Re: Late Settlement Check in Georgia
Never trust snail mail, this is exactly why it's important to have the check sent to your attorney and you can pick it up from there.
They messed up my settlement check back to back times. The first time, by making it out to the wrong address.
And the second time, by only making it out to my last name.
This put them over the threshold for the late fee (20% extra). They then made the check out a 3rd with the penalty tacked on. Put it in the bank, and half way through the 10 day hold the check got yanked back out of my account due to a "coding error". They then made a 4th check out, took it to the bank and they wouldn't accept it so I had to go to the maker (a different bank) to get a cashier's check. The maker told me the check (according to the check numbers) wasn't even in their system. So 2 days later I get an email from my attorney stating the other party is trying to get the check "cleared".
Second, making the check out to only your last name is plain negligence - this act along with the other games could be considered an "unreasonable delay"
Third, this business about a "coding error" is nonsense, there is no code on a check, only a routing and account number.
Fourth, this garbage about having to go to the "maker" or issuer to get a cashiers check is plain bullshit - there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to deposit the check into your account and wait for it to clear.
So 2 days later I get an email from my attorney stating the other party is trying to get the check "cleared".
Give it a few days and see what happens.
I settled my case with the other party a while ago now.
If the games continue, call the adjuster, be polite and inform him of what's going on - inform him you expect immediate payment or you will pursue civil penalties for the "unreasonable delay"
If you do prevail in a civil action, the judge will award your attorney fees along with penalties, you have nothing to lose if you can find a lawyer to take the case.
How long has it been since the settlement date?
Georgia has different late penalties, depending on the type of benefit that is late.
1) Income benefits
2) If income benefits are not paid when due there is a 15-percent late payment penalty. O.C.G.A. §34-9-221(e).
3) Settlements: If a settlement is not timely paid (17 days if paid from out of state, 20 days if paid within the state) a 20-percent penalty is due on the unpaid or late portion. O.C.G.A. §34-9-221(f).
4) Payment of medical bills: if a medical bill is not paid within 30 days there is a 10-percent late penalty if it is paid within 60 days of the invoice; a 20-percent penalty if paid between 60 and 90 days of receipt; and a 20-percent penalty plus 12-percent per annum interest if paid after 90 days. O.C.G.A. §34-9-203(c)(3)
The medical bill must be proper, which requires that it be submitted along with the associated medical records. O.C.G.A. §34-9-205(a) and Board Rule 205(a).
5) Payment of mileage reimbursement request: if a mileage reimbursement request is not paid within 15 days of its receipt by the employer or insurer there is a 15-percent late penalty. O.C.G.A. §34-9-203
In addition to the above, civil penalties may be assessed in certain circumstances pursuant to O.C.G.A. §34-9-18. Civil penalties in the amount of $100.00 to $1,000.00 can be assessed against any person who 1) willfully fails to file any form or report required by the Board; 2) fails to follow any order or directive of an ALJ or the Board; or 3) violates any of the Board’s rules. A penalty of up to $10,000.00 can be assessed against any person who knowingly and intentionally makes any false or misleading statement or representation for the purpose of facilitating the obtaining or denying of any benefit or payment under the Act.
Penalties for Unreasonable Claim Denials or Delayed Payments
Some insurance companies deny legitimate workers’ comp claims in order to reduce their costs. If this happens to you, you may not receive the benefits you deserve—or at least not until you’ve gone through the lengthy process of appealing the denial with your state’s workers’ comp agency. Even if the insurer accepts your claim, it may refuse to pay some benefits without a good reason.
To discourage this kind of behavior, many states impose stiff penalties for unreasonable claim denials, refusals to pay, or delayed payments.
Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.