You obviously don’t go to work expecting to be hurt, but workplace accidents still happen. Suffering a workplace injury can lead to temporary or permanent disability, further complicating your professional life. Struggling to seek compensation for your losses is the last thing you want to deal with following a work accident.
If you were injured on the job and are having trouble collecting compensation owed to you, it is time to call the Duluth workers’ compensation lawyers at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition. Contact us today for your free consultation and case evaluation. You pay us nothing upfront and we only get paid if we are successful in recovering compensation for you.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation refers to a set of laws aimed at ensuring that workers who are injured on the job are compensated. Under the laws, employers are required to offer workers’ compensation insurance coverage to their employees. The coverage may cover the following:
- Medical treatment
- Travel expenses
- Physical therapy
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Temporary total disability benefit if you are taken out of work for a statutory period of time
What Should I Do If I’m Hurt on the Job?
If you are hurt on the job, you should do the following:
- Tell your employer (supervisor or manager) that you are hurt
- Get to an employer-approved doctor for treatment and follow the doctor’s instructions
- Keep a written record of the injury and symptoms
- If your injuries are visible, take photographs
- File a workers’ compensation claim assisted by reputable workers’ compensation lawyers
- Rest and recuperate.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
All workplaces pose some risk of injury. While some workplace accidents may result in just scrapes and bruises, others can be really life-threatening. Here are some of the most common types of workplace accident injuries:
- Construction Accidents
- Slip and Fall Accidents
- Hearing Loss
- Neck/Back Injuries
- Joint Pain
- Accidents While Working with Tools or Machinery
- Accidents While Traveling for Business
A serious workplace accident injury can result in a diminished quality of life. A serious injury can actually prevent you from ever performing the tasks required by your job again. Fortunately, our workers’ compensation lawyers at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Duluth, GA are passionate about helping you obtain the compensation you are entitled to.
Why Should I Hire a Duluth Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
The decision to hire our lawyers for your workers’ compensation claim as opposed to going it alone can be the difference between a successful claim and losing out on the benefits that you might be entitled to. Here are some of the reasons why you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer:
- We can help reignite your claim even after a denial
- We strengthen your chances in court
- We will make sure that your agreement is correctly worded
- We will handle negotiations with the insurer on your behalf
- We can help you deal with related legal issues
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Duluth Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Workers’ compensation lawyers in Duluth, GA, including those at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition are paid on a contingency fee basis. This means that, rather than charging you an hourly rate, your attorney is paid a portion of your award or settlement.
Under Georgia law, attorneys aren’t allowed to charge more than 25 percent of the benefits received in your award or settlement. Furthermore, the fee generally cannot exceed 400 weeks of your disability benefits.
What Should I Do If My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, the only option you have left is to appeal. However, the appeals process can be difficult, which is why you should consider hiring a lawyer such as those at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition to guide you through the process.
Here are the steps to challenging your denial:
- Filing a Claim: The form WC-14 (notice of claim) is good for 1 year after the injury or last medical treatment provided and 2 years after your last weekly disability payment.
- Mediation: The insurer may offer you a “mediation” session to reach a settlement. If a settlement cannot be reached, however, the process continues.
- Hearing: It is an informal legal proceeding that usually takes place at a courtroom in the county where the injury happened. Your lawyer will present evidence and make arguments before a judge, who will decide on the matter within 30 days.
- Appellate Review: If the judge’s decision was not favorable, your lawyer can file an application for review with the SBWC appellate division within 20 days of the ruling. The appellate division decides after evaluating written arguments from both sides.
- Court: If the SBWC appellate judges rule against you, there’s still one final recourse. You can go to the Georgia Court of Appeals and perhaps even the Georgia supreme court. However, the appeal must be filed in the county where the injury occurred within 20 days of the final order by the SBWC.
What Is the Employee’s Responsibility in Workers’ Compensation?
- To follow the employer’s written rules of safety and other reasonable procedures and policies
- To report the work injury without delay (Within 30 days)
- To seek medical attention for the injury with employer-specified physicians
- To file a claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC)
- To take a drug test if requested or provide reasonable evidence for a refusal
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in Workers’ Comp?
- To carry workers’ compensation insurance on all qualifying workers
- To provide and maintain a reasonably safe work environment
- To comply with all health and safety regulations of the job as stipulated by OSHA
- To ensure that injured employees receive medical attention from approved medical providers.
- To provide injured employees with the name and address of their insurance provider, the policy number, and the expiry date of the policy.
- To fill out Section A of Georgia form WC-1 after a workplace injury and submit it to the insurance provider.
- To make a significant effort to return the employee to their designated position.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Compensation a Claim in Georgia?
No. It is actually illegal in Georgia to fire an employee directly because he/she filed/claimed a workers’ compensation claim.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation?
Injured workers in Duluth, Georgia are advised to report workplace injuries immediately they happen, even if they don’t appear severe at first. While the law allows for 30 days from the date of the injury for an injured employee to file a claim, any delay is likely to either complicate the claims process or lead to lost benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Typically, you aren’t permitted to sue your employer for a workplace injury in Georgia. This is because accepting the employer-provided workers’ compensation means forfeiting the right to sue your employer in case of a workplace injury.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Under Georgia law, independent contractors are not eligible for workers’ compensation. To be eligible for workers’ compensation in the state, you must be either an employee or a statutory employee.
However, it can be sometimes difficult to determine your status as a worker under Georgia law. It is possible that your employer has misclassified you. Fortunately, our legal team at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition can help if you are injured as an independent contractor in Duluth.
What Is My Claim for Workers’ Compensation Worth?
It is usually quite difficult to determine how your much claim without a workers’ compensation lawyer, but it is usually based on the following factors:
- Whether the injuries are permanent
- Whether the employer has any light-duty work available
- Your work status (i.e. no work, light-duty, full duty, etc.)
- The cost of medical treatment in the future
- Whether you are owed any back pay
- Whether you are currently receiving temporary total disability benefits
- Your average weekly wage prior to the injury
Workers’ compensation covers medical costs for employees that suffer work-related injuries or illnesses. It can also provide disability benefits or even replace some missed wages if the employee needs time off to recover. Here are some of the specific costs that workers’ compensation covers in Georgia:
- Your medical bills
- A percentage of your lost wages
- Any rehab costs
- Any necessary travel expenses related to the treatment of the injury
- Prescription medication
- Income loss replacement benefits, which is two-thirds of your average weekly wage capped at $575 a week.
Contact Our Duluth Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
If you have been injured at work in Duluth, GA, your employer should pay for your medical treatment. Get in touch with the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition immediately to discuss options when it comes to getting your benefits. Contact us today by calling 770-796-0919 or using our online form to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.