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Common causes for a denied workers’ compensation claim and how to avoid them

Anyone, regardless of profession or job responsibilities, could suffer an injury at work. A construction worker could fall from a ladder and break a bone. An officer worker could trip on an electrical cord and hit their head on a desk. A truck driver could suffer from a repetitive stress injury.

If you suffer a workplace injury, the first thing you should do is receive medical treatment to understand what the future holds. And as soon as possible, you should also file a workers’ compensation claim.

After filing a claim, you’ll receive one of two responses: an approval or a denial.

It’s your hope that you receive an approval letter by mail, as this means your first payment is coming soon. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out this way.

Here are some of the most common causes for a denied workers’ compensation claim:

  • You did not report the injury in time: Don’t wait to report the injury to your supervisor or HR department, as you’re required to do so as soon as possible. Even if you can’t do this before leaving the scene, call your supervisor once your health is stable.
  • You waited too long to file a claim: In the state of Georgia, you have one year from the date of your accident to file a claim. That’s a long time, but make sure you don’t procrastinate. You want to begin receiving benefits as soon as possible.
  • Your employer disputes your claim: You’re claiming that your injury occurred at work, but your employer has a different version of events. They have reason to believe that you were injured outside of work, but are still attempting to collect benefits.
  • You did not receive medical treatment: Any injury, even one that you consider minor, could cause you to miss work in the future. And for that reason, you need to receive medical treatment. If you don’t do this, you won’t qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. It’s best to receive care immediately following your accident.

Although a denied workers’ compensation claim is frustrating, you still have legal rights. You can file an appeal with the goal of having the original decision overturned.