Stephen Hasner | Workers' Compensation | August 8, 2022
Georgia’s workers’ compensation insurance generally covers injuries at work, regardless of fault. Therefore, filing a claim for workers’ compensation should be straightforward. However, benefits for your workers’ comp claim are not guaranteed.
If you have issues filing a Georgia workers’ comp claim or receiving your benefits, you should immediately talk with a workers’ compensation lawyer. Read on to learn how to file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia.
Steps for Filing a Georgia’s Workers’ Comp Claim
After a workplace accident or injury, follow these steps to file your workers’ compensation claim.
Notify Your Employer of the Injury or Accident
As soon as possible, notify your employer that you were hurt on the job or you suspect you have an occupational illness. You have 30 days to notify your employer of a work injury, but the sooner you report the injury, the better.
Even if you believe you were not injured in a workplace accident, it is best to report the accident to your employer. Reporting the accident protects your right to file a claim if you realize that you sustained an injury.
It is best to notify your employer in writing. A written notification creates a record that can be used to help support your claim for workers’ comp benefits.
Seek Medical Attention for Work Injuries
It is crucial that you seek medical attention for your injuries. Failing to obtain medical care for a work injury could result in a denial of your claim.
Typically, your employer and insurance provider have the right to choose doctors who can treat work injuries. The employer must provide a list of at least six approved physicians you can see for treatment of a work injury. The list should be posed in an accessible place for employees.
If you choose a medical provider who is not on the approved physician list, it could be a reason to deny your workers’ comp claim. You can change doctors anytime, but you must choose another doctor from the approved physician list.
Emergency medical treatment is an exception to this rule. If you need emergency care after a work injury, you can go to the nearest emergency room or urgent care facility for treatment. However, follow-up care must be provided by an approved physician.
File a WC-14 Notice of Claim Form
Complete and file a WC-14 form with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You can file the form by mailing it to the address on the form or by filing them in person. Your employer should provide you with this form. You can also obtain the form online.
The information you need to complete include:
- The claim information, including your information, your employer’s information, and the insurance information
- Description of how the injury occurred
- Details of your injury, including the body party injured
- The date, location, and time of the injury
When you file the form with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, send a copy to your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company. Keep copies of the form for your records.
Employers Filing Requirements
After you submit the workers’ compensation form, your employer should complete the next steps. They should file all documents required from the employer. The employer should have already notified its insurance company of the claim.
What Happens After I File a Georgia Workers’ Comp Claim
The insurance company reviews your claim. Then, it determines whether your injury qualifies for benefits. While the insurance company reviews your claim, continue to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and keep detailed records about your injury, including the details of your recovery.
Workers’ compensation benefits that you could receive include:
Your employer or its insurance provider should pay for all necessary and reasonable medical expenses related to your work injury or accident. You should not have any out-of-pocket costs. The provider should pay for medical treatment for up to 400 weeks, not counting catastrophic injuries.
Medical rehabilitation includes services such as occupational and physical therapy. However, your doctor must prescribe the treatment as part of your treatment plan. In addition, you must participate fully in the therapy for the company to pay the cost.
You are entitled to income benefits if your injury prevents you from working. However, you do not receive reimbursement for all loss of income. Instead, you receive about two-thirds of your average weekly wages up to the maximum set by law.
Employees who sustain a permanent disability or impairment because of a work injury or illness may be eligible for disability payments, subject to maximum amounts and periods.
Some workers may sustain injuries that prevent them from returning to their jobs. Vocational rehab can help workers prepare for employment in a different job, given the restrictions of their injury. Injured employees must apply for programs through the workers’ compensation process for the cost of the programs to be covered by workers’ comp.
Should I Hire an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
You are not required to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer to file a workers’ comp claim. However, seeking legal advice is in your best interest. A lawyer explains your rights and the process of filing for workers’ comp benefits.
An attorney works with the insurance company to reach a fair settlement for your claim. They also help you prepare for IMEs (independent medical examinations), and they can file appeals of workers’ claim denials.
Your employer and its workers’ comp carrier protect their best interest. You should seek legal advice to protect your best interest after a work injury.
Contact the Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Hasner Law, P.C. For Help
We serve in Fulton County, Chatham County, and its surrounding areas: