Workplace accidents could interfere with an employee’s health or compromise their ability to support their family. Fortunately, workers’ compensation laws require almost all employers in the state to provide insurance to their employees if they suffer injuries while on the job. These plans may provide benefits such as medical care and wage reimbursement.
However, collecting the full amount of benefits to which one may be entitled can become a struggle. Some injured employees may face resistance from insurance companies concerning the extent of their injuries or the connection to their jobs.
A Douglasville workers’ compensation lawyer could help you collect the benefits you deserve following a workplace accident. A local personal injury attorney could represent your interests in mediation sessions, hearings, and appellate court.
State law requires most employers throughout the state to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to their employees. Some main exceptions may include businesses with less than three employees, certain farms, and railroads.
These policies must provide medical care to people who suffer injuries while completing occupational duties and compensation in case an accident forces someone to miss at least seven days of work. These benefits also may provide extended payments in situations that result in a permanent loss of the ability to work.
As previously mentioned, these claims center around an injury that occurs while an employee is performing their occupational duties. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §34-9-1(4), this means an injury that there must be a connection between doing one’s job and the injury. This can mean that an injury occurred while on the clock and while performing a job duty. It also can mean illnesses that arise as a result of extended exposure to toxic substances that are a part of doing one’s job. A Douglasville attorney could provide more information about when an employee is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
To collect benefits, injured employees must follow a strict set of legal steps. The first is to file Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This form notifies both the Board and the claimant’s employer about the accident.
Once an insurance company receives this notice, they may begin an investigation on the claim. This investigation may include determining if the injury was the result of a workplace accident and the extent of the claimant’s losses.
This determination is the most common cause of workers’ compensation disputes. An insurance company may argue that there is no connection between the medical condition and someone’s job, or that the injury is not severe enough to warrant higher benefits.
All disputes over workers’ comp benefits go through the Board. Injured workers may request that the claim goes to mediation as a form of alternative dispute resolution. These sessions are informal meetings with a qualified mediator who helps both sides reach common ground and settle disputes.
If this fails, the Board employs administrative law judges who can hold formal hearings concerning the rights of injured employees to benefits under workers’ comp insurance policies. A Douglasville workers’ compensation attorney could help to guide workers through the legal processes and protect their rights to certain benefits.
Employees who suffer bodily harm in a workplace accident may have the right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, some insurance companies that administer these policies unfairly deny these claims for benefits.
A Douglasville workers’ compensation lawyer could become your legal advocate and fight for your benefits. Contact a legal representative today to learn more about your options.