You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured in a workplace accident. However, it is not an automatic process. You must go through the claims process and follow the laid-out legal procedures before getting your benefits.
It is crucial to keep an eye on the clock as soon as you suffer an accident at work. Otherwise, your claim may hit a snag or get dismissed altogether, leaving you to deal with the aftermath alone. Time starts running as soon as the accident happens, and you need to act swiftly.
Reporting a workplace accident to your employer
Ideally, you should inform your employer immediately after the accident occurs to avoid raising any suspicions. However, under Georgia law, you have 30 days to inform your employer or you risk forfeiting your benefits.
Compile a comprehensive report in writing to your employer detailing the date and time of the accident, where it occurred, what you were doing, any witnesses and the nature of your injuries. Remember to keep copies of such communication with your employer.
Appealing a denied workers’ compensation claim
If your employer denies your claim, you have one year from the date of your workplace accident to file a claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) for a review of the decision to deny you benefits.
Appealing a denied claim also involves some legal deadlines depending on the level of appeal. For instance, you have 20 days to appeal the decision of an Administrative Law Judge to the SBWC’s appellate division. Failure to observe these deadlines could negatively affect your appeal.
Do not take any chances
Time is of the essence in your workers’ compensation claim. If you are unsure of the steps to take or have any questions about how everything works, it is in your best interests to seek informed counsel. With proper guidance, you will not fall behind on these crucial deadlines or derail your claim in other ways.