Regardless of where you work, there is always the potential of an injury, and unfortunately, we rarely see it coming. This is why workers’ compensation benefits exist. However, you need to make a workers’ compensation claim in order to get the benefits, and when you’re suffering from an injury or illness, it can be a difficult experience. That’s why it is advisable to seek legal assistance from a qualified Forest Park workers’ compensation lawyer.
The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act has its own specific details, which makes it hard to navigate if this is your first time. Fortunately, the team at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Forest Park are well-versed with the intricacies of the law and are therefore suitable for your case.
Whether you have recently sustained an injury at work, your claim has been denied or the case has become complicated, our team can help you navigate the murky waters of your situation. Call us today at 770-796-0919 for a free, no-obligation initial consultation!
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What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation, also referred to as workers’ comp is a government-mandated form of coverage that every business with at least three employees is supposed to have. This insurance is meant to cover damages including medical expenses and lost wages for employees who have been injured while performing their work duties.
Georgia’s Workers’ Comp Act provides various types of benefits on a case-to-case basis, and the exact process of filing a claim can be confusing and overwhelming for many. That’s why it is wise to be aware of your rights in regard to injuries in the workplace.
According to the workers’ comp law, injured employees are entitled to the following:
- Medical treatment
- Travel expenses for medical purposes
- Physical therapy
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Vocation rehabilitation, for special cases
What Should You If You’re Hurt on the Job?
The steps you take following an injury at the workplace will play a major role in the outcome of your claim. That’s why we advise you to do the following:
Notify Your Employer
Ensure you report the accident to the supervisor or employer as soon as possible, ideally in writing. Bear in mind that in Georgia, you have 30 days from the date of the incident to report the injury to your employer. Otherwise, you risk losing the opportunity of being compensated.
Take Photos of Your Injuries and any Damages
Depending on the type of accident, it’s advisable to take photos and videos of the scene as well as resulting injuries. These will help when it comes to presenting evidence for your case and ensure you get full and fair compensation. It’s not uncommon for employers and insurance companies to deny workers’ comp claims just because the employees did not have adequate evidence.
See a Doctor and Follow Their Instructions
It is important to visit a physician and seek treatment as soon as possible, no matter if the injury is major or minor. Usually, the physician should be authorized by your employer or their insurance company, unless it’s an emergency.
If the first physician does not meet your needs, you’re entitled to see a different one. However, note that workers’ compensation won’t cover the medical expenses.
Keep a Journal of Your Injuries
It is also wise to make detailed notes of the incident and make sure you keep them in a safe location. Make notes of your injuries or illness right after the incident and include the names of any witnesses plus dates. This will ensure your story is coherent and consistent when it comes to making a claim and presenting evidence.
Update the Employer
If the physician excuses you from work or provides restrictions, ensure you put this into writing and provide your employer with a copy. If they excuse you from work indefinitely, find out how frequently your boss will need you to call in. Ensure that you comply with the requirements of both the employer and the insurance company.
Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you believe you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, ensure you reach out to an experienced and skilled workers’ comp lawyer in Forest Park. When you reach out to the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, you can be certain of a free, no-obligation initial consultation. Our team will help you establish whether you have a valid claim and your legal options.
Common Workplace Injuries
You can experience any form of injury at the workplace. However, some are more common than others. These include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Brain injuries
- Hip Injuries
- Knee injuries
- Carpal tunnel
- Occupational illnesses
Why Should You Hire a Forest Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Here are some of the main reasons to work with our experienced attorneys for your workers’ comp case in Forest Park, GA.
We Hasten the Claims Process
Our experienced lawyers know the ins and outs of making a workers’ comp claim. By working with us, you can be certain that your case will be solved much faster.
We Gather the Necessary Evidence
Our team will also garner all the required evidence to prove your claim. This includes witness statements, medical records, vocational evidence, etc.
We Will Handle Negotiations
More often than not, employers and insurance companies don’t like going to court and prefer negotiating for a fair settlement. Our lawyers will calculate how much you deserve, handle the negotiations and ensure you don’t get low-balled.
We Will Appeal Your Claim in Case of Denial
Our team will also help you understand why your claim was denied and your available legal options. We will handle everything as you recover and recuperate.
How Much Does It Cost to Retain a Forest Park Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
Most law firms in Georgia, including ours, operate on a contingency basis. This means we do not charge you unless we win the case. For you to pay us, we must win your case and ensure you are fairly compensated. The amount is usually a pre-agreed percentage of the settlement.
So, if you’re hesitant about hiring a lawyer because of the fees, don’t fret. We know the accident put a financial strain on you and the last thing you need is to pay out of pocket for legal services.
What Should You Do If Your Claim is Denied?
If your workers’ comp claim has been denied, you have the right to ask for the reason and file an appeal. If your claim gets denied, you can file a dispute and ask to have a formal hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. At this stage, an Administrative Judge will listen to your appeal and determine whether your claim was valid. A competent lawyer with experience in workers’ compensation should help present this information.
Keep in mind that the Administrative Judge will listen to both sides of the case. As such, you need to ensure you have factual information as well as supporting details to back up your dispute, as well as the extent of your injuries or illness. Again, a lawyer should come in handy.
What Are the Responsibilities of Employees in Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims?
As a worker in the state of Georgia, you have the following responsibilities when it comes to workers’ comp claims:
- Notify your employer about the incident as soon as possible. The deadline for this is 30 days from the date of injury.
- Report and file a claim for the injury as soon as it occurs.
- Inform the assigned physician about the injury or illness.
- Accept any required drug tests.
- Make sure you follow all the safety rules at work.
- Make truthful and factual statements or claims when seeking compensation. Doing otherwise puts you at risk of conviction for a misdemeanor.
What Are the Responsibilities of Employers in Workers’ Compensation Claims?
Employers have different responsibilities when it comes to workers’ comp in Forest Park, GA. In accordance with the workers’ compensation act, all employers with at least three employees should have workers’ compensation coverage. In addition, they are required to provide the insurance carrier’s name where employees spend most of their time and provide a safe working environment.
Also, they are expected to respect and protect the rights of their employees and cooperate when it comes to workers’ compensation claims investigations.
Can You Be Fired For Making a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No, the law forbids employers from laying off or firing any injured employee who files a workers’ comp claim.
What Is the Statute of Limitation For Workers’ Comp Claims in Forest Park, GA?
In the state of Georgia, you have one year from the date of injury to make a workers’ compensation claim.
Can Independent Contractors File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
No, Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act does not allow independent contractors to seek benefits for injury at the workplace. However, if the employer controls their time, means, manner as well as execution methods of the job, then they are considered an employee, and thus eligible for workers’ comp benefits.
Hire a Forest Park Workers’ Compensation Lawyer!
There is no denying the many aspects that come with workers’ compensation claims. If you want the best chances of getting the benefits you deserve, then hire an experienced workers’ comp lawyer today. We are available round the clock, and all you have to do is call us at 770-796-0919!
Schedule your free consultation with a Forest Park workers’ compensation lawyer today!