The workers’ compensation system provides important recourse to injured employees throughout the state of Georgia. If you sustained an injury on the job, you have the right to medical treatment and a portion of your lost wages. However, filing a workers’ compensation claim can be confusing. Knowing the process can expedite your claims process and get your benefits sooner. If you sustain an injury at work, take the following steps.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that will provide you with rehabilitation and medical benefits as well as compensation for lost wages in the event of a work-related accident. If your accident keeps you away from work for more than seven days, you may be eligible to collect up to 2/3rds of your salary, or up to $575 per week. Depending on the scope and nature of your injury, you may be able to collect these benefits for up to 400 weeks. In the event that a work-related accident leads to your death, your dependents may also be able to collect benefits.
The Georgia workers’ compensation system is “no-fault.” In other words, you won’t have to prove that your employer’s negligence contributed to your injuries. On the other side, accepting benefits through your workers’ compensation insurance forfeits your right to sue your employer for additional compensation.
One of the most important things you can do to protect your claim is to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. Georgia law allows you up to 30 days to file a workers’ compensation claim; file any later and you could face a claim denial. Just because you have 30 days, however, doesn’t mean you should use it. To protect the health of your claim, file all the paper work as soon as possible (and make sure your employer does, too). To file a claim, you’ll have to fill out Form WC-14 and file it with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Next, send copies to your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
For more Georgia-Specific Workers’ Compensation Rules, click here.
After reporting your injury, talk to your employer and see where you should seek treatment. Each workers’ compensation policy is a little different – some will let you see your own provider, while others require that you seek care within their network. No matter where you seek medical care, make sure you do it in a timely fashion. You don’t want to give insurance companies any excuse to deny your claim.
To the same end, it’s essential that you remain compliant with all your medical treatment. Missing appointments or failing to follow up with your care may cause a claims adjuster to think you’re exaggerating the extent of your injuries. Taking a proactive approach isn’t only best for your health, but also for your claim.
By following these directions, you can expedite the claims process and get on the road to recovery sooner. If you’ve received a claim denial or are having trouble getting your employer to cooperate, retain the services of a personal injury attorney. Contact us here.