FAQ About Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation System
We are now in our third decade of practicing injury law, and a major part of our practice is helping injured workers who need workers’ compensation benefits. While every case is different, we do encounter some issues and questions that are common to most workers’ comp claims. We have put together some of those questions and answers here in our Georgia Workers’ Comp FAQ.
If you need guidance and representation from a skilled and dedicated workers’ compensation lawyer, contact us today for a free consultation at 404-692-7474. We advise and represent injured workers and their families in the Atlanta metro area and throughout Georgia.
If I get hurt on the job, what do I need to do?
If you get injured at work, or if you develop a repetitive use injury due to your job duties, your first step should be to report the injury to your employer. This must be done within 30 days of being injured, but you should report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Delayed reporting could lead to your employer thinking your work injury is not work-related, even if it is.
You should also get appropriate medical treatment right away, even if your employer will not send you for treatment. Then contact us about filing a workers’ compensation claim.
What types of benefits does workers’ comp pay?
Georgia workers’ compensation pays for medical expenses and income benefits. Income benefits are paid only if a physician says you cannot work, or if you are medically cleared for light duty and there is no light duty work available. You may be owed additional money if you have a permanent injury.
Georgia workers’ compensation does not award payments for pain and suffering resulting from an on-the-job injury.
For more on the types of benefits available through Georgia workers’ compensation, please see our guide to weekly benefit checks.
Does it matter whose fault the accident was?
If you are hurt on the job, it does not matter who was at fault for the injury. Georgia workers’ compensation is a no-fault system.
When do I need to file a workers’ compensation claim?
You must file a claim form (called a WC-14) with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. The form must be filed 1) within a year of when you were injured, or 2) within a year of when you started missing time from work as a result of your injury, or 3) within a year of when your employer last paid for your medical treatment.
Important: Neither your employer nor your employer’s insurance company will file this form. It is the injured worker’s responsibility to file a claim form in a timely manner. Our attorneys will file the claim form for you as soon as you hire our firm to represent you.
How long does the workers’ compensation insurance company have to review my claim?
The workers’ compensation insurance company has 21 days to either accept or deny your claim. We will take appropriate action on your behalf if you do not hear back from the insurance company in that time frame.
Do I have a choice about the doctor I go to see?
If you do not like the workers’ compensation doctor you are seeing for your work injury, you are entitled to a one-time change of doctors on your employer’s list of workers’ comp medical providers.
What if I was fired from my job, but I’m still injured?
If you have been fired from the job where you were injured, you will still have a good workers’ compensation case against your former employer if you are still injured. In other words, your workers’ comp case is by no means over just because you have been fired from that job.
What happens if my claim was denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied in whole or even in part, it is not the end of the road. But you should contact the Law Office of Perry Dean Ellis, P.C., immediately. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be to win your case, so don’t delay.
What about a workers’ compensation settlement?
Many workers’ compensation cases end with monetary settlements, but it is generally a good idea for you to be at maximum medical improvement (MMI) before you settle. This can ensure that you receive the full measure of benefits to which you are entitled.
Why can’t I handle my workers’ comp case myself?
There are many rules, regulations and deadlines under the Georgia workers’ compensation law that most people have no idea about. And trying to handle your case on your own will likely result in you losing your case because the WC insurance company will always have an attorney representing their interests.
As experienced workers’ comp lawyers, we are familiar with these matters, and we handle them effectively and efficiently on a daily basis. Let us handle your workers’ comp case while you focus on getting well. We also know which doctors are good for the injured worker to see, and which doctors the injured worker wants to stay away from.
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