The process for filing a workers’ compensation claim can be somewhat difficult. Once you submit everything, you are just waiting for a workers’ compensation check to come in the mail. Instead, you are surprised when you get a denial letter. This can be one of the most devastating things that can happen because you are counting on the money to pay your bills and take care of your family. Many people in this situation wonder what they can do and where they can turn if their workers’ compensation claim is denied.
What to Do If Your Claim Is Denied
Sometimes a workers’ compensation claim is denied and when that happens you need to take action. If the claim was denied you should receive a notice, however, your first indication may be that you are not receiving payments for your workers’ compensation benefits. The claim may have been denied by your employer or by the State of Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC).
You may request a hearing in front of the SBWC. You may represent yourself at the hearing but it is strongly recommended that you seek legal representation from an experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney. Your attorney has the expertise to handle these types of hearings and will gather all of the documentation and details necessary to present to the board. Once you complete and file a request for a hearing you will be assigned a judge and hearing date.
What to Expect at the Hearing
The hearing is a place where you or your attorney will have the opportunity to present your evidence and proof that your employer owes you workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, you may need to meet with a mediator first before the hearing date. A mediator is a professional who assists in facilitating resolutions between two parties. You and your attorney will meet with your employer or insurance company representative and the mediator to discuss your on-the-job injury.
If you can’t reach an agreement during mediation, the matter will go to the hearing. The hearing is your chance to present all of your evidence including witnesses. Keep in mind that you generally must present witnesses in person rather than provide witnesses’ statements alone. For example, you may want your doctor to testify about your injuries. Your physician will also be able to provide medical records and other items documenting your injury. Your employer may also bring witnesses to testify that the injury didn’t occur the way you stated or that the injury didn’t happen at work.
These types of cases can become very complicated. It is helpful to get guidance from a skilled Rome workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney knows how to navigate the claim process and will prepare for your hearing if necessary. Meet with an attorney as soon after the injury as possible because filing the claim properly in the first place can sometimes ensure that it is approved. Contact our experienced Rome legal team at The Bader Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.