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My worker's compensation claim was denied; what can I do?

A workplace injury can be both painful and stressful. If you have been injured at work, you may be wondering what to do about medical expenses and lost wages. You may even be worried about reporting the injury to your employer. Fortunately, if a person was injured on the job, they can pursue worker's compensation. Worker's compensation was designed to address an injured worker's medical expenses, but it can be a difficult and time-consuming process, especially if the claim has been initially denied.

. A claim can be denied for a number of different reasons, such as if the injury is not considered compensable under state law. Additionally, if the injury wasn't reported or filed in time, the claim may be rejected. Luckily, the initial denial of your claim does not mean you are out of options.

In Georgia, a person whose claim has been denied has the right to appeal the claim to the State Board of Worker's Compensation. The board will schedule a hearing, which is very similar to an actual trial. An administrative law judge will preside over the hearing.

Prior to the hearing, the judge will schedule the hearing within 60 days from the day in which the judge receives the appeal. The hearing is usually held in the county where the claimant was injured, but if the hearing cannot be held within the county, it will be held at the nearest location.

At the hearing, you can present evidence and offer arguments to support youe case, with the help of a skilled lawyer. Fortunately, in Georgia, a person appealing the denial of their claim has a right to an attorney to represent their interests and advocate on their behalf. An experienced attorney can assist the injured worker in navigating the appeals process, in addition to preparing and presenting effective arguments to the judge.

Source: State Board of Workers' Compensation, "Questions & Answers About Georgia's Workers' Compensation Law," Oct. 13, 2017

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