According to Georgia State Law, a worker in a company with at least three employees is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits in the unfortunate event they sustain an injury or fall sick while working. While this is a government-mandated form of coverage, some employees and insurance providers are not always compliant and may try to deny or minimize the amount you deserve in a settlement.
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Peachtree Corners, we believe in justice and know that you deserve fair compensation if you sustained the injury while performing your duties. Our team of competent and seasoned lawyers will fight aggressively to protect your rights in case of Peachtree Corners workers’ compensation disputes.
Causes of Peachtree Corners Workers’ Compensation Disputes
Both your employer and their insurance carrier may deny your workers’ comp claim for an array of reasons. Some of the most common ones include:
Your Employment Status
According to Georgia workers’ comp laws, you are only eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you filed the claim while still employed. This means the claim needs to be filed while you are still an employee. So, if you sustained injuries after you were fired or did not file until you were laid off, you’re not entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
In Georgia, an employee is a full-time or part-time worker, an alien (legally or illegally hire), or a minor working for the organization. Note that independent contractors are not covered under workers’ comp.
Outside Scope of Employment
In order to have a valid workers’ comp claim, the injury must have been sustained while doing a work-related task or an activity that was for the benefit of the company. If the employer proves your injuries did not occur within the scope of your employment, you won’t be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. Not that injuries that occur while traveling to and from work or during lunch break (unless you’re running business errands) are not covered under Georgia’s Workers’ Comp Act.
Failure to Pass a Drug Test
If you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, your claim will most likely be disputed. The employer has the right to ask you to submit an alcohol or drug sample for testing right after the incident. If you refuse to take the test, it will be deemed as a presumption of guilt and if you fail, your chances of being compensated will reduce. In order to identify your rights and legal options, it is best to consult a qualified lawyer.
There are certain deadlines to be met when it comes to filing a workers’ comp claim in Georgia. For starters, you’re required to notify your employer of the accident or injury within 30 days. Secondly, you have one year from the date of the incident to file a notice of the claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation. If your employer has already provided medical treatment, then it’s one year from the date of the last treatment.
It’s imperative to keep these deadlines in mind as failure to meet them only reduces your chances of receiving benefits. So, consult a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to ensure all the procedures are followed to the letter and in accordance with the set deadlines.
Lack of Causation
An employer or their insurance carrier can deny your claim if there’s no direct connection between your injury and work. They might argue that your injuries did not occur while performing your duties or were due to an unsafe condition in the workplace.
What Should You Do If Your Workers’ Comp Claim Is Denied?
First and foremost, you need a clear reason as to why your claim was denied before filing an appeal. You can begin by asking for a hearing before the State Board of Workers Comp. Here, a judge will listen to your appeal and determine if you qualify for benefits due to your work-related injury or not. Keep in mind that the hearing occurs within 60 days after submitting your claim.
It’s not mandatory to have an attorney by your side when it comes to the hearing. However, given that you’re filing an appeal, it’s wise to have one. An attorney will make the process less daunting by doing all the paperwork and presenting your information in front of the administrative judge. To avoid missing out on your benefits, ensure you file the appeal within a year from the date of the accident.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Peachtree Corners, GA
There are two main types of workers’ compensation disputes that workers in Peachtree Corners, GA may face.
These happen when the employer denies a claim based on medical grounds. For instance, they may argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim, or the injury was caused by a pre-existing condition or other factors that do not relate to your work.
These happen when your claim is denied based on your failure to adhere to Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act. For example, you failed to file the claim within the set deadlines.
Hiring a Peachtree Corners workers’ compensation lawyer will be the entire ordeal less daunting and ascertain you do not make errors or mistakes that might ruin your claim. A competent lawyer will help garner the necessary evidence to ensure you have a valid claim. With one of our lawyers by your side, you can expect the best outcome in both the claims and appeal process.
Hire a Peachtree Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today!
Sustaining injuries or falling ill while performing your work duties is devasting enough. However, having your claim denied under unjust conditions can be the experience worse. In such situations, you need a seasoned workers comp lawyer to help ease the burden and guarantee the best results.
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, we have extensive experience with Peachtree Corners workers’ compensation disputes. Your rights are important, so get in touch by calling our offices at 770-796-0919 and schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.