Getting hurt or contracting a disease while at work could leave you speculating about unemployment and how you’re going to look after your loved ones. And while the Workers’ Compensation Act exists to help you in such situations, chances are, like most employees who have sustained an injury at work, you do not have an idea of how to initiate the process will still recovering and trying to make ends meet. An experienced Canton workers’ compensation lawyer can help you to navigate the often confusing process of claiming workers’ compensation.
Luckily, the team at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition can help you understand how workers’ compensation works in Georgia and if pursuing a claim is the best route. Our Canton workers’ compensation lawyers are here to help you overcome the many hurdles related to workers’ comp and take action.
As a victim of a work-related injury, your employer is responsible for covering all the injury costs, no matter who is at fault. If you have been hurt while on the job, don’t let the claim become an additional issue to your stress. Get in touch with a Canton workers’ compensation attorney for legal counsel.
We offer free initial consultations to answer any questions about employment law. Our lawyers will guide you through the process of filing a successful claim. Call 770-796-0919 and schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation today!
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What Is Workers’ Compensation?
In Georgia, workers’ compensation is defined as a form of coverage governed by state law to protect the wellbeing of workers by providing a financial safety net after sustaining an injury or occupational disease. Workers’ comp protects employees from any financial loss caused by a work-related injury or illness and offers the following benefits:
- Medical Expenses – Covers all medical costs following the injury
- Income Loss – Covers any wages you miss and will miss as a result of the injury.
- Death Benefits – A workers’ comp claim can ideally provide financial compensation to the loved ones of a person who lost their life following a fatal accident at work.
What Should You Do After an Injury at Work?
If you have sustained an injury at the workplace, what you do immediately after will have a major impact on the outcome of your claim. That being said, here are steps to take after you’ve been injured at work.
Seek Medical Attention
It is important to seek medical attention immediately at the nearest hospital or emergency room, especially if your injury is critical or catastrophic. As a victim, your health and welfare should be the main priority. This isn’t the time to worry about how the injuries will affect your claim. This is something you can always figure out later with the help of a competent lawyer. And even if the injuries are minor, ensure you visit the doctor.
Notify Your Employer
It is important that you report the accident, injury, or illness to the employer, or the relevant party- general manager, supervisor, or HR manager- as soon as possible. Once you have reported the injury, the employer should give you the forms and resources required to file a compensation claim and a panel of physicians. In Canton, GA, employees are required to file an injury or accident report within 30 days.
Take Photos and Videos of the Accident or Injury
It is not uncommon for employers and insurance companies to try and deny or dispute worker’s compensation claims. As such, it’s best to stay safe and record the injury by taking photos and videos if possible.
File a Workers’ Comp Claim
In order to start the claims process, you’ll need to fill and submit a WC-14 form or Notice of Claim with Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Ensure that you send copies to both your employer and the insurance company. Remember that you have 1 year from the date of the accident to complete and submit the form.
When filing a workers’ comp claim, it is best to take your time as the information you provide will be the basis of your claim’s approval or denial. And given you need to recover and recuperate, it is best to hire an experienced workers’ comp attorney.
The Most Common Injuries From Workplace Accidents
While there is a wide array of injuries that you can sustain during a work-related injury, there are several common ones. These include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle strains
- Neck and back injuries
- Inhaling toxic fumes
- Slip and falls
- Hearing loss
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools
Why Hire a Canton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
As mentioned earlier, claiming benefits for a work-related injury is not always a straightforward process. As such, it is best to have a skilled and experienced lawyer by your side for the best chance of getting full and fair compensation. That been said, here are some of the reasons to hire us:
We Understand Employment Law
The laws surrounding workers’ compensation law are complex and given both the employer and insurance carrier can deny or dispute your claim doesn’t make it easier. Our lawyers have the knowledge and experience needed to fight aggressively for your rights and ensure that your case is resolved fairly. We won’t let any party take advantage of your situation.
We’ll Seek the Compensation You Deserve
Insurance carriers have a reputation for trying to pay the least amount possible in compensation. After all, they are in business! Getting fair compensation calls for more than just being a good negotiator. Knowledge, experience, and leverage are also needed in order to get the most compensation out of an insurance company.
If you try to seek a fair settlement on your own, the insurance provider will know you don’t have leverage or the necessary knowledge. This will only result in low-balling and if you’re desperate, you will end up with a settlement amount that doesn’t completely cover your injuries or damages.
Prevent Retaliation From Your Employer
If your employer and the insurance company know you have an attorney by your side, they are less likely to retaliate. You can think of it as a policy that protects you from bad behavior and ensure you’re treated with respect throughout the claim process.
Protect Your Future
Even if you’re able to go back to work, you may have ongoing medical needs as a result of the injury. A competent lawyer can push for the employer and insurance company to cover your past, present, and future medical expenses, thus protecting your financial stability down the line.
What Do I Do if My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied in Georgia?
Employers and insurance providers deny workers’ compensation claims for an array of reasons. If your boss denies your claim, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to seek benefits. There are various appeal options in Georgia that you can pursue.
If you get a denial for your workers’ compensation claim, you can request to have a hearing before Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation. In this scenario, an Administrative Law Judge will hear your case, make a determination on your injury or illness, and whether you are eligible for workers’ comp.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Canton?
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, we operate on a contingency basis. This means we will not charge you for legal fees unless we win your case. To get paid, you must be compensated first. The amount will be an agreed-upon percentage of your settlement amount.
What are the Responsibilities of Employees in Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims?
As a worker in Canton, GA, you have the following responsibilities:
- Report any workplace injury as soon as it occurs.
- Ensure you notify your employer or supervisor. Keep in mind that the Workers’ Compensation Act requires you to do this within 30 days.
- Notify your doctor about the injury.
- Make honest statements and claims to get a settlement. Bear in mind that you could be convicted of a misdemeanor for making false or misleading statements.
- Follow any safety rules provided at the workplace.
- Accept any drug tests after an accident if the employer and insurer require them.
What are the Responsibilities of Employers in the Workers’ Compensation Process?
All employers in Canton have various responsibilities when it comes to workers’ compensation. According to the Workers’ Comp Act, employers with three or more employees need to have coverage. In addition, they are required to provide the workers’ compensation carrier’s name, the state the workers keep the right to get benefits and medical treatment in places where they spend most of their time working.
Also, employers are expected to respect the rights of their employees and cooperate with any investigative party.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No, employers are forbidden from retaliating against or firing injured workers who file a workers’ compensation claim.
Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Workers Compensation Claim in Canton?
The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation claims in Georgia is one year from the date of the accident.
Can I Sue My Boss?
As an employee, you can only use the workers’ compensation program to seek settlement for injuries or damages experienced while working. This means that even if the employer was negligent, you can’t sue them outside of workers’ compensation.
Our Canton Workers’ Compensation Lawyers are Experienced in Handling Workers’ Compensation Claims in Georgia. Call Today for a Free Consultation.
There is no denying that workers’ compensation has many aspects that need to be done right. With a competent attorney by your side, you can be certain we will fight for your rights and ensure you get the settlement you deserve. Our team of Canton workers’ compensation lawyers will guide you through the entire process.
Call us at 770-796-0919 today for a free initial consultation!