Employers and their insurance companies have exactly 21 days from the date that a work injury is reported to investigate the incident and deny benefits or provide them. Sadly, like many Georgia workers, you may find that your work injury claim is being ignored. This common misstep on the part of employers can be incredibly harmful if you’re no longer able to do your job, require multiple forms of medical treatment, or are dealing with mounting bills. The good news is that you do have a form of recourse. The following is everything you need to know if your Georgia workers’ compensation claim isn’t being acted upon.
Why Companies Ignore Work Injury Claims
There are many reasons why companies choose to ignore work injury claims. It may be that:
- Your employer lacks coverage or doesn’t have the proper coverage limits. Most Georgia employers are required by law to have workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your employer wants to avoid paying higher insurance rates. This is known as non-compliance.
- Your employer may believe that mitigating circumstances surrounding your work injury absolves them from responsibility.
Some employers assert that injured parties took too long to report the events that caused their injuries. Although it’s always best to document your injuries right away, you have 30 days to notify your employer of a work-related accident under Georgia law. Some companies overlook workers’ compensation claims for what they deem as being repetitive of mild injuries. They may believe that injuries such as these aren’t severe enough to justify time off or medical treatment. However, this isn’t a determination that an employer can make. It is one that can only be made by a licensed medical professional. Moreover, the Georgia workers’ compensation law covers repetitive motion injuries and various mild injuries. Thus, if your claim is being ignored for any of these reasons, you want to take action.
Outright Denials and Refusal to Send Weekly Checks
Whether your employer outright denies your claim for any of the above-listed reasons or it is simply not getting any action, you’ll need to file a formal claim. This is done through the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC). While you have just 30 days to notify your employer of your injury, you have one full year from the date of your work-related accident to file a formal claim with the SBWC. You can file this claim on your own, or you can do it with the help of Gearhart Law Group.
Clarify Your Needs
It may be that you haven’t directed your injury report to the correct department or person or that your employer simply isn’t aware of your needs. If you aren’t getting an adequate response from your managers or the Human Resources Department, communicate your needs clearly in writing. If you still see no movement on your claim, you’ll have a written record of your attempts to both find the proper channels and use them. This record can be shared with your attorney before taking your claim to trial.
Get an Attorney
Workers’ compensation laws are designed to alleviate the financial and psychological burdens on those who’ve been injured while on the job. If you’ve been hurt while fulfilling your work duties, your employer should be attentive, supportive, and above all, responsive. Hiring an attorney is always the best choice if you’re not getting the response you deserve. Contact Gearhart Law Group now to start moving your work injury claim forward. You’ll get knowledgeable help in navigating the claims process, and your attorney will ensure that your employer and their insurer are adhering to Georgia workers’ compensation laws.
How do I file a claim?
You can file a formal claim by requesting form WC-14 from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You can also have your attorney request and complete this form for you.
What happens if I do not receive any benefits?
If your Georgia work injury benefits are denied or if your claim is ignored, you have the right to request a hearing. Your case will be heard by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and ruled on by an Administrative Law Judge.
When do I need an attorney?
Whenever employers are unresponsive or deny claims unfairly, getting an attorney is advised. Although you have the right to represent yourself when your claim goes to trial, it’s important to remember that your employer will likely be represented by an attorney. Having knowledgeable, qualified legal representation of your own can significantly improve your chance of getting a positive outcome.
At Gearhart Law, our “No Settlement, No Fee” services have helped countless injured workers get fair settlements for all damages and losses sustained while on the job. Whether you’re dealing with a minor, repetitive injury or you’ve sustained debilitating, disfiguring, or otherwise life-altering injuries, we can help. Call us today to get the response you need and the compensation you deserve.