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How Does Workers Compensation Work In The State of Georgia?

How Does Workers Compensation Work In The State of Georgia?

Receiving workers compensation in Georgia involves a great deal of legalities behind the scenes. Most people who incur injuries on the job end up asking the question, “what is a workers compensation claim?” Even more importantly, these people are asking, “how do I receive workers compensation?” All of these questions are great, and Cheves Briceno wants to educate our readers on workers compensation in Georgia. 

To start, we want to begin with the most straightforward definition of workers compensation in Georgia. Workers compensation is an accident insurance program paid by an employer which may provide an employee with medical, rehabilitation, and different income benefits if someone is injured on the job at their place of work. The injured employee should not come out of pocket for their expenses or benefits as long as their worker’s compensation claim has been approved by an insurance carrier and the State Board of Workers Compensation. 

workers compensation law in Georgia

What Is a Workers Compensation Claim?

A workers compensation claim is when an employee incurs an injury while being on the job, leading them to file a claim through their employer to receive medical treatment and potential incentives while the employee is unable to work. This can happen in a variety of instances, ranging from slips and falls, chemical exposure, occupational injuries, vehicle accidents, and more. Unfortunately, many employees still ask, “how does workers compensation work?” Cheves Briceno wants to make sure that employees are aware of their rights regarding workers compensation in Georgia and why it is important to comply with the requirements.

How Do I File A Workers Compensation Claim?

If you are injured in some way, shape, or form, there is a strict cadence to follow in order to ensure your workers compensation claim is honored properly. In this section, Cheves Briceno will explain each step to the question of “how does workers compensation work?”

If you are injured in some way, shape, or form, there is a strict cadence to follow in order to ensure your workers compensation claim is honored properly. In this section, Cheves Briceno will explain each step to the question of “how does workers compensation work?”

1. Report the Incident to Your Employer

The very first step in this process is notifying your current employer of the incident which led to a personal injury. In the state of Georgia, employees injured on the job have exactly one year between the day the incident occurred and the time the employee loses their rights to file. Cheves Briceno always recommends notifying your employer sooner rather than later because it will take time to file pertinent documents to your employer that outlines your injury, how it happened, when it happened, etc. 

2. Get Medical Attention From A Georgia Workers Compensation Law Authorized Physician

Once your employer has been notified, the next step is to receive immediate medical attention from an approved doctor or physician. In this case, your employer will have a set database of approved doctors that will be covered by the employer’s insurance carrier. It is important for workers compensation in Georgia to keep all medical bills during this process, as injured employees will need to present these to the state of Georgia. It is not uncommon for injured employees to call upon an Atlanta worker’s compensation attorney for guidance through this process.

3. File A WC-14 Form with the State Board of Workers Compensation

In order for an employee to receive the proper care and incentives attached to their claim, a WC-14 form must be filed with the SBWC in the State of Georgia. This form outlines documentation of your injury, wage, and earnings information, medical bills, and desired benefits. This form acts as an official claim for a hearing/mediation to determine if your case will be covered. You will need to send copies of this WC-14 form to your employer and the employer’s insurance carrier as well, but certain employers may do this for you. Cheves Briceno recommends keeping copies of all documents for your personal records.

4. Insurance Approvals, Denials, and Appeals

Once your WC-14 form has been submitted and reviewed, you will receive a notification from your employer’s insurance carrier regarding the next steps for your claim. At this point, the injured employee has a couple of options which are dependent upon the response they receive.

If the insurance carrier approves the workers compensation claim, then all medical bills and benefits will be paid out by the insurance carrier over time. At this point, the injured employee must adhere to all physician’s recommendations. If one does not, there is a high chance that the insurance carrier will find out and terminate the paid treatments and incentives.  

If the insurance carrier denies the workers compensation claim for whatever reason, the injured employee does have the right to submit an appeal based upon if you disagree with the approved benefits or if your claim was outright denied. You can dispute this with the insurance carrier as a reconsideration, or you can file a formal appeal with the State Workers Compensation Board.

How Does Workers Compensation Work for an Employer?

While employees want to feel safe and secure at their job, there is, unfortunately, always a risk of something that could lead to an “on the job” injury. In these cases, employers need to be prepared. For workers compensation in Georgia, employers with three or more employees with full-time, part-time, or seasonal positions must provide coverage. If employers do not comply with this legal requirement and an employee incurs an injury while on the job, the employer may face civil or criminal charges for failure of compliance. 

All business owners who have three or more employees must set this coverage up with their insurance carrier. This will allow them to be protected in the case of any on-the-job injuries. Cheves Briceno has provided a list of applicable notes for employers to keep in mind while dealing with workers compensation in Georgia.

  • Provide employees with accurate information on their workers compensation rights and benefits 
  • Report all injuries in accordance with state deadlines (1 year from the date of the incurred injury)
  • Keep meticulous records of all employees and their incurred injuries for company protection
  • Do NOT try to influence a physician’s diagnosis or treatment of your employee(s)
  • Do NOT work to appeal an approved claim without having a strong, probable cause for doing so

Workers Compensation In Georgia

No matter what happens to an employee on the job, it is important for the employer to provide proper treatment and care for their employees under workers compensation laws in the state of Georgia. Cheves Briceno has excellent Atlanta workers compensation attorneys who are experienced in the regulations of the State Board for Workers Compensation for employers and employees. If you need help with your workers compensation claim, reach out to Cheves Briceno today for more information!

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