Understanding the workers’ compensation claims process in Douglasville, GA is important after you have been injured while at work. Even though workers’ compensation laws were created to protect workers, many workers are not at all familiar with the workers’ compensation claims process in Douglasville. Workers may have access to benefits like rehabilitation and medical support as well as supplemental income, but they may not know how to access them.
To make matters worse, workers’ compensation insurance providers often prioritize profits. This means that workers may be untreated fairly and valid claims may be wrongfully disputed or denied. That’s why you’ll want to have an experienced Douglasville workers’ compensation attorney alongside you as you file your claim. Working with the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition is the best way to make sure you’ll have access to the benefits the law provides you.
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How Can I Know if My Injury Will be Covered by a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you are classified as an employee, and you were injured in the course of employment, it is likely that you are eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits. In Georgia, an employee is someone that receives consistent wages from an employer for a regular job. Volunteers and independent contractors are not classified as employees, but some workers in Georgia are wrongfully classified as independent contractors.
In order for an injury to be covered under workers’ compensation, it is required to take place during the course and scope of employment. Injuries related to commutes are unlikely to be covered, but injuries that take place while driving for work will be covered in most cases. Injuries that take place during company-sponsored events such as work parties will also be covered in the majority of cases.
To collect benefits, a worker must have also suffered some sort of loss. For example, a worker may require medical treatment or may have lost wages because of an injury. The purpose of workers’ compensation is to cover these losses and lessen the financial burden of an injury.
If a worker contributed to their injury in some way, that could be cause for denial of a claim. Injuries related to roughhousing at work may not be covered, and injuries that involve drug or alcohol use may also be denied. It’s best to consult with an attorney to learn if your injury is compensable.
How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Georgia?
If you are injured on the job in Georgia, that injury should be reported as soon as possible. Although it is best to report an injury immediately, you have up to 30 days to report the injury. If the injury is not reported in this time window, that could be grounds to deny the claim.
In some cases, an injury may not be immediately noticeable. Repetitive strain injuries, for example, develop over long periods of time. In these situations, you are expected to report your injury within 30 days of being informed of the injury by a doctor.
While an injury should be reported right away, you are not required to file a claim immediately. The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act gives you one year from the date of the injury to file your Notice of Claim. In certain situations, that time limit may be extended. As an example, if a worker was hospitalized due to an injury, the time limit to file may begin after the worker is released from the hospital.
If you’re considering filing a claim, it’s best to consult with an attorney about your case right away. However, you shouldn’t assume that you can no longer be compensated for a past injury. Talk to Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition if you’d like to get a better understanding of what your options are.
What are the Final Steps in the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process in Douglasville?
Once you have reported your injury to your employer, you will need to complete a WC-14 form. If your employer does not provide you with that form, you can request one from the State Board of Compensation. The completed form should be submitted to the board, your employer, and your employer’s insurance provider.
To improve the likelihood that your claim will be approved, you will want to make sure that your claim is as strong as possible. You should explain how you were injured, collect the names of witnesses, and should seek medical care right away. All of these things can provide vital evidence that will back up your claim, making it easier for you to collect the benefits that you are owed.
Accident reports should be completed accurately and signed. If you are unable to accurately complete a report at the time of the injury due to pain, medication, or other factors, you should abstain from filling out the report at that time. Claims are often denied due to a lack of information. It’s best to avoid signing an accident report until you are able to complete it accurately.
You should also make sure that the reports that you make are as consistent as possible. Claims are typically investigated by insurers, and discrepancies are seen as a sign of fraud. Attend all medical appointments, but be cautious when talking to your employer’s insurance provider. Do not provide a recorded statement to the insurance company if you do not have a lawyer present. Once you have an attorney, you can ask them to handle all communications with your employer’s insurance provider.
Contact Us for Help with Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
Although it is possible to file a claim successfully on your own, you’ll have a better experience if you work with an attorney. Not only will a lawyer help you to resolve your claim as quickly as possible, but having an attorney on your side makes it far less likely that your claim will be denied.
The Workers’ Compensation claims process in Douglasville can be surprisingly complex. It can be difficult to determine which types of injuries are compensable, and claims are denied for a number of reasons. If you’re suffering because of a work-related injury, you shouldn’t try to handle everything yourself. Call Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition at 770-796-0919 so that you can get the support you need.