Work-related injuries can be incredibly disruptive to your life. Medical bills, physical pain, and time off from work can take a toll on you and your family. You may be worried about paying for your treatment costs and preserving your financial future.
Fortunately, workplace injuries can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits from your employer’s insurance company. Knowing what to do after a workplace accident in Clarkesville increases your chances of successfully navigating the claims process and receiving the payments you deserve. The dedicated lawyers at Smith Hulsey are here to support you and advocate for your rights.
An injury is considered work-related if it occurred at the workplace or an offsite work environment, per the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s standard 1904.5(a). Injuries occurring offsite while attending to personal matters are unlikely to qualify as work-related, even if they took place during work hours.
Qualifying injuries can include illnesses caused by exposure to dangerous environmental conditions, such as chemical contaminations. If a workplace incident worsens a pre-existing injury or illness, it may also qualify for workers’ compensation. Seeking legal counsel after a workplace accident in Clarkesville is crucial to understanding whether the injury qualifies for compensation.
According to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights for the Injured Worker Art. 1, employers must post information for at least six doctors who can provide care for an injured employee. Long-term treatment for workplace injuries should come from one of these doctors. If the injury requires emergency medical care, employees can receive short-term treatment from a provider outside of the posted list.
Covered health care may include emergency services, ongoing or follow-up medical treatment, rehabilitation services, and coverage for related prescriptions (in some cases). Our Clarkesville attorneys could help pursue compensation for applicable medical costs after a workplace accident.
Georgia has time limits for reporting a workplace injury. Failure to meet procedural requirements by these deadlines can result in benefit denials.
After a workplace injury, the injured employee must report it to their employer within 30 days, per O.C.G.A. 34 § 9-6. Generally, this report can be made orally, though documenting the conversation in writing is a good idea. After this 30-day window, an employee who has not yet made a verbal report to their employer must submit their report in writing.
Once an employee has notified their employer, they must file their claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) using Form WC-14. There is a one-year time limit for submitting this form, though claims should be filed as soon as possible so the employee can receive their benefits sooner. Falsifying information in this report can lead to civil and criminal penalties.
Taking these steps after a workplace accident is crucial to protecting your right to compensation, as our Clarkesville attorneys can attest.
If the insurance company denies a workers’ compensation claim, it is the employee’s responsibility to request an appeal from the SBWC in accordance with O.C.G.A. 34 § 9-102. The appeals process will include a hearing before an administrative judge who will decide whether the denial is valid. If the judge overturns the insurance company’s decision, they can also determine the amount of benefits the employee will receive.
Because this hearing is subject to strict procedural rules, injured employees should consult a Clarkesville workplace accident lawyer who knows what to do in these situations.
Knowing what to do after a workplace accident in Clarkesville can improve your chance of making a successful claim. The workers’ compensation process involves many legal and procedural requirements, which can be stressful to navigate alone.
Smith Hulsey Law