Injuries in the workplace are quite common. If your job responsibilities require physical labor or the operation of any equipment or machinery, the risk of you getting hurt on the job increases. Injuries can happen even in office jobs. If you are injured while working, your employer should have workers’ compensation insurance which covers your loss of income and your work-related medical expenses.
However, filing the workers’ compensation claim and dealing with the state agency can be confusing and frustrating, especially when you are not feeling well and are trying to heal from your injuries. If you try to do this yourself and are not familiar with the process, you might do it incorrectly, which can result in your claim getting reduced or even denied.
Fortunately, the attorneys at the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Athens, GA, can help you in the Athens workers compensation claims process. Our highly experienced attorneys can represent you in filing your claim accurately and negotiate for all the benefits that you are entitled to receive. We are experts in the workers’ compensation laws in Georgia, and we will fight for your rights.
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How Can I Know if My Injury Will Be Covered By a Workers Compensation Claim?
Georgia’s Workers Compensation Law states that as an employee in the State of Georgia, the laws cover you when you have a work-related injury. You are covered on the first day of your employment. The law requires any employer who has three or more employees to provide workers’ compensation coverage to their employees.
The coverage is broad in scope. When you suffer from any injury or illness as a result of your work, you can file a workers’ compensation claim. This covers any time you get hurt when you are performing your job duties during work hours. The injuries can include the following:
- Physical injuries from lifting heavy objects
- When you slip and fall
- When a heavy object falls on you and you suffer bone fractures
- When you strain your muscles and tendons from repetitive motion
- When you are exposed to chemicals at work that led to health problems
- When the work environment is unhealthy or unsafe which resulted in illnesses
- When you are injured in an auto accident while traveling on company business (but not when you are going to or coming from work)
- And much more.
The injury or illness must happen during the time when you are performing a work duty in order for it to be covered under workers’ compensation. If you are hurt while you are at lunch or when you are on break, your injury is not likely to be covered, unless your boss asked you to perform a job errand for him during those times.
If you had an old, pre-existing injury, you can still claim workers’ compensation if your work duties exacerbated your old injuries and made them much worse. An example is an old back injury that became painful again from lifting heavy boxes at work, so painful that you could no longer without a lot of suffering. In a case like that, you can report your back injury and file for workers’ compensation.
You should be aware that there are situations when you will not receive workers’ compensation. You will not be covered if your injury on the job was caused by your use of alcohol or drugs if you were fighting with a coworker, if you were engaged in activities that were construed as willful misconduct, or if you were intentionally trying to harm yourself. Your claim might also be denied if you injured yourself while doing something at work that was not your job assignment.
Before you make this judgment yourself, if you are in doubt, you should consult with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys who can advise you on your claim.
How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Athens?
As soon as you are injured, you should report your injury to your employer right away. The law allows you 30 days to report it, but for your benefit, do so as soon as you can. The sooner you report it, the sooner your employer can start processing your benefits.
If your injuries were severe and you were unable to report them yourself because you had to seek immediate medical attention, a report will be made to your employer on your behalf.
After your injuries are reported, you have one year from the date of your injury to file a claim. If you suffered an illness that turned out to be work-related, you have one year to file a claim from the date when you first became aware of your illness.
How to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Athens
Notify your immediate supervisor or your employer’s representative of your accident. The paperwork will come from your employer. These forms need to be filled out completely and accurately and forwarded to the appropriate department for processing. If there are other employees who witnessed your accident, let your employer know who the individuals are. Your employer will start to process your paperwork.
With that said, however, trying to follow up with your employer and agencies about your claim places great demands on your time and energy. It would be better for your health if you focus your energy on your recovery instead. Therefore, let our attorneys file the claim and deal with the legalities of the process on your behalf.
Let Our Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Represent You
The laws around workers’ compensation in Georgia can get very complex. This is the reason why you should call us to help you navigate through this complicated system. We have fought for the rights of hundreds of injured workers and have been successful in helping them get all the benefits that they are entitled to.
We will be your representative from start to finish, filing all of the required paperwork and making sure that everything is done accurately. We can negotiate for your benefits on your behalf. Let the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition help you and your family through this difficult time as you focus your energy on your recovery.