When you have been injured, what do you do? You need to file a workers compensation claim.
Sometimes, filing a workers compensation claim is easy. Other times, your employer or their insurance company will make it difficult. Here is some information about how to file a claim in both of those situations.
Report your work injury to your employer
Georgia law makes starting a workers compensation case easy. You just report your injury to your employer through a supervisor.
Your employer will probably send you to the doctor to get checked out. Your employer has up to 21 days to investigate your case before making a decision about whether to pay you benefits or not.
If everything goes well, they will file a Form WC-2 and start paying you weekly benefits for the time you are out of work. They will pay for medical treatment as well. You may not have to do anything to get your claim filed.
What if your employer makes filing your claim more difficult?
Sometimes, your employer or their insurance company makes it difficult to file your workers compensation claim. For example, here are some situations you might encounter.
- You report your injury to your employer but they do not file it with their workers compensation insurance company. They might claim that their insurance costs will go up. They might encourage you to just get treatment on your group health insurance.
- You report your injury but your employer never notifies the workers compensation insurance company so nothing happens while you wait.
- You report your injury. Your employer notifies the workers compensation insurance company. They deny your claim.
In these situations, you probably will need to file a claim yourself. Neither your employer nor their insurance company controls whether you file a claim.
You can file a claim yourself by filing a Form WC-14. You can request a hearing with that same document. Make sure not to wait too long to file your claim because there are deadlines that can cause you to lose your case.
Whether the insurance company denies or accepts your claim, you still should talk to an attorney
Filing a workers compensation claim can be easy or difficult. But it is important to remember that it is just the first step in recovering from your work injury.
If your employer or the workers compensation insurance company is not making it easy to file your claim, you should definitely talk to an attorney. You may need to fight them in court. An attorney who specializes in Georgia workers compensation law can help you do this.
Even your employer makes filing your claim is easy, recovering from your injury may be difficult. I would still encourage you to talk to a workers compensation attorney to find out your rights about medical treatment and other workers compensation benefits.
The workers compensation attorneys in our office provide free consultations and would be glad to talk to you. Please let us know if we can help.
Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers. He regularly blogs about Georgia’s workers’ compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.
You can subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation channel on YouTube.