- December 1, 2023
- Attorney David Mann
- Workers' Compensation
When you are injured on the job, it can cause permanent disability or lasting pain. This may leave you wondering how you will pay your bills and care for your family, especially if you can’t work.
It can cause a significant amount of stress for you and your family. This could be a time when you need to consider filing workers’ comp.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation, or workers’ comp, is an insurance program your employer pays into if you’re in an accident at work. This program is state-mandated, which means the state requires employers to provide this type of compensation to their employees.
The compensation from this program can help you with income, medical benefits, and rehabilitation benefits. These benefits will provide a safety net if you’re injured and help you get back to work. In addition, if you pass away due to your accident, it could benefit your dependents.
The regulations and the laws around workers’ compensation vary by each state. The state outlines the benefits and eligibility criteria for injured workers. You can file a workers’ compensation claim when you are injured or become ill due to your job.
What Is the Time Limit to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, there is a time limit for when you can file a workers’ compensation claim. That time frame is one year from the date of the injury or accident. This means that if you are injured on the job, you have up to one year from the date you were injured to file a claim.
An important consideration is that the one-year time limit applies to occupational diseases. So, when it comes to an occupational illness due to the job, you have one year from the date of the diagnosis.
It can also be one year from when you should have reasonably known about the occupational disease to file a workers’ compensation claim.
It’s imperative to file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible after an injury or diagnosis of an occupational disease. You could forfeit any right to benefits if you don’t meet the one-year time limit.
If you have any questions about filing a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, contact Mann Law Firm at (478) 742-3381.
What Is an Occupational Disease?
An occupational disease is a chronic medical condition or illness that develops gradually over time because of repeated exposure to chemicals, toxins, noise, or physical strain at the workplace.
An excellent example of this is a skin disorder as a result of chemical exposure. Occupational diseases are typically covered under workers’ compensation laws.
To ensure that you will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits for an occupational disease, you must prove:
- That your disease was caused by exposure to workplace hazards
- That the exposure was a substantial contributing factor to the disease
When you are trying to prove that you have an occupational disease, you need an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
How Do I File Workers’ Comp in Georgia?
When you have been injured at work in Georgia, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The good news is that filing for workers’ compensation isn’t difficult, but there are steps you must follow.
Unfortunately, not all insurance carriers treat those that file claims fairly, but many do. As a result, you want to find an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to ensure you follow all the appropriate steps to file a workers’ comp claim in Georgia. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.
Report the Injury
First, you should report the injury to the HR department or your supervisor as soon as you’re injured. The law in Georgia requires that you report your injury within 30 days of the injury.
Get Medical Attention
It’s critical that you receive medical attention for your injury as soon as possible after your injury. Your employer may provide you with a list of approved doctors from which you can choose.
Complete the Appropriate Form
When you file for a workers’ compensation claim, you must fill out a claim form, WC-14. Your employer is required to provide this form to you. You can download it from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation website if they don’t or can’t provide it.
Once you complete the form, you must submit it to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. It’s in your best interest to keep a copy of the filled-out form for your records.
Your attorney can also file it for you electronically. You or your attorney can request a hearing if your employer or the insurance company doesn’t provide the appropriate benefits.
Once the appropriate claim form is filled out and submitted, both parties enter the discovery process. This is when each side requests documents and serves one other with written questions called interrogatories.
You will likely be asked to provide a deposition. Another name for a deposition is an oral testimony. This deposition often happens in your attorney’s office. If there is a dispute concerning the medical treatment you are receiving, you may be asked to complete an independent medical exam.
The insurance company does this to get another opinion about your injuries. Your attorney may ask for this to supply additional evidence to your claim.
The case may need to be heard before an administrative law judge. The good news is that most of these cases are settled before they have to go to a courtroom.
Waiting for a Decision
The State Board of Workers’ Compensation reviews your claim and decides whether your benefits are approved or denied. Typically, you should receive a decision within 21 days.
You receive benefits for medical expenses and lost wages when your claim is approved. If your claim is denied, you can appeal the decision. However, you should remember that while filing for workers’ compensation benefits is easy, the laws can be complex. Because of this, you should consult with an attorney specializing in workers’ compensation in Georgia.
When you’re a workplace accident victim, you may face medical bills and time away from work. When you are away from work for an extended period, it can put a significant strain on your finances. In addition, you are eligible for benefits when you are injured while performing your job duties.
Why Is It Important to Follow the Appropriate Steps?
When you are filing a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, it’s essential that you follow the appropriate steps. No one wants to be hurt on the job and suffer from long-lasting pain or have a permanent disability.
Workers’ compensation provides benefits that may provide you with medical and income resources when you are injured. It doesn’t matter if your injury was caused by someone else or if it was your fault. Either way, you are entitled to these benefits through your employer and the state of Georgia.
Several items might be covered through the workers’ compensation program, including the following:
- Medical bills
- Reimbursement for lost wages
- Travel expenses
- Vocational retraining
- Death benefits.
By law, all employers in the state of Georgia who employ three or more full-time, part-time, or seasonal employees must provide workers’ compensation benefits.
To be eligible for these benefits when you are injured, you must comply with the requirements of filing. This means you must fill out the appropriate forms and supply all the needed information.
Contact a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
When you are injured on the job or have lost a loved one in a workplace accident in Georgia, an experienced Macon workers’ compensation lawyer from the Mann Law Firm can help you obtain the workers’ comp benefits that you need and deserve.
When you are facing time off from work and medical bills because of an on-the-job injury, don’t waste any time — contact us right away.
We have the knowledge, experience, and reputation for getting the benefits you deserve and need. Also, we can discuss all your legal options with you.
Contact us today at (478) 742-3381 to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation about your case.