After a workplace accident, receiving workers’ compensation benefits can make all the difference. Without these funds, you could be left on the hook for your medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses, potentially sending you on a one-way trip towards financial turmoil.
While you might think you have an open-and-shut case on your hands, employers and their insurers are always looking for reasons to undervalue or deny cases. In this article, we take a look at a few common reasons workers’ compensation claims are denied in Georgia.
1. You Never Reported the Injury
After a workplace accident, you will have up to 30 days to report your injuries. Overshooting this important deadline may leave you unable to file for benefits. When reporting the accident, you must make sure to follow your company’s protocols, as any mistakes you make could give their insurer ammunition to dispute your case.
2. You Didn’t Seek Prompt Medical Treatment
Even if your injuries seem minor, you should visit a doctor immediately after a workplace accident. A diligent healthcare provider will usually create detailed medical records documenting the types of injuries you suffered, and the treatments you have undergone and will still require. He or she may also include information about how your condition could inhibit your ability to work and tackle other everyday tasks.
You will need access to up-to-date medical records for a variety of reasons, including proving your damages and tying your injuries to the incident. Waiting too long to visit the doctor could give your employer room to assert that you suffered your injury in a different incident as the date of your diagnosis doesn’t correlate with the date of the workplace accident. Don’t “wait and see” if you get better on your own–especially if you were injured on a Friday!
3. You Have a Pre-existing Condition
Having a prior injury can complicate your claim as the insurer may attribute some—or even all—of your symptoms to this pre-existing condition. However, while they may make it seem like a previous injury disqualifies you from receiving benefits, this is not the case–an aggravation of an old injury is a new injury here in Georgia. You might, however, run into issues if you were asked about any pre-existing conditions when you were first hired and failed to disclose this information.
4. You Failed a Drug Test
After reporting the workplace accident, your employer may request that you take a drug test. While you are not legally required to follow their orders, your refusal—or a positive test result—could be perceived as an admission that you were intoxicated when the accident happened. Fortunately, a skilled workers’ comp attorney can help gather evidence that might help mitigate or counter such disputes if they arise.
Discuss Your Situation with an Atlanta Workers’ Comp Attorney
Were you injured on the job? There’s always a chance that your application for workers’ comp benefits could be denied. At Moebes Law, our legal team has decades of collective experience representing injured workers, winning millions of dollars in settlements and judicial awards for our clients.
From helping you gather the necessary evidence to guiding you through proceedings, we can assist at each stage of the claims process. To lock in a free consultation with an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney, dial (404) 354-5432 or send us a message via our contact form HERE.