If you come across workers’ compensation disputes in Duluth, GA, or suffer denial, you shouldn’t give up on collecting benefits. Instead, you should reach out to the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers in Duluth, GA. Our team has helped many workers in Georgia collect benefits that were wrongfully denied to them, and we may be able to do the same for you.
Causes of Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Duluth, GA
Workers’ compensation benefits only apply to employees, which is why companies may use employment status to deny workers’ compensation claims in Duluth, GA. Although independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia, some workers are wrongfully classified as independent contractors when they are actually employees.
If an injury or illness did not occur on the job or while you were on the clock, your employer may try to argue that the injury was outside the scope of employment. However, injuries that occur outside the workplace do qualify for benefits in many cases. As an example, if you were injured while picking up lunches for your co-workers, that injury could be compensable.
Employers may argue lack of causation, claiming that the injury was not caused by a work-related activity. These Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Duluth are common in cases involving pre-existing injuries and cases in which an employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Reporting an injury early on makes it easier to establish the cause of the injury, providing valuable evidence that can support your claim.
Georgia gives workers one year to file workers’ comp claims. After that window of time has passed, claims may be disputed or denied due to missed deadlines. It’s important to remember that claims may be within the statute of limitations even after this time limit has passed. If you were receiving medical treatment for the injury, or if you were initially able to return to work after injury, the date to file could be extended.
Lastly, it’s common to see claims denied because of inadequate information. If you provide limited information when filing a claim, or if portions of the claim are left blank or completed incorrectly, your employer will have a valid reason for Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Duluth. It’s best to work with an experienced attorney early on so that you can ensure your claim is completed correctly.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied in Duluth, GA
If your claim has been denied, you can request that the claim be heard by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Your hearing request must be filed in a timely fashion. After you request a hearing, the hearing must be held within 90 days of your request.
Appeals are typically heard by an Administrative Law Judge, but you can also request that your claim goes through mediation. Mediation is a less formal process than a hearing and gives you the opportunity to reach an agreement with your employer. Rulings are not issued in mediation, and if you are unable to reach an agreement, your case must be heard by a judge.
Appealing a workers’ compensation claim denial can be challenging, which is why it’s vital to contact an attorney as soon as you possibly can. Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition has helped many workers successfully appeal claim denials. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe that your claim as been wrongfully denied.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Duluth, GA
There are two primary types of Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Duluth, GA. Medical disputes dispute the injury itself. Employers may argue that the injury is not severe enough to require accommodations, or may even go so far as to say that the worker was not injured at all. Employers may also argue that the injury is not compensable.
Claim disputes question the validity of a claim. These disputes might state that the injury was not sustained as a result of work-related activities, or that the worker engaged in behavior, such as drug use or horseplay, that lead to the injury. These disputes may also occur if a worker failed to file a claim in a timely fashion.
There are two primary types of denial. In some scenarios, the claim may be denied as a whole. In other cases, certain aspects of a claim may be disputed. It’s possible to appeal both types of disputes in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Duluth and Appeals Process in Georgia
During the appeal, both you and your employer will have the opportunity to present evidence and argue your case in front of a judge. Although the judge cannot rule on a settlement for either party, the judge can rule on whether the case is compensable. The judge is required to make a ruling after the hearing, and both parties have a window of 30 days to appeal that ruling.
If you opt to appeal the judge’s ruling, the case will be sent to the Appellate Division. Both parties may be requested to make an oral argument. The Appellate Division can overturn the original ruling or send the case back to an administrative law judge. There is also a 20-day period to appeal this ruling, after which the case will be heard by the Superior Court.
The Superior Court will only overturn a ruling if the decision was reached by fraud, the decision is contrary to Georgia law, there is not sufficient evidence to support the decision, or the decision is not supported by the facts. New evidence cannot be presented during this hearing. Decisions must be based on the evidence that has already been presented in the case.
Each year, many workers’ compensation claims are wrongfully denied or disputed. Unfortunately, the appeals process can be challenging for the average person to navigate. If you want to appeal your claim and fight for the benefits that the law entitles you to, you need the help of a qualified attorney. Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Duluth, GA can support you through every step of the appeals process and will work to collect the compensation you’re owed. Just call 770-796-0919 if you want to know more.