Workers’ compensation disputes in Woodstock, GA are tough for employees. If you’ve had your workers’ compensation claim denied, you might be worried about how you will settle your increasing medical bills or recover your lost wages. Fortunately, having your workers’ compensation claim initially denied doesn’t have to mean the end of the road for you.
Employers will often try to deny claims brought by injured employees in an effort to avoid having to pay higher premiums or encourage other employees to raise similar claims. On the other hand, insurance companies will try to deny claims so as to avoid having to pay or minimize the amount they have to pay as compensation.
Having your workers’ compensation claim denied can be quite stressful. However, a Woodstock workers’ comp attorney at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition can help ensure that you receive the maximum benefits that you are entitled to. We will fight aggressively to overturn the denial and resolve your dispute. Contact our lawyers by calling 470-518-5026 or filling out our contact form to protect your rights and ensure maximum compensation.
Common Causes of Workers’ Compensation Disputes in Woodstock, GA
There are various reasons your employer or their insurance company may give in order to justify the denial of your claim. Should this happen, you need to contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will be able to advise you on your claim and guide you on the best course of action. With that being said, here are some of the common causes of workers’ compensation disputes in Woodstock, GA.
In the state of Georgia, only employees (part-time or full-time) are covered under workers’ compensation. This means that if you are an independent contractor – someone contracted to perform a certain job or provide certain services to someone else through your own means and free from the control of the person work is being done for – you aren’t entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, your employer may try to falsely classify you as an independent contractor to avoid paying compensation. If this happens, you need to hire an attorney right away who will help you prove that your employment status falls under the legal definition of an employee and help you appeal the denial.
Injuries Outside the Scope of Your Employment
For an injury to be compensable under Georgia workers’ compensation, it needs to be work-related and must have occurred while the employee was in the course of performing duties under their job description. An injury that occurs during breaks or when traveling to and from work doesn’t fall within the scope of employment of Georgia employees. This also applies to injuries that happen in unauthorized gatherings with other employees.
If you are looking to file a workers’ compensation claim in the state of Georgia, there are certain deadlines that you need to keep in mind and adhere to. To begin with, you need to promptly notify your employer of your injury. Legally, this needs to be done within 30 days of your injury.
Next, you need to be aware of Georgia’s statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims. Injured employees typically have up to one year from their date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you miss either of these deadlines, you will most likely lose your right to seek compensation forever.
Lack of Witnesses
If no one witnessed your accident, the insurance company may try to disprove your claims. While this might be out of your control, it only emphasizes the need to promptly report your injuries to your co-workers, supervisor, or employer. Informing them as soon as it happens will help to have someone corroborate your story.
The insurance company may deny your claim if there are inconsistencies in the information you provide. For example, if your description of how the accident happened in the accident report differs from what you told your doctor, the insurance company may have grounds to deny your claim.
What to Do If Your Woodstock Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
In the event that your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision by requesting a hearing before the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
An attorney can help simplify the process by filing a request for the hearing on your behalf and collecting sufficient evidence to present a strong case before a judge. Your attorney will also advise you on what to do and say during the process for the best outcome.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Disputes
Workers’ compensation disputes are generally classified under two categories:
These are disputes that arise when an employer or the insurance company denies a claim based on medical grounds. They may have concerns in regards to your injury or illness. For instance, if they believe that your illness or injury was caused by other factors not work-related, or that you had an underlying condition, or that it is not as serious as you claim it to be.
As a result, they may fail to provide adequate medical treatment leading to disputes.
Various types of disputes fall under claims disputes. These are disputes in regards to weekly income benefits, an injured employee’s disability, and compensability.
Workers’ Compensation Dispute and Appeals Process in Georgia
Woodstock’s workers’ compensation appeals process typically involved the following:
To initiate the appeals process, you need to file a notice of claim by submitting a WC-14 form to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation and request a hearing. You need to do this within one year of your injury.
The hearing date is usually scheduled within 60 days of filing the notice of a claim. During this period, negotiations can continue to try and resolve the dispute. If this doesn’t happen, the parties have to prepare for a hearing.
During the hearing, both parties present their case before an administrative judge who will make a decision on the matter.
Let Us Handle Your Your Woodstock Workers’ Compensation Dispute
Woodstock workers’ compensation disputes can quickly get complex and jeopardize an injured employee’s chances of receiving the full compensation that they deserve. Our attorneys at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition have extensive experience dealing with workers’ compensation disputes.
If your employer or their insurance company has denied your claim or is offering a low-ball settlement offer, we can provide you with the legal assistance that you need to protect your rights. Call the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition today at 470-518-5026 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.