Workers' Comp Insurance FAQs
It is not uncommon for you to have many questions about how workers’ compensation in Georgia works since most people have only limited experience using the program. Even when you know people who have been involved with workers’ compensation, it does not necessarily mean that they are going to answer all of your questions.
Anybody who is new to workers’ compensation in Georgia will want to be sure that they are quick to retain legal counsel so they can have a skilled and knowledgeable voice for everything they will be dealing with. You should make sure that you take the time to find yourself an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible so you can get the benefits you need and deserve as quickly as possible.
How Long Must I Work to be Covered Under Workers’ Compensation?
You will be covered by workers’ compensation on your first day on the job.
How Do I Change My Doctor?
When a doctor has retired, moved, or is no longer available for some other reason, you will need to write a letter to your claims examiner stating that the doctor retired, moved, or whatever else the case may be, and you have selected another doctor to be your new attending physician. If the doctor’s circumstances did not change but you still want a new doctor, the process can be much more difficult.
When you try asking a claims examiner for permission after a long delay, you could be rejected. The easier way to accomplish your goal of changing doctors is to get a letter signed by your current doctor that advises the claims examiner that they are turning over the function of the attending physician to a new physician you selected.
You can create this letter for your doctor and then bring it to their office for a signature. Once the doctor signs that letter, you can send it in and have a new attending physician.
How do I Know if The Company I Work For is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
The law stipulates that any business with three or more employees, including regular part-time workers, must have workers’ compensation insurance. Coverage may be verified by going to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) website and clicking on “How Do I verify an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage.”
Information can be found on the Online Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Coverage Verification page of the website. You should know that exceptions to coverage requirements exist for railroad carriers, federal government agencies, farm laborers, and domestic servants.
If you think a business you have checked is required to have workers’ compensation insurance and no record of coverage can be located, you are instructed to contact the Enforcement Division at (404) 657-7285 or (800) 743-5436. A business that is found to be in non-compliance with required coverage requirements can face civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation 2and a year in prison.
What if my Injury Keeps Me From Getting a Job?
By law, you are entitled to receive help in getting another job or learning to do another job if you sustain a catastrophic injury. When you need help with this, the SBWC instructs you to call the SBWC at (404) 656-0849.
What if I Am Can Return to Work but can Only get a Lower Paying job as a Result of my Injury?
You can receive a reduced benefit based upon your earnings for a maximum of 350 weeks from the date of your injury. The benefit cannot exceed $450.00 per week if your accident occurred on or after July 1, 2019.
How do Hearings Work?
A hearing is typically scheduled within 60 days from the day the judge receives the Form WC-14. The hearing will usually be held in or near the county where you were injured.
Everyone has the right to represent themselves at a hearing, but your employer is likely to be represented by a lawyer. You will probably want help from an attorney to ensure that your claim is being presented in the best possible light and give yourself the strongest chance of the most favorable outcome.
What are the Penalties for False or Misleading Workers’ Compensation Statements?
A person who knowingly and intentionally makes false or misleading statements to obtain or deny benefits or payment can be assessed a civil penalty of at least $1,000 up to $10,000 per violation. The Board can assess a penalty of at least $500 up to $5,000 per violation for an employer’s failure to be insured for workers’ compensation.
In addition to the civil penalties, a person, firm, or corporation making false and misleading statements or representations can also face criminal sanctions by imprisonment of up to 12 months. An employer who refuses or willfully neglects to have workers’ compensation insurance may be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Contact an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you suffered catastrophic injuries in a workplace accident in Atlanta, do not try to navigate the workers’ compensation claims process on your own. Make sure that you are working with Parsons & Associates, P.C. because we offer a wealth of experience handling these kinds of claims.
Our firm will be able to conduct an independent investigation into your accident to secure all of the evidence needed to prove your claims and we can then fight to make sure you recover every last dollar you are entitled to. You can call us or contact us online for a free consultation so we can sit down with you and go over all of the details of your case while also answering all of your legal questions.