There are many steps involved in securing a workers’ compensation claim. There are also certain things you can do along the way to get the best workers’ compensation offer and potentially maximize your payout.
First, you must meet all legal and regulatory requirements for filing a claim and report your accident on time. You must also file the correct claim for your injuries and provide evidence of your treatments and losses. In addition, you can seek a second opinion from another doctor and appeal your claim if you initially receive a denial.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance provided by employers to their employees. Most companies with three or more full-time or seasonal employees are required to provide workers’ compensation, as per GA Code § 34-9-2. It compensates workers who became injured while performing work-related tasks and provide them with income while they recover.
The amount in benefits that you are eligible for depends on the nature of your injuries and how much you earned before your accident. We discuss practical steps that you can follow to help maximize your workers’ compensation payout below.
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Getting the Best Workers’ Compensation Offer
It can be difficult to get by without your paycheck while recovering from an injury. As such, it pays to follow the steps below to ensure that you maximize your chances of securing your workers’ compensation case and get the best workers’ compensation offer available to you by law.
Report Your Work-Related Injury Right Away
You should immediately report your injury to your direct supervisor. In most cases, you must report a work-related accident to your boss or supervisor within 30 days of suffering an injury, though it is often better to report it as soon as it occurs. Waiting to report your injuries and seek treatment can undermine your claim. Likewise, missing your reporting deadline may forfeit your right to various workers’ compensation benefits.
Seek Medical Treatment From a Workers’ Compensation Doctor
The sooner you undergo testing to diagnose and determine the extent of your injuries, the better. Quick, timely medical care is vital for a speedy recovery, and it will also start a medical paper trail.
You can use this as evidence of the treatments and procedures you had to undergo because of your work-related accident or injury. Delaying testing or treatment may lead your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer to argue that you were not seriously injured to begin with.
Seek a Second Opinion
Many workers’ compensation policies require injured workers to see a designated doctor, hospital, or panel of caregivers. These doctors are familiar with workers’ compensation claims, so they will be able to handle your care with this in mind. Still, some companies allow you to seek a second opinion from another doctor under certain circumstances. This may be helpful if you believe your designated physician gave you an injury rating that does not accurately reflect your injuries.
Understand Your Workers’ Comp Benefits
You can face costly delays—or even an outright denial of benefits—if you file for the wrong benefits. You will want to understand the differences between different types of workers’ compensation benefits before applying for them. A quick summary of various benefits you may be eligible to apply for include:
- Temporary disability, which you receive as you recover.
- Permanent disability, which you receive for long-term physical impairment.
- Medical coverage, which covers necessary medical care.
- Vocational rehabilitation, such as job retraining and assistance with finding work you are capable of performing. This may be necessary if your injuries have limited the kind of work you can do.
- Compensation for travel to and from medical appointments.
Appeal a Workers’ Compensation Denial
You can appeal a denial if you feel you have valid grounds for a claim but were denied the first time you sought compensation and benefits. Appeals typically involve sending a written request to your local workers’ compensation benefits office, which in Georgia is the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. A court or judge will process your appeal, review your case evidence, and schedule a hearing accordingly.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you are still worried about how to get the best workers’ compensation offer, it can help to contact an attorney. Workers’ compensation law can be complex, and a lawyer may be able to assist you in understanding the rules and laws that govern your benefits, as well as with:
- Evidence collection.
- Filling out and filing forms.
- Determining the types of benefits available to you.
- Defending your appeal.
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Today
The legal team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers is just a call away. Contact us today at (404) 888-8888 for assistance with a workers’ compensation case. We can help you file a claim if your injuries warrant one and defend your right to benefits, so do not hesitate to reach out.