Filing a Claim in Atlanta
If you’ve been injured at work, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what steps to take next. Filing a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia involves following exact steps and meeting deadlines that can bar you from obtaining the compensation you need if you miss them.
You must take several steps to obtain workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury in Georgia.
These steps include the following:
- Inform your employers that you suffered a workplace injury: You must inform your employer that you have been hurt at work as soon as possible. A delay in informing your employer could result in your employer denying that the injury occurred due to your job. A delay that exceeds the statute of limitations (the time limit set by Georgia’s workers’ compensation law) could also result in your claim being time-barred. This would mean you could not bring your claim at all.
- Get medical help: Getting medical help right away after a workplace injury is essential. The doctor can provide you with life-saving medical care or assistance to prevent the injury from worsening. Your doctor can also document the injuries, including the cause and extent of the harm you suffered. This information can be invaluable if your employer denies the extent of your injuries or if your employer denies that you were hurt on the job. Under Georgia law, you must get your medical treatment from a doctor authorized by your employer. Be sure to heed the requirements regarding which doctors you can see for ongoing care and treatment, so you do not jeopardize your claim for benefits.
- Provide notification to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation: Form WC-14 must be submitted to your employer and the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This notification must be provided to your employer and the workers’ compensation board within one year of the injury, within one year of the last remedial medical treatment, or within two years from when your employer last paid weekly income benefits to you.
Once you have provided notification, the employer’s insurance company should review your claim, and, ideally, your claim will be approved promptly.
If you do not hear back from your employer on whether your claim is approved, or if you receive a denial of your claim, then you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible to get assistance if you have not already done so.
Workers’ Compensation Settlements
Our workers’ compensation lawyers will negotiate a fair settlement with insurance companies. In most workers’ compensation cases, settlements are reached before they reach an administrative law judge.
In a settled workers’ compensation claim, the insurer pays a flat amount instead of all benefits, such as medical care, mileage, and temporary disability.
The majority of workers’ compensation settlements in Georgia are lump-sum payments. The insurance company may also offer a structured settlement. You may benefit from this if you have suffered serious and permanently disabling injuries that require long-term care.
When you accept a workers’ compensation settlement, you give up your right to file a claim in the future. This right also covers future medical treatment. If your condition worsens, you cannot claim additional money.
In addition to explaining the ramifications of a settlement, when you will receive the funds, and the value of your claim, our lawyers will help you decide whether a settlement is in your best interests.
Workers’ compensation is usually the only way to obtain compensation from an employer after a workplace accident. Injured workers are generally not allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit as victims are in other types of personal injury cases. This means that if your claim is denied and you do not appeal or miss the deadlines, you might not be able to get the money you need to pay your medical bills and cover your lost wages after a workplace injury. Do not take this chance.
Get legal help so you have an advocate working for you immediately after your accident.
An Atlanta workplace injury lawyer at Parsons & Associates, P.C., can help you navigate the workers’ comp system every step of the way, from making an initial claim to appealing a denial of benefits, to disputing an award amount, to fighting an order to return to work too soon.
To learn more about how we can assist you after you’ve suffered an injury at work, contact us at (770) 422-9000 or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential claim review. We return calls within 24 hours from our offices in Atlanta and Savannah.