Getting injured while on the job is usually the last thing on any employee’s mind, but it is undeniable that workplace accidents happen. Some of these can lead to serious, life-changing injuries, and employees often need medical treatment and time off work to recuperate. Such injuries leave employees with huge medical costs, not to mention lost income whenever they take time off work. More than anything, you’ll want a Johns Creek workers compensation lawyer fighting for you!
Workers who get injured in the course of employment are usually covered under the workers’ system, as long as their injuries are compensable and they get injured while on the job. Some injuries may not be compensable under workers’ compensation, and employers may deny an employee’s claim for this reason.
While workplace injuries can be devastating, it is important that you take the right steps if you have suffered an injury at your workplace. Speaking to an experienced Johns Creek workers compensation lawyer is the best way to safeguard your right to receive the benefits you are entitled to. If you have been injured while on the clock and aren’t sure where to start with your claim, call the law offices of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition at 770-796-0919 to speak to one of our Johns Creek injury attorneys and schedule a free legal consultation.
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What is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system created by state law to provide benefits to workers who get injured while at work. This insurance system provides medical, income, rehabilitation, death, and other benefits to employees and dependents following an injury, occupational disease, and death resulting from a work-related accident covered by workers’ comp laws.
Under workers’ compensation, injured employees may be entitled to medical benefits, including hospital stays, prescription drugs, and physical therapy. Such workers may also be eligible for disability benefits if their doctor advises them to take time off work for the statutory time.
What Should I Do if I’m Hurt on the Job?
State laws regarding workers’ compensation are usually clear on what is expected of employees who get injured while on the job, and failure to do the right things could lead to the loss or forfeiture of your workers’ compensation benefits. If you have suffered a work-related injury, it is important that you do the following:
- Report your injury to your employer in a timely manner. In Georgia, you are required to report your injury not later than 30 days after the date of the injury.
- Seek medical care from a doctor recommended to you by your employer and keep all the medical records.
- Take photographs of your injury, if visible.
- File a workers’ compensation claim with the help of a workers’ compensation attorney.
- Rest and recuperate.
What are the Commonest Workplace Accident Injuries?
Workplace injuries vary greatly depending on the type of employment. Below are some of the commonest workplace injuries:
- Back/neck injuries: These are common in slip and fall accidents and may also occur due to prolonged sitting, especially for employees working in offices.
- Burns: Workers who work in factories consisting of boilers, or who handle corrosive chemicals are usually at risk of suffering severe burns.
- Fractures and broken bones, which often occur in the construction sector.
- Amputations: Accidents involving heavy machinery could result in severed limbs.
- Hearing Loss: Exposure to unsafe noise levels and failure to use hearing protection devices could lead to hearing loss.
- Joint pain: Repetitive activities such as typing results in tension on main nerves, which could cause joint pain and conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Construction accidents: Whenever accidents happen on construction sites, workers often suffer serious injuries, including facial injuries, broken bones, lacerations, and disfigurement.
- Accidents while on business travels.
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools.
Why Should I Hire a Johns Creek Workers Compensation Lawyer?
Workers’ compensation lawyers are adept at handling claims as they are conversant with the state’s workers’ compensation laws. If you have suffered a workplace injury, a Johns Creek workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the process of reporting your injury to ensure the eligibility of your claim.
Speaking to a lawyer whenever your workers’ comp claim is denied is also important. A lawyer will find out the reason your employer or their insurer denied your claim and advise you on the way forward. Normally, your lawyer will collect the facts of your workplace injury and help you file Form WC-14 to appeal the denial of the claim and request a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation of Georgia.
Your Johns Creek workers compensation lawyer will also help you present your claim before the Administrative Law Judge and convince them why you need to be compensated. Presenting compelling evidence often tips the scales, and you are likely to be awarded workers’ comp benefits due to your workplace injury.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Johns Creek Workers Compensation Attorney?
