You probably never thought about your right to workers’ compensation benefits until you were injured at your job and realized that you should file a workers’ compensation claim. It is important to understand common myths about these claims so that you receive the benefits you deserve.
Myth #1: You Cannot Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits If You Caused Your Injury
You might worry that you are not eligible for benefits if you caused the accident that resulted in your work injury. However, this is not true. In Georgia, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits regardless of the cause of your accident. The only exception is if you were intoxicated due to drug or alcohol use at the time you were hurt.
Myth #2: You Have an Unlimited Time Period to File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
You must follow strict deadlines under Georgia law when filing your workers’ comp case. If you fail to do so, your claim could be denied. Two important time periods you must comply with are:
- You must give your employer notice of your injury as soon as practical but no later than 30 days after it occurred.
- You must file your claim within one year of the date of your injury.
Myth #3: Your Employer Has the Right to Pick Your Doctor
Your employer cannot dictate which doctor treats your injury, but you must select a medical provider from the list your employer provides. In Georgia, your employer is required to provide you with a list of authorized physicians.
Myth #4: You Can Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
It is illegal under federal and Georgia law for your company to retaliate against you and fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. You may have an additional claim for compensation against your employer if this happens to you.
Myth #5: You Do Not Need an Attorney to Handle Your Claim
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can be complicated, and your employer’s insurance company may try to pay you less in benefits than you should receive, or reject your claim. Unless you suffered a truly minor injury that required you to take little or no time off work, you need the assistance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the workers’ comp benefits you deserve.
To learn how the skilled lawyers at Chris Hudson & Associates can help you, start an online chat or call our Augusta office today to schedule a free case evaluation.