The workers’ compensation system in Georgia is relatively straightforward. After you’ve been in a work-related accident, simply file a claim with the State Workers’ Compensation Board, inform your employer, and begin collecting your benefits. On the other hand, there are several steps involved that may affect the outcome of your claim. Your actions in the days and weeks following a work-related injury may have a significant bearing on your workers’ compensation benefits. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make on their Georgia workers’ compensation claims – and what you should do instead.
Don’t Wait to File a Claim
If you sustain an on-the-job accident, report it to your employer as soon as possible Failing to file a claim within 30 days can result in a denial of benefits. Even though you have 30 days, it’s best to file as soon as possible. Waiting several days or a couple of weeks to tell your employer might convince them to take your claim less seriously – and the insurance company, too. To protect the authenticity of your claim, tell an employer about your work-related injury within 24 hours.
Don’t Neglect Your Medical Care
If you incur an injury at work, seek immediate medical attention. Talk to your employer and see if you can visit your own provider, or if you need to see someone within their preferred network. Too often, injured workers put off medical care or fail to keep up with their follow-up appointments. This can cause your employer or insurance company to take your claim less seriously, and may even result in a claim denial.
When you visit a doctor’s office, it’s also important to report the full extent of your injuries. Remember, your doctor’s office records will provide evidence to a claims adjuster who’s making the decision about your benefits. Describe any and all symptoms, as well as how they affect your quality of life. Providing incorrect or inaccurate information can jeopardize your case.
Don’t Misplace Any Paperwork
Workers’ compensation claims vary from person to person, but they all have one thing in common – a lot of paperwork. Throughout the claims process, you’ll likely complete a lot of different form and provide supporting documentation. One of the most important things you can do is complete all your forms and file them with the appropriate party in a timely fashion. Many workers may face claim denials because they were careless or incomplete with their paperwork. While you can rectify some of these mistakes, it will delay the payout of any workers’ compensation claims – a troublesome prospect when you’re already out of work.
Don’t Return to Work Until the Time Is Right
Returning to work and getting back to normal is your ultimate goal, but returning to work too soon can interfere with your recovery. Your benefits will end, and there is the possibility of aggravating your injury, if healing wasn’t complete.
Getting workers’ compensation benefits can be straightforward if you know what you’re doing. Follow these tips to expedite the claims process and get on the road to recovery.