Suffering a work-related injury or illness can have a tremendous effect on your ability to work, your health, and your financial future. This is why Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws exist to ensure financial protection for employees injured while on the job. All employers with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Having workers’ comp insurance is beneficial for both employees and employers. For employees, it provides them with the financial support they need in case they are harmed at work. For employers, it provides them protection against lawsuits resulting from injuries suffered by their employees while on the job.
However, employees often face numerous challenges during the workers’ compensation claims process in Vidalia, making it all the more difficult to receive the workers’ compensation benefits they are entitled to. Besides facing resistance from their employers or the insurance company, the employees also have to meet certain requirements and deadlines in order to protect their right to compensation. There are several factors that can cause an injured employee to lose their right to compensation.
A Vidalia workers’ compensation lawyer will help you understand your rights and obligations, help you file a successful workers’ compensation claim, and ensure that you receive full compensation for your injuries. Get in touch with our experienced team of attorneys at Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition at 470-518-5026 to find out more about what we can do for you.
How Can I Know If My Injury Will Be Covered By a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
It is important to note that simply being injured doesn’t make you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Your injuries have to meet certain criteria.
Insurance Coverage & Employee Status
The first requirement to determining whether your injuries will be covered is if your employer has at least three employees. Under Georgia law, such an employer should have workers’ compensation insurance coverage in place for their employees.
Secondly, you need to be an employee of the company at the time of your injury and when filing the claim. This applies whether you are a full-time or part-time employee. Keep in mind that you are protected starting from the very first day on the job
Your Injury Occurred in Scope of Employment
Once the above factors have been established, you need to ensure that your injury meets the following requirements in order to qualify.
It needs to have happened in the course and scope of your job duties. What this means is that it needs to have happened while you were doing something work-related. Basically, your injuries are covered if they happened while engaging in an activity that benefits your employer.
You Met Deadlines
Thirdly, you need to ensure that you meet all the deadlines involved when it comes to reporting your injury and filing your claim. In the state of Georgia, you need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days of your injury. In addition, you need to ensure that you file your claim within one year of your injury. Failure to meet either of these deadlines means that your injury won’t be covered under workers’ compensation.
Your Injury Isn’t Excluded
Typically, the following types of injuries aren’t covered:
- Injuries sustained while an employee is traveling to and from work unless not usually covered, unless they are traveling for work purposes, for example, attending a business meeting.
- Injuries sustained during a scheduled break
- Injuries sustained during a non-work-related fight
- Injuries sustained while intoxicated
How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
The time period allowed to file a workers’ compensation claim in the state of Georgia is stipulated under the state’s statute of limitations. The deadline for filing a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia is one year from the date of the injury.
However, if your employer has paid for your medical treatment, you will have one year from the date of the last medical treatment to file the claim.
If your employer has provided income benefits, you will have two years from the date of the last weekly benefits payment to file your claim. Keep in mind that you will need to have reported your injury to your employer within 30 days of the injury to reserve your right to file a claim for compensation.
What’s the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process in Vidalia, Georga?
If you are looking to file a workers’ compensation claim in the state of Georgia, there are some important things you need to do to have a successful claim:
Report Your Injury
The first thing you need to do after suffering an injury is to notify your employer of the injury. This can be done orally or by submitting a written statement. You need to do this within 30 days of your injury, otherwise, your right to compensation will be forfeited.
Seek Medical Attention
Your next step should be to seek immediate medical attention. Your employer should provide you with a list of authorized physicians that you should use. Ensure to choose from the list provided. If you use a separate doctor, your employer can deny your claim.
File a Claim
Next, you need to file a claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This is done by filling out and submitting a WC-14 form, also known as a Notice of Claim. This should be done within one year of your injury, otherwise, you will lose your right to pursue compensation. You can obtain this form by phone, mail, or the board’s website.
Appealing a Denial
There are many reasons why your employer or the insurance company may choose to deny your claim. If this happens, they will send you a letter detailing why your claim is denied. If this happens, you can appeal the denial by requesting a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Same as with filing a claim, this should be done within one year of the date of your injury.
Get Help With Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Today!
If you’ve suffered a workplace accident or developed an occupational illness, you need to consult a Vidalia workers’ compensation attorney. An attorney will help you deal with the complex claims process, gather all the relevant evidence to support your claim, and even help you with the appeals process should your claim be denied.
At Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, we have extensive experience dealing with workers’ compensation claims and we offer you the best chances of getting full and fair compensation. Contact us today at 470-518-5026 for the best outcome in your claim.