When you are injured on the job, you are likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, actually applying for those benefits can be confusing and frustrating without legal assistance from a seasoned attorney. The application process requires specific forms, proof of injuries and costs, and other complex calculations. Failure to follow the specific requirements can result in denials of your claim or long delays in getting compensation.
At Smith Hulsey, our legal team can explain how to apply for workers’ compensation in Gainesville and walk you through every step of the process. We are here to help you get the benefits you need.
The WC-14 form is the first step to successfully filing a claim. A skilled lawyer at our Gainesville office could help injured workers complete this form and submit it to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Copies of the complete form must be submitted to the employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier. An experienced attorney could file all of this information electronically on the worker’s behalf.
During the process of applying for benefits, the injured worker should be seeking or maintaining medical treatment. By law, employers are required to post a list of approved medical providers to its employees. When an employer receives a claim request from a specific employee, they must provide that list to facilitate the employee’s proper medical treatment with an approved provider.
This list should have a minimum of six doctors, and the employee is permitted to choose any of the six listed. Fewer doctors on the list are permitted in limited circumstances. Alternatively, an employer may post the name of a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization. Regardless of the resources available to an injured worker, our Gainesville attorneys could help navigate the medical treatment process.
The next step in a workers’ compensation case is the discovery process. At this stage, the parties to the claim are able to request and exchange information and legal documents, such as admissions and interrogatories. The worker may also be asked to sit for a deposition, a legal interview involving questions about the case.
If there is a dispute as to the cause of the injury, the worker may also be asked to undergo an independent medical examination. This is a medical exam by an independent third party who gives their opinion on the worker’s injuries and the likely cause. This process is not uncommon and may even provide useful evidence to bolster the workers’ claim.
In some cases, the plaintiff may disagree with the Board’s ruling. Under state law, the plaintiff has the right to file an appeal of the Board’s decision. A trial-like hearing will take place in front of a judge who will determine what should happen in the case. If the judge rules unfavorably, the plaintiff and their attorney may submit an appeal to the Appellate Division within twenty days of the judge’s written order.
The workers’ comp application process is a complex but important part of seeking benefits for your injuries. You deserve legal representation to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you need.
The experienced lawyers at Smith Hulsey know how to apply for workers’ compensation in Gainesville and could advise you on the legal proceedings. Contact us today to discuss your situation and set up a free consultation.
Smith Hulsey Law