Hernias are treated differently than other types of work injuries here in Georgia.  Most hernia claims are denied by employers and their insurers.  The reason for this is because instead of just having to prove that you got hurt on the job, like most work injuries, the law requires the injured worker to satisfy five requirements in order to be entitled to benefits:

  1. That there was an injury resulting in a hernia. 
  2. That the hernia appeared suddenly. 
  3. That the hernia was accompanied by pain. 
  4. That the hernia immediately followed an accident. 
  5. That the hernia didn’t exist prior to the accident for which the hernia is claimed. 

Since you have to prove all 5 of these things, insurers feel comfortable denying these claims, and will often make the employee prove them to the satisfaction of a judge before they will pay anything.

When a hernia is diagnosed, doctors almost always recommend surgery, due to the serious risk of complications if the hernia is left untreated.  Many people make a full recovery within a few weeks of surgery, but heavy lifting usually should be avoided for a number of months.

While it doesn’t take that long to get back to work following a successful hernia repair, the problem is the delay caused by the insurer denying the claim.  If you have a physical job, it may be impossible for you to perform it while you are waiting to get the surgery.  If you have health insurance, it often makes sense to get the surgery done through that coverage, while you fight to get the workers comp insurer to pay on the claim.

It is very difficult to fight a denial of a hernia claim on your own.  An experienced workers’ comp attorney can help you either by taking the case to a hearing before a judge or by working out a settlement for you with the insurer.  If you suffer a hernia on the job, it is very important that you contact an attorney right away for assistance on your claim.

Learn more about Georgia hernia injuries and workers' compensation claims