What is Workers’ Compensation?

Georgia’s workers’ compensation was created to help people injured on their job to receive treatment and return to work.  Workers’ compensation is essentially an insurance program employers purchase to cover any employees who sustain any illness or injury on the job.  The injury or illness must have occurred in the course of employment and is not contingent on whether the employer did anything to cause the injury. The coverage may provide the employee coverage for medical care, rehabilitation costs, and lost income.  In return for paying for worker’s comp insurance, an employer is protected from any personal injury lawsuit claims from an employee.  

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Steps to Take in Gwinnett County Workers’ Compensation Claim

Any person who was injured on the job in Gwinnett County has a right to file a claim for worker’s compensation benefits. To file a Gwinnett County workers’ compensation claim, you must follow the steps listed below in order to ensure benefits:

1. Report your Injury

If you have sustained an injury that occurred as a direct result of your job, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days. Any failure to report your injury to your employer or authorized representative in 30 days may result in a total loss of benefits.   

2. Seek Medical Treatment From an Authorized Doctor

After informing your employer of your workplace injury or illness, your employer is then required to give you a list of at least six medical doctors authorized to provide care for you.  Your employer is required to provide you with the cost of medical care provided by one of those authorized physicians. You, as the injured employee in turn, are required to follow your doctor’s treatment plan and services. You could lose your claim benefits if you fail to go to an approved doctor or if you neglect to follow the treatment plan of an approved doctor.  

3. File a WC-14 Claim Form

A WC-14 Claim Form must be filed with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the onset of your injury.  The form can also be used to formally request a hearing.  A copy of the WC-14 must also be given to your employer and your employer’s insurance provider.

4. Workers’ Compensation Hearing

The hearing will be in front of an administrative law judge from the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. It will usually be scheduled within 60 days of the filing of the WC-14. You can always represent yourself at the hearing, but, it is always recommended that you have the representation of an experienced Gwinnett County worker’s compensation attorney.  The insurance company is no doubt going to be represented by counsel, and they will try their very best to devalue your claim or to disprove your injury.  You don’t have to go through it alone because the Pendergrass Law Firm is here to help. Contact us for a free consultation today.    

Determining Next Steps

If your claim was denied, you may have to file an appeal.  You must file the appeal within 20 days of the administrative judge’s hearing.  At this point, the legal procedure and appellate hearing will get very complex.  Having a workers’ compensation lawyer might very well make the difference on how your case will play out. Shot of two colleagues looking over paperwork together in an office

Workers Compensation FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions we have received during our decades of representing Gwinnett County workers’ compensation claims.  Have a question that is not listed here?  Contact us!

I temporarily cannot work due to a workplace injury. What amount of benefits am I entitled to for my lost earnings?

A worker must be unable to work for at least seven days in order to receive temporary benefits.  The amount one receives can vary and is calculated based on the person’s average weekly wages prior to the date of the injury.  The amount will be two-thirds of your average weekly salary, with the minimum payment set at $50 per week and the maximum amount capped at $675 per week. 

When Does Workers Compensation Coverage Start for an Employee?

An employee is covered under an employer’s compensation insurance on the very first day of employment.  

Are there any types of workers who are not covered by worker’s compensation?

Any business with three or more employees must provide worker’s compensation insurance under Georgia law.  Thus, any business with fewer than three employees is not mandated by law to provide worker’s compensation insurance.  For purposes of Georgia law, an employee is defined as a person working part-time or full-time status. That means that independent contractors will not be covered. 

How can I find out if my workplace is covered through worker’s comp?

Although every business with at least three employees is by law required to have worker’s comp insurance, it is possible for a business to be non-compliant.  You can verify if your employer has coverage by going to this website provided by the Georgia State Board of Worker’s Compensation.  Any employer who is not compliant can face civil and criminal penalties, including hefty fines

The Pendergrass Law Firm

The workers’ compensation claims process can be tricky, especially for someone who is still recovering from an injury. A Gwinnett County workers’ compensation attorney can be the key to a successful compensation claim.  The Pendergrass Law Firm offers free initial consultations, and you do not need to pay any fees until we win your case for you.  With a risk-free guarantee, you have nothing to lose.  With decades of experience aggressively representing injured workers throughout this process, you can feel confident that the team at Pendergrass Law will be fighting for the compensation you deserve.

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