After getting hurt on the job, you should be entitled to medical coverage and other benefits.

If you have been injured on the job in any way, you may be entitled to compensation from the employer by filing a workers’ compensation claim. It is very important, however, that you file your claim correctly with the Workers’ Compensation Board. Failing to do so could result in your claim being denied.

An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at the Mann Law Firm can guide you through the process and help you pursue the benefits you need. We serve clients in Macon and surrounding communities in Middle Georgia. Contact us at (478) 742-3381 to learn more. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not collect any fees unless you are compensated for your injuries.

Guide To Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia

Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia can be confusing. One wrong word or statement can lead to a denial of your claim. That is why we have put together a guide to help you in the process of filing a claim. While this guide is available to help you with your claim, it is important to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney before you file.

1. Notify your employer of the injury immediately.

Under Georgia law, you have 30 days from the time of your accident to provide notice to your employer. Although notice can be given orally, in person, within the 30-day period, the best practice is to give the notice in writing (which ensures you have proof that you reported your injury). The notice can be given to your human resources office, immediate supervisor, foreman or other person designated by your employer to receive this notice. The notice must state the time, place, nature and cause of the accident and of the resulting injury you suffered. If you fail to give notice within this time period, you may be barred from obtaining benefits unless you can show a “reasonable excuse” for failing to give notice and prove that your employer suffered no harm, or “prejudice,” due to your failure to give notice.

2. Seek medical help.

Your employer must have a posted list of at least six doctors that provide treatment to workers injured on the job. Generally speaking, you have to see a doctor on the list for your treatment to be covered. However, in an emergency situation, you can get temporary medical care from any healthcare provider available. Getting medical help is important to ensure that you can prove that you actually suffered a work-related injury. So, you should not delay getting the treatment you need.

3. Document your time off from work.

You need to keep track of any time that you miss from work due to your work-related injury. You are entitled to weekly income from workers’ compensation once you have missed at least seven days of work due to your injury.  You should get your first check for disability income within 21 days of the first day of work that you missed.

4. Consult with an attorney.

You should speak with an attorney about your case without delay. You can learn about your legal rights and options if a dispute or problems arises with your claim. Your attorney can take steps that will protect you if there is an unreasonable delay in receiving your benefits or an unjust denial of your claim.

5. Stay off Social Media.

Insurance companies are in the business of making money and want to pay out as little as possible on any insurance claim.  If you file a claim stating you were injured on the job, you should not post anything to social media until your claim is finalized.  Doing so could lead to your claim being denied.  For example, if you claim that your back was injured on the job, but you post pictures of a ski vacation you took with your family, the insurance company can use that against you as proof to deny your claim.

6. Ensure your employer has filed the required documentation.

The Employer’s First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease (WC-1 form) should be filed by your employer with its workers’ compensation insurer or self-insurer office. The insurer then files the form with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. If you do not receive benefits or if you are unsure whether any action has been taken on your behalf, then you should contact your employer or the insurer (or ask your attorney to make this inquiry).

7. File a WC-14 Notice of Claim form.

You may need to complete the WC-14 Notice of Claim form to protect your right to make a claim for work injury benefits.  The WC-14 Notice of Claim is available from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC).  You can use this form to alert the Board that you have made a workers’ compensation claim and you can use the form to request a hearing if there is a dispute over your eligibility for benefits. Generally speaking, you have one year from the time of the injury (or within one year after you know or should know about your occupational disease) to file your claim. So, do not hesitate to act.

8. Filing Notice of Appeal if your claim is denied by your employer’s insurer.

If your employer’s insurer or self-insurer denies your claim for workers’ compensation benefits, you have several levels of appeal that you can go through with the assistance of an experienced insurance claim attorney:

  • Hearing before an SBWC Administrative Law Judge
  • Appeal to the SBWC’s Appellate Division, or “Full Board”
  • Appeal to Superior Court
  • Appeal to the Georgia Court of Appeals
  • Appeal to the Supreme Court of Georgia.

It is crucial to be represented by an attorney throughout the appeals process. Specific rules apply, and certain documents must be filed. You do not want to make any mistakes that could cost you benefits that you may rightfully deserve.

Get Help Today from a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Serving Macon, GA

Unfortunately, many valid workers’ compensation claims are denied by employers and their insurers. These parties may also engage in unfair tactics like trying to force you to return to work before you are ready to go back on the job. You need to understand and protect your rights under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws. The best way to do this is by getting in touch immediately with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.

At the Mann Law Firm, we can deal with your employer, the workers’ compensation insurer and the State Board of Workers’ Compensation on your behalf. We will guide you through the whole process of qualifying for work injury benefits, advocate for you and seek solutions if any problems arise with your claim. After many years of working with larger firms, attorney David Mann returned to practicing law with his father at Mann Law Firm specifically so he could help people in your position throughout Macon and Middle Georgia. Contact us today by calling us or submitting our online form. There is no charge for an initial consultation about your case.

Attorney David Mann

Attorney David MannBefore leading his own firm, Mann served for several years as in-house defense counsel for a large insurance company, which gives him unique insight into how insurance companies work. He uses this critical knowledge as an advantage for his clients. He is a tough negotiator and litigator, and he is exceptionally strategic in building cases on behalf of personal injury victims.[ Attorney Bio ]

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