Workers’ compensation is sometimes referred to as the “great bargain.” When the workers’ compensation system was developed in the early 1900s, employers and employees entered a “contract” where workers would get weekly wage payments and medical care in exchange for the employer’s limited liability for a work accident.
Fault is generally not considered in this system, and workers get benefits much faster than they would if they had to file a personal injury case. Employers, on the other hand, limit liability by not having to pay for certain damages, including pain and suffering after an accident. So, if this system is supposed to be so quick, why does it take so long to get benefits? John Foy & Associates, your Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys, has the answer.
Potential Delays in Workers’ Compensation Benefits
While most workers’ compensation cases involve accepted claims that begin providing medical care and weekly payments nearly immediately, there are situations where you may not get benefits until your case is completely finished. These cases often involve workers’ compensation attorneys because your claim was either wrongfully or unfairly denied.
Keep in mind that although your case is still going on, you may be receiving benefits and not realize it—medical care is often ongoing during workers’ compensation cases, which is generally not the case in a personal injury lawsuit. That means that you may actually be overlooking some of your benefits. If you’re getting medical care now, then you are getting benefits.
But, when most workers ask us this question, they are really referring to the potential to get a settlement from their workers’ compensation case. Although you are entitled to receive weekly benefits, settlements are enticing because they provide a lump sum benefit that you can use to catch up on bills and pay for other additional costs related to your work injury. Of course, the weekly benefits you receive in workers’ compensation are only a portion of your wages, and having a settlement helps make up some of that difference right away.
Some of the most common delays in getting your lump sum settlement or taking your workers’ compensation case to hearing include:
- Problems getting in to see medical professionals to provide an opinion about your injuries
- Waiting periods to get your case heard in front of a judge
- Delays related to processing paperwork or investigating your claim
- A required waiting period of seven days from the date of the injury under Georgia law
In some situations, an insurance company may deliberately delay getting you benefits or deny your claim simply to see if you’ll go away. This unethical practice happens more often than you might think. If you feel like your employer or their insurance company is stringing you along, you need a workers’ compensation attorney to step in to help.
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Even if you are getting medical care and benefits, you may not think that your employer or its insurance company are being entirely fair. If they are dragging their feet, you need the team at John Foy & Associates to get things moving. Call us at (404)-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.