Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that the law requires most employers to carry. Workers’ compensation insurance exists to provide coverage for employees who suffer personal injuries or illnesses on the job. This coverage includes compensation for medical and rehabilitation needs related to the injury, as well as for missed income.
The goal of the program is to help injured workers recover and return to their jobs. For those whose injuries are fatal, the program pays out benefits to dependents, as well. In the State of Georgia, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) regulates the workers’ compensation program and is responsible for reviewing claims.
When Workers’ Compensation Applies
Workers’ compensation guidelines, laws, and benefits vary on a state-by-state basis. Some businesses may not need to carry workers’ compensation insurance at all. For example, employers with only a single employee in certain states do not need to purchase a workers’ compensation policy.
Similarly, some types of employees may not qualify to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Gig workers, such as freelancers and independent contractors, represent one prime example.
There are many details that factor into the outcome of a workers’ compensation case. If you are confused about any step of the process, a lawyer who accepts cases related to workers’ compensation can step in to assist you.
Your attorney can help you by communicating with your employer, the insurance provider, and the SBWC on your behalf. They can also help you as you process documents and file forms related to your case.
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Reporting an Injury and Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
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When you suffer a personal injury or illness at work, you must promptly report it to your employer. States also have a workers’ compensation filing deadline that you must meet. Failing to adhere to either one of these deadlines can leave you without options for moving forward with your workers’ compensation case.
Some state-specific laws oversee the claims filing process for workers’ compensation cases. There are also laws governing the timeline and disbursement of workers’ compensation benefits. For instance, O.C.G.A. § 34-9-220 states that to receive payment for your first seven days of missed income, you must usually miss at least 21 days of work.
Hiring a Lawyer to Assist with Your Workers’ Compensation Case
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When you become injured while on the job, you have a right to file a claim under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. However, the SBWC does not accept all claims. There are a number of circumstances that may lead to a denial of an employee’s claim, including if the injury occurred due to the employee’s:
- Drug use
- Criminal activity
- Altercation with other employees
Injuries that occur outside of work hours or after an employee’s termination also do not qualify. Further, failure to report the injury or follow a doctor’s orders regarding treatment can jeopardize a workers’ compensation claim.
If you believe your employer or the SWBC has unfairly denied your claim, you may want to consider hiring a lawyer. An attorney can help you identify the reason your claim got denied, collect evidence to support your right to benefits, and launch an appeal of your case.
Workers’ compensation appeals involve a hearing, during which an administrative law judge will review the new evidence you and your lawyer present and make a decision regarding your benefits. Your attorney can represent you in these proceedings to offer further support for your case.
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Today
If you suffered a work-related injury or illness, then you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, many details can affect the outcome of your case, and you may be facing a denial.
Trying to navigate a workers’ compensation appeal can be difficult, especially when you are dealing with the complications of a severe injury or illness. Fortunately, you do not have to take on your case alone.
A workers’ compensation lawyer from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help you appeal your workers’ compensation case after you suffer a denial. Our team of lawyers will persist and fight for justice on your behalf so that you can invest your time and energy into your recovery process.
To learn more about how someone from our team can help you with a workers’ compensation case, reach out and contact our office today by calling (404) 888-8888.