Employees who suffer injuries due to sudden workplace accidents or occupational illness may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Most companies or businesses in Georgia are required to carry workers’ comp insurance to ensure that employees are covered in the event of a workplace accident. To receive these benefits, it is important that the injury be compensable and the injured worker follows the workers’ compensation claims process in Roswell to the letter.
Most workers’ comp claims will be clear-cut, and the claim process will be simple and straightforward. In such claims, there are no questions by the employer that the injury is covered for workers’ compensation. However, if a workplace accident occurs and you are unsure if your injury is compensable, it is important to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney.
If you’re ready to begin your claim process after a workplace accident, you need to seek legal counsel. Call us today at 770-796-0919 to set up a free legal consultation with one of our Roswell workers’ compensation lawyers who will help you through the workers’ compensation claims process.
How Can I Know if My Injury Will Be Covered by a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Before you can begin your claim process, it is important to establish whether your injury is compensable under workman’s compensation. For you to receive workers’ compensation benefits, there must be an injury or illness. This is the fundamental criterion of workers’ compensation. Further, for your injury or illness to be covered by this insurance system, it must arise out of and in the course of your employment.
Being injured while at your workplace doesn’t always mean that you will receive workers’ compensation benefits. Your injury or illness has to be caused by your employment. This means that some workplace injuries aren’t compensable under workers’ compensation. Illnesses that aren’t caused by work-related factors aren’t covered under workers’ compensation. Generally, workman’s compensation doesn’t cover:
- Injuries that are self-inflicted
- Injuries resulting from fights or horseplay
- Psychiatric disorders or stress
- Injuries suffered while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Injuries resulting from the violation of the company’s safety policies
- Injuries resulting from off-work exacerbation of pre-existing conditions.
Your injury must also arise in the course of your employment. It follows that you can’t file a workers’ comp claim if you suffer an injury while at home or any other place other than your worksite. To establish whether your injury is compensable, your employer should verify by talking to witnesses present at the time of the workplace accident.
How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Georgia?
Like other cases, workers’ compensation cases in Georgia are time-bound. The Workers’ Compensation Act of Georgia provides that you have 1 year from the date of your workplace accident to file a Notice of Claim. However, this deadline may be extended if your employer provided medical treatment for your workplace injury.
Filing a workers’ comp claim after the allowable time has elapsed may result in the forfeiture of your benefits. If you’re not sure whether the deadline or statute of limitations has run in your workers’ compensation case, it is advisable that you talk to an attorney.
How to File the Workers’ Comp Claim in Roswell, Georgia?
Georgia law makes it mandatory for businesses and companies with 3 or more employees, including regular part-time workers, to carry workers’ compensation insurance. If you have been injured at your workplace, there are things you are required to do to receive the benefits you’re entitled to under workers’ compensation.
If your case is straightforward and not in dispute, your claim is processed and benefits awarded within a short period. After reporting the injury to your employer, they are required to file a First Report of Injury with their workers’ compensation insurance carrier within 7 days of the notice.
Reporting your injury to your employer or HR personnel in a timely manner is of utmost importance. You should do this not later than 30 days from the date of the accident that caused your injury. The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act also requires that you file your claim within 1 year of the workplace accident.
Filing a workers’ comp claim involves completing a WC-14 form and filing it with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You should also send a copy of this form to your employer and their insurance carrier. You can obtain a copy of the WC-14 form from the Board’s website, or they can provide you with the form.
What Do If Your Claim Is Denied
Whenever your employer or their insurance carrier denies your claim, you have the right to request a hearing or intervention by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. If you have a lawyer, they can help you obtain the proper forms for requesting a Board hearing as well as filling them correctly and completely.
For Pro Se litigants (those representing themselves), it is important to understand that certain steps must be followed, certain papers files, and evidence be presented for an order or award to be issued by a Judge. If you decide to represent yourself, you are fully responsible for understanding and following the right procedures. Failure to follow the right procedures may result in the dismissal of your claim or denial of your request for a hearing.
Before the hearing date, you must prepare sufficiently by gathering evidence to support your case. You need to find witnesses with knowledge of the facts about your workplace injury. You should also gather the necessary documents that would help you prove your case, including prescription receipts, wage statements, and unsettled medical bills.
During the hearing, an Administrative Law Judge will hear your side of the case and your employer will present their testimony and evidence. After presenting all the evidence, the Judge will consider and make a decision, which is put in writing and copies sent to the involved parties.
Call Us to Begin the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process in Roswell
Understanding the workers’ compensation claims process in Roswell helps you take the right steps and ensures that you receive the benefits you deserve. Working with an attorney when filing your claim is the best way to ensure that you stay within the limits of workers’ compensation laws.
If you’ve suffered a work-related injury and are looking to start the workers’ compensation claims process, call the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition today at 770-796-0919 to schedule a free case evaluation.