Pay Without Prejudice Period
Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney for Atlanta Employees
Understanding the workers’ compensation process, and what it means for your claim and your benefits, can be very complicated. In the interest of ensuring that employees receive prompt medical treatment for their injuries and have money to pay their bills, state laws sometimes authorize the payment of benefits while protecting insurance companies from liability for such payment should the claim ultimately be denied. This is not the situation in Georgia, however, and employees in Atlanta and surrounding areas should be aware of that. Workers’ compensation lawyer Julie A. Rice has accumulated significant experience helping Atlanta workers understand this complex process and how it affects their claims. To discuss your situation with her, you can call (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664. Alternately, you can fill out our contact form online.
Pay Without Prejudice Period
In some states, workers’ compensation laws have instituted what is known as a “pay without prejudice period.” This rule applies after an individual has filed an initial claim for benefits. While the claim may be approved at first, and benefits may begin to be paid, the “pay without prejudice” period protects insurers as they continue to investigate and evaluate the claim by providing that, for the first 90 or 180 days after an injury, the worker’s benefits are provided without liability on the part of the insurer. While this sounds complicated, it essentially means that the insurer will provide you benefits while it further investigates or evaluates your claim, but it may ultimately determine that your claim is not entitled to compensation or that the insurance company is not liable for medical payments.
Thus, in states that apply a “payment without prejudice” period, an employee many find that his or her payments are stopped or reduced during this period. If this happens, the insurance company must give its reasons for the change or denial and give the employee time to appeal. After the period expires, an insurance company must usually seek an order from the court in order to stop or reduce workers’ compensation benefits.
If you have experienced a workplace injury in Georgia, you may be interested to know that the “pay without prejudice” period does not apply in this state. This can have several effects on your claim. It sometimes take a bit longer for you to receive payment for your benefits, since the insurance company will be under greater pressure to accurately ensure its acceptance of your claim before beginning to provide them. This is because it cannot later claim that those benefits were provided “without liability.” It also means that the insurance company will not later stop or reduce your benefits due to a subsequent finding that your claim is not entitled to coverage. This is good news for workers who are hoping to rely on consistent monthly payments to cover their medical needs and living expenses.
However, it is important to note that this does not mean that you are permanently entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Instead, the duration and extent of your benefits will depend on the nature of your injury and how it progresses.
Discuss Your Work Injury with a Knowledgeable Atlanta Lawyer
Applying for workers’ compensation benefits can be a confusing and overwhelming process. While you may have heard about the “pay without prejudice” period and its potential impacts on your workers’ compensation claim, it is important to understand that this is one issue that Georgia residents do not have to consider. If you have additional questions about your claim, or how you may be affected by workers’ compensation laws, work injury attorney Julie A. Rice can help explain how this process unfolds for Atlanta employees. To learn more and schedule an initial consultation, contact us at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, or online. We assist injured individuals in communities throughout Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb, and DeKalb Counties, including Marietta, Decatur, and Lawrenceville.