If you were injured at work, you have to prepare yourself for the complex workers comp claim process. This guide will explain all the steps it involves. As you will see, you have paperwork to fill in and deadlines to consider. This is why you should let an experienced Atlanta workers comp lawyer help you from the very beginning.
In this article, we explain step-by-step the process for a Georgia workers’ compensation case. Contact us today for help getting the full benefits you deserve.
1. You Must Report Your Accident to Your Employer
Georgia law says that you have 30 days to report a workplace injury to your employer. In reality, you should verbally inform a supervisor or the HR department as soon as possible after the accident. Waiting several days will raise the suspicion that you were injured elsewhere.
Also, since your employer will administer a drug test as soon as you report the accident, delaying this notification will look suspicious. Your employer may suspect that you were injured because you were working under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
2. Seek Medical Attention
After reporting the accident, go to the nearest hospital or ER to receive emergency treatment and diagnostic tests. This is extremely important for several reasons. First of all, you may have suffered severe injuries that are not visible, such as:
- Broken ribs
- Internal bleeding
- Internal organ damage
- Spine and head injuries.
Secondly, you will have to prove the cause of your injuries in your workers comp claim. This means that the initial medical report should specify the workplace accident as a potential cause of your injuries.
3. Fill in the WC-14 Claim Form
Within days after you notify your employer of the workplace accident, they should provide you with the WC-14 claim form. If you don’t get it, you may request a copy from the State Board of Workers Compensation.
The section you have to fill in covers information such as:
- The type of accident and which body part was injured
- If anyone else was involved in the accident
- The place, date and time of the incident
- How the accident happened
- Type of medical care you have already received.
If you are unsure how to fill in the form correctly, your Atlanta workers comp attorney will help you.
4. Your Employer Will File the Claim
After all relevant paperwork is filled in, your employer will file the workers’ compensation claim with your insurer. At this point, your lawyer will step in and start negotiating with the insurance company.
The attorney will present all available evidence to justify your claim and prove the need for the medical treatments. The benefits you are entitled to include medical care costs and 2/3 or 66% of your weekly wages.
Your lawyer will attempt to settle the claim, getting you either a lump sum or a structured settlement. However, insurance companies usually fight hard against claims and, when they believe that you have a weak case, deny the claim altogether.
5. Your Lawyer Will Appeal a Denied Workers Comp Claim
If the insurer refuses to settle your claim, your Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer will escalate the case to the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation. You will attend a hearing before an administrative judge.
This hearing is similar to a civil court case, except that there is no jury. Also, the administrative judge will not award a settlement, but decide whether your case is compensable.
Talk to an Experienced Atlanta Workers Comp Lawyer!
The process of filing a workers comp claim may appear daunting, especially if you suffered severe injuries and have to spend weeks in hospital. In this situation, you need an experienced Atlanta workers comp lawyer from the very beginning to handle the paperwork without missing any deadline.
Also, you have the peace of mind that your rights are defended by an experienced professional, who knows how to negotiate with insurance adjusters. Moreover, as a new client, you benefit from a free case review, so call us today at 470-518-5026 !