After a workplace injury, you follow all the rules set in the employee’s handbook regarding timely reporting and submitting to a drug test. So you believe that your employer will also follow the rules and approve your claim. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case if you don’t have an Atlanta workers comp attorney fighting for your rights.
The first thing to remember is that your claim will not be handled by your employer, but by their workers’ compensation insurance company. Their only goal is to maximize their profits by denying or devaluing claims like yours.
Ideally, you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible after your work injury. However, you must definitely do it in the following situations.
1. Your Employer or the Insurer Deny that You Were Injured during Work
One of the most frequent arguments used to deny a workers’ compensation claim is that you were not injured at work. If you are able to prove that you were on your employer’s premises when the accident happened, the next argument will be that you were not on the clock.
Now, very few people can remember the exact minute and second when they suffered an accident. Your employer may claim that you took a lunch break or were asked to clock out for other reasons just before the accident. A lawyer has ways to prove otherwise and show that you have a valid claim.
2. Your Employer Delays Reporting Your Workplace Accident to the Insurer
Your employer must report your accident to the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation, file a claim with their insurance company, and send you paperwork to fill in. If you notice that days are passing and nothing happens, you should start making inquiries.
The first thing to do is check that your employer has workers comp coverage. If they don’t and they have more than three employees, then they are breaking the law. Most employers (with few exceptions) are required to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage.
If the employer has workers comp coverage but still does nothing, then you must report your accident and get in touch with the workers comp insurance company. In many cases, employers are trying to delay reporting the incident until your deadline for filing a claim expires.
In Georgia, this deadline is very short – just one year after the date of your accident.
3. The Insurance Company Won’t Approve Treatments Recommended by Your Doctor
This is one of the worst ways in which injured workers are treated by insurers. They need expensive surgeries and treatments to make a full recovery, but the insurance company deems them unnecessary and refuses to pay for them.
At this point, you need to enlist the help of an experienced Atlanta workers comp lawyer. By corroborating the doctor’s recommendations with expert witness testimonies, the attorney will prove the necessity of these treatments and make the insurer pay for them.
4. The Settlement Offer Does Not Cover All the Eligible Benefits
In some situations, the workers comp insurance will offer to settle your claim for a lump amount. It may look good on paper, but as you start adding up your medical care bills and lost wages, you realize that you are being short-changed.
But how do you ask for more money – and get it? There is only one way: hire an experienced lawyer to evaluate your claim accurately and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. Attorneys who specialize in workers’ compensation have handled thousands of similar cases, know the laws very well, and are trained negotiators.
5. You Have a Pre-Existing Condition
Injured workers with a pre-existing condition or injury often see their claims denied. The insurance company will justify that you are already injured and the workplace accident did not contribute to the injuries specified in the medical report.
An attorney can prove that, even with an old injury, the current accident made it worse and even generated new injuries. Using older medical records and comparing diagnostic tests, the lawyer will determine the insurer to pay the benefits you deserve.
Don’t Fight Alone, Hire an Atlanta Workers Comp Attorney!
If you suffered an accident at work, make sure to talk to an experienced lawyer even before filing your claim. Insurance companies will not treat you fairly if they notice that you are representing yourself in the claim process.
Instead, schedule a free case review with an experienced Atlanta workers comp attorney and bring all the documents and evidence you have. We will represent you on a contingency fee basis if you have a valid claim. Call us today at 470-518-5026 !