When you get hurt on the job, the trauma can send you into a lot of confusion. Not only are you in pain, but you will have many concerns around how you will continue to support your family and how you will deal with the medical bills that you will incur as a result of your injury.
Fortunately, as an injured worker in Georgia, you are protected by the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Most employers who have at least three employees, even if they are only part-time employees or seasonal employees, are required to carry workers’ compensation. This insurance is designed to protect employees who get hurt on the job.
To ensure you get the benefits that you are entitled to, it is important for you and your employer to follow the workers’ compensation claims process in Peachtree City, GA. If you feel that your employer is not supportive or if the insurance carrier is pushing back on your claim, contact the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition.
We have extensive experience representing injured workers and have a successful track record in helping them get the maximum benefit that they legally deserve. Set up a free case review with a Peachtree City workers’ compensation lawyer by calling us at 770-796-0919 or using our online contact form.
How Do I Know If My Injury Is Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
The Employee Handbook issued by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia states that if an injury or illness is caused by events during the course of employment, this is defined as a compensable work-related claim. Therefore, if you are working during your scheduled work hours, and you get hurt while doing something that is part of your assigned responsibilities, your injury should be covered. This is a broad description that covers a wide range of injuries.
It is important to make a distinction of whether or not you were “on the clock” when you got hurt. Typically, if you were on your lunch hour, and you sustained an injury, you might not be covered because technically, your lunch hour is not considered work time. However, if you were attending a business lunch and got hurt along the way, you were technically still doing your work, and your injury should be covered.
Another example is if you got into a car accident while driving to work or driving home from work. If you are not on company property, workers’ compensation will not cover your injuries that happened during your commute to and from work. However, if you arrived at work and parked in your employer’s parking lot, and you got injured, that injury should be covered.
This is different from driving as part of your job. If you typically need to drive to see clients or customers, or if you are driving to a business meeting from your office to another location, and you got injured, that happened on company time, and you should be able to claim workers’ compensation for that.
Sometimes a situation becomes quite complex and not clear-cut. Your employer or the insurance company might challenge whether or not your injuries occurred on company time, or whether you were doing a task that you were supposed to do, etc. It is important that you do not make any assumptions that you might not be covered. When in doubt, contact our attorneys, and we will review your case and help you determine if your injuries are covered and help you file your claim.
How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
The state of Georgia allows you one year from the date of your injury to file your workers’ compensation claim. This is usually done by your employer on your behalf. Your responsibility is to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, and no later than 30 days from the date of your injury. If you do not report it right away and the 30 days lapse, you can lose your benefits.
You only need to file the claim yourself if you do not get any benefits and you believe your injuries are compensable. In that case, we can help you in the claim process and represent you in all communications with your employer and the insurance company.
Sometimes there are illnesses that are brought on by the work environment, but which might not have been obviously connected to the job in the beginning. An example is poor air quality in the workplace that caused negative health symptoms like headaches, burning eyes, respiratory problems, etc.
If your doctor determines that your illness was caused by an unhealthy environment in your workplace, and there are reports substantiating the workplace hazards, you can claim workers’ compensation based on the date when you became aware that your illness is attributed to the work environment.
How to File the Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
Normally, your employer is responsible for filing a workers’ compensation claim for you. After you report your injury to your employer, they need to report that to the insurance carrier. They need to file Form WC-1, the Employer’s First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease. Then, the insurance carrier processes the claim.
If your employer does not do this, you will need to file the claim yourself. You fill out Form WC-14, the Notice of Claim, and you send it to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You also send a copy to your employer and to the insurance company that provides workers’ compensation.
If you need to do this, our attorneys are here to support you in the workers’ compensation claims process in Peachtree City, GA.
Let Us Handle the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process in Peachtree City
Usually, employers are cooperative in workers’ compensation situations. However, if there are disputes and you feel that you are not getting the support that you expect from your employer, and the insurance company is not providing you with the benefits that you expect, contact the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition in Peachtree City, GA.
We have helped hundreds of clients get the benefits that are rightfully theirs. Let us help you through the process so you can focus your energy on your healing and recovery.