Workers’ compensation programs exist in order to protect workers who are injured on the job. The exact way that these programs work will vary depending on the state that the employer is located in. In Georgia, any business that has 3 workers or more must carry workers’ compensation insurance, even if the workers are part-time, but regular workers. While certain fields of work, such as domestic workers, railroad workers, and independent contractors, are exempted, most employees are covered by workers’ compensation. If you were injured at work, you might have some questions about what your rights are and what you have to do to take advantage of workers’ compensation. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
How to file for a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia
If you suffer an injury at work, the first thing to do is to make sure you are safe and that your injury is treated. But as soon as possible, you will want to notify your employer of your injury. This is important because you only have a limited amount of time to report your injury. If you fail to report it within a month, you might not be able to collect your workers’ compensation benefits. It is also important to file your claim as soon as possible, because delaying the decision to file can be seen as a reason for your claim to be questioned by your employer or the insurer. In Georgia, you are also required to file a form with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. A copy of the form should also be sent to your employer and the insurance company.
What if my injury was my fault?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that if you caused your accident and injury, there is a good chance that you will still be able to collect workers’ compensation benefits. There are certain exceptions. If you flagrantly disregarded a workplace safety rule, that might be grounds to deny your claim, as would your having been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or in the midst of committing a crime when your injury occurred.
If my employer or co-worker was negligent, can I file a lawsuit?
In most cases you will be prevented from filing a lawsuit against your employer or any agent of your employer. This is because workers’ compensation programs offer a form of trade-off between workers and their employers. While workers do not have to show negligence in order to collect compensation, and are able to collect even when they are themselves at fault, the employer is shielded from lawsuits that could be costly to defend. However, if you suffer an injury on the job because of the negligence of a third party other than your employer, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the at fault person or company, even while simultaneously pursuing workers’ compensation benefits.
What happens if my claim is denied?
When an insurer denies your workers’ compensation claim, you have the right to appeal the decision. In order to appeal, you can request that the State Board of Workers’ Compensation hold a hearing to evaluate the claim denial. These hearings are similar to trials, and take place in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
Do I need an attorney?
If you suffered a serious injury at work, you should consult with an attorney about your claim to learn about your legal rights. If you are appealing your claim, an attorney’s assistance can be highly valuable. Our attorneys at Montlick & Associates fight hard on behalf of our injured clients in order to obtain for them the maximum benefits to which they are entitled under the law.
Put Our Law Firm’s Over 39 Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case!
If you have been injured because of someone else’s negligence, call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for your free consultation today. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 39 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour live chat.
Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
17 Executive Park Dr NE
Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
Telephone: 1 (404) 529-6333
Open: 24 hours, 7 Days a Week