Workplace injuries that keep you away from work for prolonged periods are often serious and usually require expensive medical treatment. If you get an on-the-job injury or illness, you can recover compensation and other benefits by filing a workers compensation claim.
However, pursuing a workers compensation claim on your own can be challenging. Imagine dealing with insurance companies and doctor’s appointments while still trying to recover. Luckily, you don’t have to do all this on your own. You should consider retaining a Clarkston workers compensation lawyer from the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Georgia.
We have a deep understanding of workers compensation claims and can help you navigate every step, including the appeals process. Our reputable Clarkston injury attorneys can help you recover the benefits you are entitled to as you focus on your health.
Call us at 770-796-0919 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with our Clarkston representatives.
Table of Contents
What Is Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation is a special program that enable employees who have sustained workplace injuries to recover medical benefits and a percentage of weekly wages. The law requires businesses in Georgia to carry workers compensation insurance if they have three or more employees.
What Should I Do After An On-the-job Injury?
- Tell your employer you are hurt. You should inform your employer immediately or within 30 days after the date of the injury.
- Get to the nearest authorized WC doctor as soon as possible (usually within 48 hours after the injury) and follow the physician’s instructions. You should see your assigned WC doctor as soon as you can and follow their orders.
- Document your injuries and symptoms. If possible, try and record the nature of your injuries and symptoms in writing and preserve the written notes.
- Take photographs of your injury, if visible. Document your workplace injuries by taking photos or videos as evidence.
- File a workers compensation claim. Get a qualified Clarkston workers compensation attorney to make sure you recover the full compensation you deserve.
- Rest and recuperate. Let your attorney fight for you as you focus on recovering.
What Are The Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
While accidents happen in almost every job industry, some accident injuries are more prevalent than others.
Ten most common workplace accident injuries:
- Cuts and lacerations. Employees have often been left nursing cuts and lacerations because of inadequate training or failing to observe safety procedures when using all sorts of implements and tools such as power saws or paper trimmers.
- Slip and Falls. Another prevalent on-the-job injury involves slipping and falling. These types of injuries have no limitations regarding the job industry thus are so common.
- Hearing Loss. Employees who work in noise-polluted job environments often suffer hearing loss caused by continuous exposure to excessive or loud noise.
- Back/Neck Injuries. Back and neck injuries often affect employees in almost all job industries. For example, some workers suffer back or neck injuries due to long sitting hours.
- Muscle strains. As any worker who regularly lifts heavy items will know already, strained muscles are a common on-the-job injury. Employees often get back and neck strains.
- Accidents while on the road for business. Workers and employees who spend a lot of time on the road often suffer auto accident injuries.
- Being caught in or struck by moving machinery. Unguarded machines are hazardous. Body parts can get hit by or caught in exposed moving parts. The results are often catastrophic. These accidents are common with farm equipment, construction equipment, and factories.
- Inhaling toxic fumes. Workers who work in an environment with hazardous chemicals often inhale toxic fumes and gases that cause injuries.
- Freak accident injuries involving limb loss are caused by unguarded machinery or failure to observe safety. The result is often disastrous.
- These injuries usually affect muscles, tendons, or ligaments. They are caused by lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, holding, or throwing activities in a single incident or through years of engaging in a strenuous activity every day.
Why Should I Hire A Clarkston Workers Compensation Lawyer?
When you retain a workers compensation lawyer, you boost your chances of recouping benefits compared to what you would recover without the help of a qualified lawyer. These are the several ways an attorney can help you:
- Case preparation/Filing Claim. An attorney can investigate your claim and gather evidence, including medical records, safety reports, and even witness accounts, to make your case stronger, after which they will file a workers compensation claim on your behalf.
- Settlement Negotiations. Attorneys are seasoned negotiators. They can negotiate with the insurance carrier to get you the maximum recoverable compensation for your workplace injuries. Additionally, a lawyer can ensure you don’t fall victim to the exploitative tactics that insurers use.
- Trial Preparation/Representation. If your case moves to trial, an attorney can gather and organize the evidence and present the same in court.
- Appealing a denied claim. A lawyer can also help you appeal your denied workers compensation claim by filing an appeal with Georgia’s workers compensation board.
