How to File for Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
If you have been injured at work in Norcross, Gwinnett County, or anywhere in the Greater Atlanta area, you can file for workers’ compensation with the help of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC.
Workers’ compensation – or workers’ comp – is a program that is run by the state. Workers’ comp will cover medical treatment, associated medical expenses (like prescriptions), and partial wage replacement for time missed from work due to workplace injuries. It can also provide death benefits to the families of workers who pass away due to work-related accidents or illnesses.
While we always advise you to get legal advice from an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorney to give yourself the best chances for success in your claim, here are some specific steps you should take to successfully file for workers’ compensation in Georgia:
1. Safety First
If you suffer an injury on the job, make sure to get medical treatment. This is not the time to be tough. Some injuries that may not seem severe at first can have lasting complications and can even result in death if left untreated. Get a thorough examination from a medical professional as soon as possible. Be sure to tell them all your symptoms, as well as what physically happened to your body in the accident.
2. Inform Your Employer
Once you are out of harm’s way and you have received medical attention, report your injury to your employer. You should do this by contacting your immediate supervisor, human resources department, or an appropriate member of management. If your company has a specific procedure in place for reporting accidents, follow that procedure.
Casually mentioning your injury to a co-worker does not count in this case. You need to officially provide your employer with a detailed account of your injury and how it occurred.
Depending on policies at your workplace, your employer will probably have additional questions for you, and may require that you fill out an internal accident or incident report. This is a normal part of an accident or injury process and will likely be what your company provides to their insurance provider.
Be as thorough as possible and explain how your injury occurred as if you were describing it to someone who has never seen your job site. This will enable you to paint a complete picture of how the accident occurred so that it makes sense to anyone who reads it, whether they are at your job site every day or if they work in an office building five states away.
If your injuries happen to be too serious for you to make a report on your own, you should have a friend or family member inform your employer where you are hospitalized. Do not make any assumptions that they have automatically begun the workers’ comp process. Assuming that the claim process is underway is a common mistake that employees make and can result in missing important deadlines to file a claim.
3. File with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation
When you talk with your employer, they should be able to provide you with a Form WC-14 to file with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. The form is also available here. Be sure to fill out this form completely and accurately, as this is the information that will be used to approve or deny your claim.
Be aware that while most employees within the state of Georgia are eligible for workers’ comp, there are some exceptions. These include:
- Small business owners and sole proprietors
- Federal employees
- Railroad employees
- Independent contractors
You must submit your WC-14 within 30 days of the accident that caused your injuries. If the severity of your injuries or other extenuating circumstances cause you to go beyond 30 days before filing your claim, you should consult with a workers’ comp attorney at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC to review your options.
4. Await Results and Consider Third-Party Claims
Your workers’ compensation claim will either be approved or denied by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You should receive results in as little as a few weeks. If you need immediate support for medical expenses, Adamson & Cleveland, LLC’s workers’ comp attorneys can help you expedite the process.
While you are waiting for the results of your workers’ comp claim, it is wise to consider whether you may have a case for a third-party claim. A third-party claim is an option for you if someone other than your employer was at fault for your injuries. Third parties may include drivers on the road, independent contractors, property managers of places you visit during work, and even your co-workers.
If a third party was negligent, you can pursue a personal injury suit against them in addition to filing for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. You will likely be able to recover much more money through a third-party claim, so if you think this is a possibility for you, you should reach out to a lawyer right away.
5. If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
If your claim is denied, you should enlist the help of an experienced workers’ comp attorney from Adamson & Cleveland, LLC to make an appeal. The appeal process will require that you submit another form to the Board of Workers’ Compensation, and you will receive a hearing date 60 days from the submittal of your appeal.
The hearing is similar to a trial. You or your attorney will have to make arguments and present evidence to show that your claim should be approved. You will have the best chances for success with the assistance of a skilled attorney.
My workers’ comp. case was handled promptly, professionally and with care by Alan and his staff. I would highly recommend them for any legal issue. My case took only a few months to settle and I am pleased with the results. No case is too Big or small for these guys.
My case was against one of the largest companies in the world and I would use them again and again.
Alan and his team of experts stood by me all the way!! They earned My business for life. Thank You to Alan, Maria and the whole staff for representing MY best interest!!
How an Attorney Can Help Throughout the Workers’ Compensation Process
When you make a workers’ comp claim, a knowledgeable Georgia workers’ comp attorney can handle the legal portion of the process so that you can focus on your physical recovery. One of our Gwinnett County lawyers at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC can provide you valuable guidance in filing a claim or during the appeal process or a third-party claim, if that applies to your situation.
We have helped injured workers successfully get workers’ comp benefits, and we are ready to seek the money you need and deserve. Contact us now for a no-obligation, free consultation.