Why Could Your Workers’ Comp Claim Be Denied?
When you get injured on the job, your employer or their insurance company has to pay for your medical care under Georgia law. From repetitive strain injuries to toxic chemical exposure, keeping employers accountable for their injured workers can help improve working conditions and keep more people healthy. Unfortunately, employers in many cases will look for any reason to deny an injured workers’ claim and save themselves some money. You also have a duty as the employee to be honest and report your injury in a timely manner. Of course, there have been dishonest workers’ comp claims filed in the past and companies have the right to conduct due diligence, but there are many cases where legitimately injured workers have had their claims denied by employers looking to save a buck. There are several reasons why your legitimate claim may still be denied, and it’s important to know what they are.
Failure to Report Your Injury on Time
If you’re injured on the job, most workers’ compensation attorneys will tell you to report it to your employer as soon as possible. In Georgia, workers have 30 days to report their injuries to their employer. This is called “proper notice” and failure to report it within this time frame could cost you your right to pursue a claim. It is crucial to remember the 30 day deadline, but reporting the injury as soon as possible helps to legitimize your claim and keep your employer accountable.
It is also important to remember that reporting your injury to your employer is only the first part of the process. Once you do, the company then has to file a claim with the state workers’ compensation board. Companies in Georgia have one year to do this after being notified. Unfortunately, injured workers can’t always count on their employers to file these reports in a timely manner. If you are injured on the job, it can be helpful to report it to your employer in writing and request a written confirmation of the report.
Belief That Your Injury Is Not Work Related
In some cases, an employer might claim that you were not working when the injury occurred, that it was the result of misconduct in the workplace, or that the injury or illness was caused by non work-related factors. Sometimes, employers may try their hardest to get out of paying for your treatment even if they know your injury claim is legitimate. When trying to prove your case to a skeptical employer, it is important to have the right evidence gathered to support your argument. Medical testimony from authorized treating physicians and eyewitness accounts from people who saw the incident are two of the most common and effective forms of evidence presented in workers’ comp cases.
You No Longer Work For the Same Employer
In other cases, you may be injured on the job and quit or get fired soon after. If you don’t file your claim before leaving your current workplace, it is far more likely to be denied. Your employer is not allowed to terminate you for reporting a workplace injury, but you may have another reason to leave your job soon after being injured. If you left your job after an injury but still reported it within the 30 day time limit, you should still have a case.
In any workers’ compensation case, finding the right representation is crucial for ensuring that you get the compensation you deserve. Contact The Law Offices of Darwin F. Johnson today to learn more about Workers’ Compensation in Georgia.