How Does the Process of Filing a Worker’s Compensation Claim Work?
If you have been injured while working in Georgia, follow the appropriate steps to file a claim for worker’s compensation. In the aftermath of an injury – especially a serious one – it can be stressful and confusing to figure out what you should do. Be aware of your rights and how the process works ahead of time, and you will be prepared to apply for benefits.
Report and Request
The first step you should take if you are injured on job is to report the injury to your supervisor immediately. Give him or her as much detail as you can about the nature of the injury. After you have reported the incident, ask your supervisor to make a copy of the documentation of your injury.
Writing/reporting is a crucial step; without documentation to verify what happened to you, a supervisor may dismiss your injury as minor and/or fail to report it to higher-ups. Without proper records, the state agency can deny your claim. Be aware that time is of the essence. Report and document as soon after as possible after the injury event, and include as many details as possible about what happened. Corroborate your account with pictures of the accident scene (a cell phone camera picture will do fine) as well as written witness statements, collected in a timely manner.
Treat Your Condition
As soon as possible against all else, obtain a medical evaluation. Even if the injury does not seem like a “big deal,” many injuries (especially those involving the neck and spine) get worse later. You want a record on file that shows that you saw a physician after being hurt.
Complete a Claim Form
To officially file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits in Georgia, you must fill out Form WC-14 and place it on file with the State Board of Worker’s Compensation. Give a copy of the form to your employer as well as to your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance provider. If you do not know the information for your employer’s insurance company, the State Board can provide assistance in getting the info that you need.
Provide your doctor with as much detail as you can about your injury and your level of resulting pain. Talk with your doctor about any previous history of work-related injuries as well. Keep careful records throughout your treatment, and obtain relevant medical records from a health care professional. If the injury results in missing work for more than seven days, you may be eligible for benefits that pay two-thirds of your average weekly earnings (up to $500 per week).
Do you need insight into your potential Georgia worker’s compensation case? Please call the experienced attorneys at Smith Wallis, and Scott, LLP at 770-214-2500 for a private case evaluation, or explore more resources at http://smithwal.wwwssr20.supercp.com/.