When you’ve been hurt on the job, you rely on your workers’ compensation coverage to get you the treatment you need. If your medical absence stretches into days and weeks, you also likely need your workers’ comp income benefits to keep your bills paid while you recover.
But while workers’ compensation is a no-fault system meant to move quickly, the truth is, sometimes it doesn’t. Hurt workers may be left with no paycheck, no wage benefits and no approval for their complex medical care. Why does this happen, and what can be done if your workers’ compensation case is delayed?
Common causes of workers’ compensation case delays
If the insurer accepts your workers’ comp claim, you should start receiving payments within 21 days. But there are some factors that will slow down the process. They include:
Delays on the part of the employer
After you report your injury to your manager or supervisor, your employer is supposed to tell the insurer. If you miss work for a certain period of time, they’ll also need to inform the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. While this is required, employers sometimes neglect to do it promptly. Also possible? Your employer carried out the proper notifications but failed to fill out the forms correctly.
A paperwork error on your end
Claims may be delayed (or even rejected) due to filing errors on your part. A Georgia workers’ compensation attorney can ensure you complete necessary paperwork properly and stick to the complex filing and appeals schedule.
Delays on the part of the insurer
While some delays are due to staffing, insurers will occasionally try to slow down or neglect cases intentionally. Unfortunately, this causes some injured workers to simply give up on their claims, or accept lower settlements than they deserve. Workers who are demoralized by the process might even leave their jobs. A skilled workers’ comp attorney in Atlanta will help ensure that insurance adjusters do not overlook your claim.
The claim requires a hearing
Disputes necessitate a hearing, adding extra weeks onto the timeline. In complex cases, the insurer sometimes wants a second opinion, requiring another appointment with a physician or specialist. If you have a related medical history, like a previous workplace injury, the insurance company may try to argue that your injuries are not in fact work related.
How can an Atlanta workers’ comp attorney help your case?
With a workers’ compensation lawyer at your side, you’ll have improved chances of getting the care and benefits you need, all in a timely manner. Your attorney will be able to coordinate with your medical team, documenting your diagnosis and treatment. The workers’ comp lawyer will handle conversations with the insurer and negotiate as strong a settlement as possible. An attorney can also help arrange care with certain physicians who will give you an accurate diagnosis—one that covers the full scope of your future healthcare needs.
Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
If you’ve been injured at work and need help receiving the care you deserve, we’re here for you. Contact the Law Offices of Laura Lanzisera today for a free consultation, or give us a call at 404-991-5097.