Tucker Workers’ Compensation Denial
If you were injured at work and workers’ compensation denied your claim, you may be wondering what to do. Fighting your employer and their insurer to get the compensation you are entitled to receive could seem like a daunting task.
Having someone on your side who handles workers’ compensation denials in Tucker could help you through the process. A skilled workers’ comp lawyer could fight for your rights and demand that your employer treats you fairly.
Your Right to Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If an employer has at least three employees, the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §34-9-81.1 requires them to participate in the workers’ compensation program. From employees’ first moment on the job, they are entitled to no-cost medical care for work-related injuries and support payments when they are unable to work.
Unfortunately, employers sometimes deny benefits to injured workers. Their insurers may try to limit their workers’ compensation payouts by finding reasons to deny legitimate claims.
Prompt Action Can Guard Against Claim Denials
Employers sometimes deny claims because the employee delayed reporting the injury or seeking medical treatment. Although the law allows workers 30 days to report a workplace injury to their supervisor or to human resources, employees should make a report immediately. Delay hurts the employee and could support an employer’s assertion that the injury is fake or not work-related.
Similarly, delaying medical treatment could play into the hands of an employer looking for reasons to deny a claim, so it is best to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor. If an employer discourages an injured worker from seeing an employer-approved physician, the worker should seek care from an emergency room or their personal doctor. Medical records generated immediately after an accident could help an injured worker prove that an injury is real and happened on the job.
Finally, workers benefit from seeking legal representation right away. When an employer and their insurer know that a worker has a lawyer guiding them, they may be less likely to deny legitimate claims.
Workers’ Compensation Denials Can Be Contested
The law offers employers some reasons to deny worker’s compensation claims. However, even when the law seems to support an employer’s denial, a knowledgeable Tucker attorney could potentially successfully contest it.
For example, an employer is allowed to request a drug test after a workplace accident. If the test is positive, the employer may likely deny the employee’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the presumption that the presence of drugs or alcohol led to the injury is rebuttable, and a savvy lawyer could present arguments showing that the presence of intoxicants in the worker’s system did not lead to the accident or cause the injury. In that case, the worker would be entitled to benefits despite a positive drug test. It could also be possible to challenge the procedures the employer and laboratory used to handle the sample and process the test.
An employer may also assert that a worker lied about a pre-existing condition and use the misrepresentation as an excuse to deny a claim. For such a denial to stand, the employer must prove the following:
- The employee intentionally misrepresented their physical condition;
- The employer would not have hired the employee if the employee had been honest about their condition; and
- The injury would not have happened but for the employee’s lie.
This is often a difficult standard for employers to meet, and if they cannot meet it, a claim denial may not stand.
Fight Your Workers’ Compensation Denial with Legal Counsel in Tucker
Employers and their insurers may sometimes take advantage of employees who do not fully understand their rights. They may use intimidation or fear of retaliation to discourage you from pursuing your benefits.
Do not let your employer get away with denying you the benefits the law requires them to provide. Contact a Tucker attorney to help you fight back against a workers’ compensation denial. An assertive local lawyer is ready to help.