Georgia law allows lawyers to represent individuals on a contingency fee basis. This is typically an arrangement where there are no upfront fees or expenses, and payment to the lawyer is made upon receiving a compensatory award. The legal fees are usually capped at a maximum of 25% of the income benefits received, and shouldn’t exceed 400 weeks of benefits.
What Should I Do if My Workers Compensation Claim is Denied?
If your workers’ comp claim has been denied by your employer or their insurer, the most sensible thing to do is file Form WC-14 to request a hearing from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. An Administrative Law Judge will hear your claim and determine whether you should receive workers’ comp benefits.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have in Filing a Workers Comp Claim?
Employees are required to follow all the safety rules and guidelines at their workplaces. In the event of a work-related injury, employees usually have the following responsibilities:
- Report your workplace injury immediately, but not later than 30 days from the date of the accident.
- Accept reasonable medical care and rehabilitation services from a physician recommended to you by your employer and approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
- Attempt a job approved by your treating physician, even if the pay is lower than your pre-injury job.
- Submit to a drug test during the investigation of your on-the-job injury.
- File a claim, not later than 1 year from the date of your injury, if your employer or their insurance carrier denies your benefits.
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in the Workers Compensation Process?
Employers are required to do the following whenever an employee is injured while on the job:
- File a First Report of Injury with their insurance carrier not later than 7 days after being notified by the injured employee.
- Provide information about their Panel of Physicians from which the injured employee can seek medical treatment.
- Provide a light-duty job as directed by the treating physician in a bid to keep the injured employee working and earning.
Can I be Fired for Filing a Workers Comp Claim?
You can never be fired for claiming your workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ comp laws protect you from unjust retaliation, and you may have grounds for a legal suit if your employer fires you for filing a workers’ comp claim.
Is there a Time Limit to File a Workers Comp Claim in Johns Creek, Georgia?
In Georgia, you are supposed to file your workers’ compensation claim not later than 1 year from the date of your injury. Failure to file within this time limit could lead to the loss of your workers’ compensation benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Just as workers’ comp laws provide you with benefits when you suffer a workplace injury, they protect employers from legal suits. In most cases, you may not be able to sue your employer, even if your injuries were a result of their negligence.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers Comp Claim?
Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws, independent contractors aren’t eligible for workers’ comp benefits. To be eligible for these benefits, you must be an employee in a company that has 3 or more employees or be a statutory employee.
What is My Johns Creek Workers Compensation Claim Worth?
The worth of your workers’ compensation claim will be dependent on the benefits you’re set to receive after suffering a workplace injury, including medical, income, and rehabilitation benefits. Normally, workers’ comp will cover the following:
- Your medical bills (with authorized treating physicians)
- Prescription medication
- Rehabilitation costs
- A portion of your lost wages
- Travel expenses related to the treatment of your injury, such as doctor visitations
- Temporary total disability benefits (TTD) for lost wages in the case of disability, which will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage (with a cap of $675 per week).
- Temporary partial disability benefits (TPD) also accrue if you return to work but earn less than before due to your injury. Normally, these benefits amount to 2/3 of the difference of your pre-injury and current income and are capped at $450 per week.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits accrue if your treating physician establishes that you have suffered an impairment or loss of function and issues a disability rating. These benefits can be received for life as weekly payments at the temporary total disability rate or as a lump sum.
Contact a Johns Creek Workers Compensation Lawyer for Help with Your Claim!
While on-the-job accidents are attributed to seemingly dangerous workplaces such as construction sites and the gas and oil sector, the truth is that these accidents can happen in any working environment. Whenever employees suffer workplace injuries, they may receive various benefits under workers’ compensation to cover their medical expenses and lost income.
To be eligible for such benefits, it is crucial that you report your injury immediately and observe all employee responsibilities. If you have suffered a workplace injury and are wondering where to begin, reach out to Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Johns Creek via 770-796-0919 or by filling out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Johns Creek workers’ compensation lawyers.