Ideally, if you get injured on the job, you will be able to file a workers’ compensation claim that will pay for your medical bills and a portion of your lost wages. This no-fault system can be especially helpful in providing assistance and peace of mind for those who work in dangerous occupations.
However, after you file a workers’ comp claim, it may be delayed or denied. This can be very frustrating for two reasons. First and foremost, you need the money to pay bills and you likely don’t have time to weather a delay. Secondly, you know that you were legitimately hurt on the job and you may not understand why your case has been denied in the first place.
Requesting a hearing
If you still want to pursue benefits, you can request a hearing, ideally with the assistance of a legal professional. This hearing will be carried out by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This is similar to a trial, in the sense that both sides are going to have to present their arguments and make claims about what occurred. An administrative law judge will oversee these proceedings.
Once you have made your declaration of what happened, then the judge will determine if you should receive benefits. If they do rule in your favor, saying that you deserve benefits for your injury, they can also state exactly what benefits you should receive. The judge will look at all of the facts of the case and consider how the law should be applied.
One thing that is important to note is that workers’ comp does not always pay for the full total of your wages. In Georgia, it only covers two-thirds of those lost wages. So, even if the judge does rule in your favor and workers’ comp covers your medical bills, you may not get 100% of what you have lost. But a ruling in your favor would still be very beneficial in helping you cover the costs that you’re facing.
Working through the process
It’s important to know exactly what steps to take as you go through this process. You need to know about all of your legal options, especially if you feel that you are being treated unfairly or denied benefits without cause. Working with an experienced legal professional can make a great deal of difference to your likelihood of success.