reporting the incident right away, you can avoid this situation.
Not Seeking Medical Attention
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must report the incident and seek treatment from an approved doctor. If you don’t seek treatment within a reasonable amount of time, your employer or their insurer may state you were not injured or that your injuries were not very serious. This is another reason your claim may be denied.
A prior injury or pre-existing condition may complicate your workers’ comp claim; however, it does not disqualify you from receiving benefits. If this is a potential issue in your case, it is best to contact our law office to discuss the situation and ensure your rights are protected.
Failure to Pass a Drug Test
When reporting a workplace accident, your employer or their insurance company may require a drug test. There is no legal obligation to comply with this request (unless random drug testing is in your employment contract); however, it may lead to the denial of your claim.
Worker’s Compensation Benefits After a Workplace Accident
After experiencing a workplace injury, workers’ compensation can provide several benefits. For example, the coverage can pay for your medical treatment costs and all your prescriptions. These benefits can also cover part of your lost income when you cannot return to work because of the accident and injury.
If you have dependents, they may be able to claim death benefits if your accident is fatal.
In situations where your injury causes you to miss over seven days of work, you will receive two-thirds of your average weekly earnings. Based on how severe your injury is, you may receive lost income benefits for 400 weeks or more.
Important Information About Workers’ Compensation Laws in Georgia
According to Georgia law, all employers must keep a list of injured workers’ rights in a location where all workers can access it. Employers must also post at least six doctors who injured workers can see and are covered by their workers’ compensation insurance. One of these doctors must be an orthopedic surgeon.
If you sustain an injury while on the job, you must immediately inform your employer about the incident. You also need to ask about workers’ compensation. Your employer is required to file a claim with their insurance provider, and the insurer has the right to deny or approve the claim.
It’s wise to contact our legal team as soon as possible after a workplace accident. Never agree to a settlement or sign anything until speaking with an attorney. This is particularly important if you believe the settlement offer is low.
Protecting Your Rights After a Workplace Accident
If you are injured at work, it can be a confusing and stressful experience. You may fear retaliation from your employer (which is illegal) or be concerned about the medical costs related to the injury. However, you have the right to recover workers’ compensation in most cases. Contact the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines to schedule a free initial consultation. We will help you recover the benefits you deserve.