- Additional Damages. After reviewing your case, an attorney can determine if you are eligible for other damages.
- Third-party Liability. Finally, a lawyer can help you file a lawsuit against a third party responsible for your workplace injury.
How Much Does A Clarkston Workers Compensation Lawyer Cost?
Workers compensation attorneys in Clarkston, Georgia take cases on a contingency basis. This means you only pay attorney fees if we manage to recoup compensation for your workers compensation claim. The typical percentage for a contingency fee is 25% of the settlement your Clarkston workers compensation lawyer manages to recover.
What Steps Should I Take If My Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied In Georgia?
If your Clarkston workers compensation claim is rejected, you should get an attorney to help you appeal with Georgia’s Board of Workers Compensation.
What Are The Employee’s Responsibilities When Filing A Claim For Workers Compensation?
- Reporting the injury: Employees must promptly report the details of their workplace injury or illness to their employer or supervisor.
- Resuming work: Employees must inform their employers when they are ready to resume work.
- Cooperating with your insurance carrier: Employees must comply with requests made by their insurance provider. For instance, your insurer may request that you seek medical care from an independent doctor.
- Drug tests: Employers must agree to undertake a drug test if asked.
- Proving false or misleading information: Employees are required to be honest and always provide legitimate information.
What Responsibility Does The Employer Have In Georgia’s Workers Comp Process?
Filing a First Report of Injury: If a worker sustains an injury on the job, the employer must complete and file a First Report of Injury or any equivalent document and forward it to their workers compensation provider.
Respecting employees’ rights: Employers must not violate the rights of their injured employees. For instance, employers must allow employees who need medical attention to see a physician.
Cooperate with investigative parties: Employers must collaborate and avail all the requested documents to investigators.
Employee’s Return to Work: Employers are responsible for recalling employees once they are ready to resume their job duties after recovering.
Cooperating with Georgia’s workers compensation board: Employers are required to help the state’s workers compensation board to curb any fraud.
Can I Be Fired Because I Filed A Workers Comp Claim?
No. Your employer cannot take retaliatory action against you for claiming workers compensation benefits.
Is There A Timeline Or Deadline For Filing A Workers Compensation Claim In Clarkston, Georgia?
You have one year from the date of your accident to file a workers compensation claim. If this period lapses, you will no longer be eligible for workers compensation benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer?
You cannot sue your employer for an on-the-job injury because a no-fault system guides workers compensation. However, you can recoup benefits for medical expenses and lost wages.
Can An Injured Independent Contractor File A Workers Comp Claim?
Georgia doesn’t classify independent contractors as employees. In other words, independent contractors are not eligible to file for workers compensation benefits In Georgia. But they can be eligible for compensation through personal injury claims if a third party caused the injury.
What Is My Clarkston Workers Compensation Claim Worth?
Your claim’s worth primarily depends on two factors; the medical expenses that you accrue and the amount of income or wage loss. Workers compensation benefits will cover the following:
- Medical expenses for all necessary and reasonable treatment such as surgery, medication, prescription medication, rehabilitation, and diagnostic procedures. Unless you get treatment from your WC doctor, workers compensation will not pay for these expenses.
- Travel costs related to the treatment of your workplace injuries such as to and for mileage expenses for doctor’s appointments and ambulance rides costs.
- Your lost wages: The benefits will pay for two-thirds of your average weekly pay for your lost wages or income for the period you were temporarily disabled. These weekly benefits will be capped at $575.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): An injured employee may also receive an additional amount of money if their WC doctor determines that the rating or degree of their disability complies with AMA (American Medical Association) guidelines.
A Clarkston Workers Compensation Lawyer is Here to Help
If you were a victim of a job-related injury or illness that prevented you from working, you deserve to recoup compensation and benefits for your lost income and all related medical expenses.
The attorneys at the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Georgia are compassionate about the rights of employees. We understand your plight because we have helped many employees with their workers compensation claims in Clarkston and all over Georgia. Our attorneys can advocate for your best interests throughout the claims process.
Call us today at 770-796-0919 to speak with the experienced lawyers from the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Georgia and book a charge and obligation-free case review.