Macon Workers’ Compensation Claim Process
If you work for a company that employs three or more workers, including regular part-time workers, you should be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance, and you are covered from day one on the job. If you get injured on the job, regardless of how it happened or who was at fault, workers’ compensation should pay for all your medical expenses and also replace a portion of your lost wages while you are out of work.
Even though workers’ compensation is a no-fault, insurance-based system, it is far from certain that you will get the benefits you are entitled to after an on-the-job injury. Employers and their workers’ comp insurance carriers might try to wriggle out of paying your claim by saying your injury wasn’t work-related, alleging your injury is exaggerated, or certifying you as ready to go back to work before you have recovered sufficiently. If this happens to you, Buzzell, Welsh & Hill can help. We are one of the largest law firms in the region practicing workers’ compensation with a large staff of attorneys all experienced in helping injured workers get the benefits they are entitled to after a workplace injury. See below to learn more about the workers’ comp claim process in Georgia, and contact our experienced Macon workers’ compensation attorneys today for a free consultation or immediate assistance.
Report Your Injury to Your Employer
The State Board of Workers’ Compensation encourages you to report any workplace accident or injury to your employer immediately. Your company might have a specific procedure regarding who to inform and how, which you can inquire about, but at least make sure you report the incident to someone in authority, such as your supervisor or foreman. The sooner you report the injury, the sooner you can start receiving benefits. In any event, you’ll need to report the injury to your employer within 30 days to preserve your right to workers’ compensation.
Get Medical Treatment
If you need emergency medical treatment, call 911 or ask someone to call for you or take you to the hospital. Otherwise, follow up with a doctor as soon as possible after the injury. You’ll go through your employer’s managed care organization if they have one or choose from a list of doctors provided by your employer. This way your medical bills will be paid directly by the insurance carrier, and you won’t be billed or asked to pay any doctor’s bills out of your own pocket.
You should start receiving wage replacement benefits after you have been out of work for seven days. If you aren’t getting benefits or if there is a dispute over your medical care, you might need to file a claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
File a Claim
You have one year to file a claim with the Board of Workers’ Compensation. You initiate the claims process by filing Form WC-14, which you can get by calling or writing to the Board or visiting their website. A workers’ compensation attorney can also help you get this form and see that it is filled out correctly to help you get your benefits.
If you don’t start receiving benefits after filing a claim, the next step is to request a hearing with the Board. This hearing is like a trial in a courtroom, but there is no jury. Instead, an administrative law judge experienced in workers’ compensation claims will hear witnesses, receive exhibits, listen to the arguments made by the parties, and rule on the law and facts in the case. Your employer will have an attorney representing them, and you should have one too. Being successful at a Board hearing requires knowledge of Georgia workers’ compensation law and being able to present the facts in a persuasive, compelling fashion. This is what we do at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill. We want you to be successful on your claim and get all the benefits you are entitled to, and we have the knowledge, skills and experience needed to help you win your case.
Contact Buzzell, Welsh & Hill Today
For help with a workers’ compensation claim in Middle Georgia, call the experienced Macon workers’ compensation lawyers at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill today for a free consultation. We’ll get started right away helping you get the benefits you need and deserve after a workplace accident, injury or illness.