In Georgia, being hurt on the job means you need to file a workers’ compensation claim. This is something that you are provided from the first day of your employment through your last day of employment.
Many people do not understand their rights under workers’ compensation laws. As such, lawyer Hansford states that they often are not treated fairly. Knowing the basics of what workers’ compensation laws provide will ensure that you are covered for the injuries you’ve sustained at work.
What to Know About Reporting Your Injury
Thankfully, Georgia makes it easy to handle workers’ compensation claims. If you are injured at work, you must report it to your employer through your supervisor. Doing so as soon as possible will make it less likely for your claim to be denied.
In this state, you do not need to give written notice. However, it may come in handy to have written documentation if your employer disputes knowing about this injury. To obtain workers’ compensation for your injury that occurred at work, you must report the incident to your employer within 30 days.
What Happens After You Report Your Injury to Your Employer?
If your employer follows the laws as they should, they will send you to the doctor to have your injuries checked out. They have up to 21 days to investigate your case before deciding whether or not to pay out benefits.
When all goes well, your employer will file Form WC-2 and you will start receiving weekly benefits for the time that you are out of work. Your employer will also pay for your medical treatments related to your injury.
What Workers’ Comp Benefits Will You Receive?
For workers in Georgia, the law provides three basic benefits. One of them is wage loss benefits. These are also called temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits. They are meant to offset your loss of income from your work injury.
You will also receive medical benefits. These are only for anything related to treating your injury. If you suffer permanent impairment from your injury, you will also receive permanent partial disability benefits.
Once it is reported, the insurance company has 21 days to investigate your claim. If all goes as it should, you should start receiving those benefits within 21 days. In some cases though, your employer may make things difficult which could take six months or longer.
Since workers’ compensation attorneys know this all too well, it is advisable that you consult one to ensure you are fairly represented.
What to Do When Your Employer Makes Filing Workers’ Comp Difficult
Your employer or the insurance company they use may present difficulties when you file your workers’ comp claim. You may report the injury to your employer, but they don’t file it with the workers’ comp insurance. They may even try to sell you a sob story that your claim will make the insurance costs go up and encourage you to get treatment through your group health insurance.
Your employer may never report your injury to insurance in the first place, or they may do everything they are supposed to with filing the claim, yet the insurance company denies the claim.
In these situations, you can file a claim on your own by filing Form WC-14. However, it is imperative that you seek representation from an experienced attorney in workers’ compensation laws.
With a lawyer on your side, you will have a better chance of approval on your claim. Additionally, if your employer didn’t hold up their end of the bargain on providing workers’ compensation in your time of need, they can face penalties. Before too much time elapses, make sure you sit down with an attorney for a free consultation to discuss your case.