If you were injured at work and you should get your workers’ compensation settlement, you probably wonder how long will it take till you get your claim. A compensation case may take some time to settle. Many people simply have to get their settlement due to financial problems (most medical expenses won’t just wait for you to get your settlement).
If you sustained injuries at work in Atlanta, Georgia, let a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney advise you on your further steps.
Georgia’s 3 Forms of Worker’s Compensation Case
A workers’ compensation case in Georgia comes in 3 forms, or “postures” which can affect the timeline of your case:
- An accepted compensable case
- A medical-only claim
- A controverted case.
When you get injured on the job and the insurance company pays for your indemnity and medical benefits, it’s an accepted claim. When the insurance company only pays for the medical treatment but doesn’t pay for the indemnity benefits, it is a medical-only case. When the insurance company denies the claim, the claim is controverted.
In case the claim is denied, a formal process will be undertaken so the worker can get their benefits.
Start with filing a WC-14 requesting a hearing with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This is a form that lays out the reasons for the request of hearing and identifies all participants to the claim.
Georgia law defines when the hearing will take place. A hearing will be scheduled at least 30 days after filing of the WC-14 (no longer than 90 days). The law also states that the Georgia Civil Practice Act applies to all workers’ compensation cases.
How Long Will it Take to Heal From a Workplace Injury
Not every injury is the same, so the time for recovery varies from person to person.
There are medical guidelines that recommend how long you need to stay at home to recover entirely.
However, if your doctor recommends you to get back to work and fails to listen to your complaints of pain, it is important to talk to a workers’ compensation attorney, to make sure that you’re seeing the right doctor for your injury. You can change your doctor and get a second opinion.
Timeline to Return to Work
If your doctor has taken you out of work because of your injuries, then the time till you get back to work is the time you need to heal. If you were restricted to get back to work as a result of your workplace injury, the answer depends on your employer and your doctor.
Be careful about going back to work after getting your indemnity benefits. There are numerous rules and procedures that the insurance carrier must follow when they decide to allow you to return to work. Talk to your attorney about your legal options.
How Long Will It Take to Settle Your Workers’ Compensation Case
Georgia’s workers’ compensation statute doesn’t require any side to settle. You aren’t under any obligation to accept money instead of a permanent partial disability rating or indemnity benefits. The insurance carrier doesn’t have any obligation to pay you a settlement either. It’s a choice to solve the issues between both parties.
There are cases where every party may want to resolve a claim. If there is a dispute about medical care or indemnity benefits. the parties may consent to settle the claim or part of it. If the individual got the highest medical improvement, the parties may want to settle. There isn’t a set timeline when the case should settle.
You can’t make the insurance company settle your workers’ compensation case, just as they can’t force you to settle to their offer.
The best way to reach a settlement is to allow your attorney to negotiate for it. Not everyone understands the settlement process. Some people don’t know they don’t have to accept the first offer and often end up getting a lower settlement than they deserve.
Your attorney won’t just accept the first offer; they would negotiate until the insurance company offers a suitable claim. This is why you should file for a workers’ compensation claim that is a bit higher, so if the insurers lower it (and they certainly will) they can offer a reasonable amount.
Although you may be eligible for a claim and you will probably get it, make sure to have a skilled attorney by your side to help you.
If you’re looking for worker’s compensation in Atlanta, our team is here to make things clear and represent you until the very end.