Injuries and illnesses on the job can have a negative impact on every aspect of your life, including your ability to work. This can result in a difficult loss of income at a time when you are likely accruing costly medical bills.
While personal insurance can help with some medical costs, it typically cannot supplement your lost income. If you were injured while on the job, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance can cover costs associated with your medical care, rehabilitation, and lost wages. Consult legal counsel on how to apply for workers’ compensation in Clarkesville. A skilled attorney at Smith Hulsey can ensure you follow the correct legal procedures to prevent delays or denials of claims.
An employee begins to qualify for workers’ compensation on their first date of work. Under standard 1904.5(a) of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an injury may be considered work-related if it occurred in the workplace or related work environment. Events that exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition may also qualify.
Georgia law requires any employer with three or more employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employees can verify their employers’ coverage with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) to ensure this requirement is met. If an employer violates this mandate, an experienced attorney can assist the injured employee in finding a legal remedy and receiving reparations for the harm they endured.
Following the correct application procedures can prevent delays or denials of workers’ compensation benefits.
The first step in a workers’ compensation claim will generally include one of two situations. If the injury does not create an immediate emergency, the injured employee should report the incident to their employer as soon as possible. If the injury requires immediate emergency medical attention, medical interventions should come first, followed by the report.
Under O.C.G.A. 34 § 9-6, the injured employee should notify their employer within 30 days of the accident. This report may be oral, although the employee should document the conversation. If they exceed the 30-day window, the report must be in writing. Our lawyers in Clarkesville could further advise on this requirement in starting the workers’ compensation application process.
After notifying their employer, the employee must file Form WC-14 with the SBWC within one year of the injury. The employee must be completely honest and factual when completing this form; misrepresenting the extent or nature of the injuries could lead to civil fines or even criminal charges and penalties.
Meanwhile, the employer’s workers’ comp insurance company must investigate the claim and file it with the SBWC within 21 days, per O.C.G.A. 34 § 9-6.
If a claim is denied, the employee’s next step is to request an appeal hearing from the SBWC within five years of receiving the denial notice, though this request should be made as soon as possible. The hearing will be a court appearance before a judge; at this time, the employee must make their argument for why they are entitled to benefits.
Applying for workers’ compensation benefits in Clarkesville is much easier with support from our skilled local attorneys. Smith Hulsey can represent an injured employee and work tirelessly to protect their best interests.
Knowing how to apply for workers’ compensation in Clarkesville is the best way to increase your chances of success. At Smith Hulsey, we are dedicated to helping you throughout the process and advocating for your rights. Let our legal team handle your application while you focus on healing from your injuries. Call us today to set up a consultation.
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