If you’ve never gotten hurt on the job, then you probably have no idea how workers compensation works in Georgia. Basically, the workers compensation program is meant to take care of employees who get hurt at work. Typically, when an employee is involved in a workplace accident, they let their employer know and file a workers compensation claim. Hopefully, their claim is approved, and they’ll start receiving benefits in a week or two.
If, however, your claim is denied, you should call a workers compensation lawyer in Atlanta right away. The reason you’re going to hire a lawyer is because they’ll reach out to the insurance company and find out why your employer denied your claim. Then they’ll proceed to file an appeal with the State Board of Workers Compensation. They’ll explain why the claim should have been paid and what benefits you’re demanding.
After your employer has a chance to respond, the workers compensation commission will make their final decision. If they approve your claim, you’ll become eligible for benefits and your medical care will be covered. If they deny your claim, then your personal injury lawyer in Atlanta will have to file suit on your behalf.
Here, we’ll explain what the process is for workers compensation. We will also explain what to do if your claim isn’t approved. If you still have questions about your workers compensation case, reach out to our office and schedule your free, initial consultation right away.
You Must Report Your Workplace Injury Immediately
Obviously, you won’t need workers compensation unless you suffer a workplace injury. As soon as you realize you’re injured, you need to report the injury to your manager or human resources director right away. Once your employer gets a chance to review your incident report, they’ll decide whether they want to approve you for workers compensation benefits. Your employer will tell their insurance company to either pay the claim or deny it.
Most of the time, if the accident is straightforward enough, your employer will simply approve your claim and you’ll start to receive benefits in about 2 weeks. There are times however when your employer doesn’t believe your injuries are work-related and chooses to deny your claim instead. These are the cases that our personal injury lawyers in Atlanta handle on a daily basis.
If Your Claim is Approved, You’ll Receive Benefits
If your workers compensation claim is approved, you’ll receive three main types of benefits. The first benefit is medical care. Any medical treatment that’s related to your workplace accident will be covered by workers comp. This includes hospitalizations, surgeries, doctor’s co-pays, and prescription medications.
The second type of benefit you’ll receive are replacement wages. In Georgia, as in most states, while you’re at home on workers comp, you’ll receive 2/3 of your average weekly wages. For example, if you normally earned $1,000 a week, you’ll receive $666 a week on workers comp.
However, there is a cap on how much you can receive per week. Georgia happens to have one of the lowest benefit caps in the country at just $675. However, Georgia does offer 400 weeks of workers compensation which is one of the highest in the country.
The third type of benefit you will receive is career training or rehabilitation. If you learn that you’re no longer able to do the same work you did before your accident, you’ll receive training and or education classes to help you find another position in the workforce.
If It’s Denied, You Should Hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta
Your workers compensation claim could be denied for any number of reasons. It all comes down to what your employer and their insurance company decide. Some of the most common reasons that workers comp claims are denied in Georgia include:
- Your employer doesn’t believe the accident happened on company property.
- The insurance company doesn’t believe your injuries are legitimate.
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident.
- You refused to take a drug test prior to treatment.
- You have a history of filing workers compensation claims.
- Your employer believes that the injury happened on personal time and not while you were working
Regardless of the reason, your workers compensation lawyer in Atlanta can help you file an appeal. For the most part, if your claim was denied because you were using alcohol or drugs at the time of the incident, there’s not much your attorney can do. For any other reason, they’ll file an appeal and try to negotiate payment of your claim.
Your Personal Injury Lawyer in Atlanta Will Appeal Your Claim
When your personal injury lawyer in Atlanta files your workers compensation appeal, they’ll have to state what the reason is for the appeal and what benefits you’re demanding. It may just be a matter of submitting additional information. Or they may need to submit evidence that your injuries did take place at work while you were acting within the scope of your employment.
Your workers compensation lawyer in Atlanta will make sure the appeal is filed correctly and on time.
Reach Out to an Experienced Workers Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta Today
If you’ve recently been hurt at work and your workers compensation claim has been denied, give us a call. You should schedule a free consultation with one of our workers compensation lawyers in Atlanta. They can review your case and let you know if it has merit. They’ll be upfront and honest with you.
Since your initial consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose. Plus, you don’t have to pay your personal injury lawyer in Atlanta until after they settle your case.
Your employer will have a team of lawyers working for them and you should too. There is too much at stake to try to handle matters on your own. You’ll be at a serious disadvantage and could risk losing any chance you had of receiving the benefits you deserve.