Employees are entitled to workers’ compensation if they are injured while on the job. If you are injured, you must report the injury and file a claim in order to receive benefits. The process of completing and submitting a claim can be a daunting experience for some. It isn’t a difficult process, but you must be thorough or you could risk your claim being denied. There are some common mistakes that you can avoid to ensure that the workers’ compensation process is as smooth and easy as possible.
When it comes to on-the-job injuries, most Georgia workers have coverage from their employers. Most companies are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance that provides benefits if you suffer an injury at work. Unfortunately, many workers’ compensation claims get denied, sometimes because of errors that the employee made after they got hurt. Here are some things you can do to prevent mistakes that might cause your claim to be delayed or denied.
Report the Work Injury
First and foremost, always report the injury to your company. Every company usually has a method for making an injury report. You should make a report at the time of the injury as documentation of the event. You should do this even if you don’t know the extent of your injuries. At the very least, report the injury to your immediate supervisor and follow up the report with an email so you have written proof of when you reported the incident.
One of the most common reasons for a claim denial occurs when there are questions about how and when the injury occurred. If you fail to report the injury quickly, it can be more difficult to prove how you got hurt. You may have gotten hurt outside of work and, if so, you aren’t entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Always report the injury immediately to your supervisor or to your human resources department according to your company guidelines. It is critical to report the injury, even if you aren’t sure that it is serious. Otherwise, you might find it challenging to prove that you suffered the injury while you were at work.
Fill Out the Workers Comp Forms Correctly
You will need to fill out workers’ compensation forms in order to file a claim. Workers’ compensation reports are made through the State of Georgia, State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You can find the forms you need online, but it is helpful to seek legal assistance to help you complete and file your workers’ compensation claim. This will help ensure that you don’t forget anything and that your claim will be complete and ready for processing. An experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney will guide you through the process.
You must fill out and submit the workers’ compensation claim properly or your claim might be denied. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation provides information and details online. It is helpful to seek guidance from a knowledgeable Rome workers’ compensation attorney. Your lawyer will make sure that you fill out the form completely and provide the information that they need to process the claim.
Don’t Wait Too Long to File a Workers Comp Claim
It is also essential that you don’t wait too long to file a workers’ compensation claim in Atlanta. If you wait longer than 30 days, you could risk losing your benefits. Certainly, it is in your best interest to file a claim as soon as possible after the accident. Some people are afraid that their company will retaliate if they file a claim. Remember that the company cannot fire or demote you simply because you were hurt and filed a workers’ compensation claim. You are entitled to this benefit so do not let the time limit pass you by.
Follow Doctor’s Orders
It is essential that you follow the doctor’s orders. If you fail to do what the doctor orders, you could risk part or all of your compensation. The insurance company will review your medical records to make sure you followed the plan. For instance, if the doctor ordered you to go to rehab therapy but you didn’t attend, it may be taken as an indication that the injury was not as severe as you indicated. If the doctor tells you to stay home from work, don’t return until you have permission.
Avoid Social Media
Social media posts can ruin your workers’ compensation case. If you post photos of you skiing on Facebook or Instagram, for example, when you are supposed to stay off your feet, the insurance company will use the information against you and might refuse to pay your claim. Be careful when you post, or better yet, stay off social media until your claim is complete.
Always Visit the Doctor After a Work Injury
It is quite common for certain types of injuries to worsen after a day or two. For example, back injuries and sprains may not feel terribly painful when they first happen, but you may feel them the next day. One of the biggest mistakes people make is not going to the doctor for their injury. Visiting the doctor not only provides you with medical assistance but also creates an important record of your injury including when and how it occurred. If you wait to go to the doctor it will be more difficult to prove that the injury was work-related.
Call an Atlanta Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
Workers’ compensation claims may seem straightforward, but they are often anything but. It is best to seek legal guidance from an experienced Rome workers’ compensation attorney. Your lawyer will ensure that you gather the necessary documentation, fill out and submit information as required, and will fight for your rights if your claim is denied. Your attorney will help make sure that you get the benefits you deserve. Contact our skilled legal team at the law firm of Bader Scott to schedule a consultation to discuss your injury claim today.
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.