You worked hard every day to support yourself and your household. You may give everything you have physically and mentally to each task assigned and each shift worked, striving to give your very best to your employer week after week. This can all come to a screeching halt in the event of a workplace injury – especially if it jeopardizes your chances of reporting back to work anytime soon. This is the moment when trusting in a team of Kennesaw workers’ compensation lawyers should be the very next step you take. Call the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition today for a risk-free consultation with an experienced attorney.
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Understanding the Value of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
There are many misconceptions about workers’ compensation, primarily by people who have never personally used this benefit. What exactly is workers’ compensation and what does it cover?
Any type of major workplace injury will typically lead you to ask questions about the following topics:
- Money: No work, no payroll. What will you do about the lost wages?
- Medical Expenses: How will you pay the medical expenses associated with your injury? Will you have to depend on your own health insurance coverage for help?
- Rehabilitation: When can you return to your normal routine and daily activities without being physically hindered by your injury?
The best part about workers’ compensation is that it is designed to provide injured employees with answers to all of the questions referenced above. In addition to offering medical benefits, this employee provision paves the way for rehabilitation support along with income to supplement those lost wages.
Is Workers’ Compensation an Available Option for Your Employer?
If you have never benefited from workers’ compensation before, then you may not know if this is even an option with your employer. The lack of knowledge regarding workers’ compensation and the claims filing process prevents a substantial number of qualifying cases from being reported each year.
Many employees assume that workers’ compensation is only a benefit offered by major corporations and other large companies as an “employee perk” along with their other first-class benefits.
How do you know if your employer should offer workers’ compensation? Depending on the structure of the company, it may not be an option at all.
According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), it is a legal requirement in the State of Georgia for all employers with at least 3 employees to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
This means that even a small business or “Mom & Pop” shop could be required to provide workers’ compensation coverage to employees.
If you work for a subcontractor that does not offer workers’ compensation coverage, then the actual contractor that hires your subcontractor could be held liable for your coverage.
If either of these situations applies to you, do not hesitate to contact the Kennesaw workers’ compensation lawyers at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition immediately after experiencing a workplace injury to offer expert advice and guidance.
Why Time is Vital in the Workers’ Compensation Claims Process
Another misconception about workers’ compensation is that you have all the time in the world to address these matters. You may trust in your own financial safety net to keep you protected after your workplace injury – perhaps due to the fear of “rocking the boat” with your employer by “rushing” to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Contrary to that popular belief and old saying, time is not on your side if you want to properly handle the aftermath of a workplace injury. As all Kennesaw workers’ compensation lawyers would tell you, it is imperative that you act fast before this window of opportunity closes and cannot be reopened. If you wait longer than one month to report your injury, the window may close before you have a chance to do anything else with your claim.
What to Do in the Event of a Workplace Injury
Moments after the initial workplace injury, it is understandable if you quickly become overwhelmed by panic and confusion along with anxiety and pain. Perhaps there is even a level of embarrassment involved. This may convince you to just focus on moving forward with your shift, misrepresent the severity of your injury, or avoid disclosing your injury at all.
As referenced above, the last thing most employees want to do is “rock the boat” at work – especially if there is an extensive waiting list of applicants waiting for their employer to start hiring again.
Remember, timing is essential during the aftermath of a workplace injury. Therefore, you should take the following steps;
- Report your injury to your immediate supervisor or manager without delay. In addition to a verbal notification, you should also document it in a letter or email. This type of documentation will help our Kennesaw workers’ compensation lawyers prove your compliance regardless of how your employer may or may not handle the case from there.
- Seek medical assistance for your injury. In addition to your own word, the credibility of your case is further fortified by the word of a licensed medical professional. Perhaps your employer has an in-house medical team or expert who can provide an onsite examination.
- If this is not an option, then you need to head to an emergency room, clinic or hospital. In some cases, you will also be required to be examined by an employer approved doctor.
- Disclose all associated symptoms and show all relevant signs of physical damage to make sure that your injuries are properly documented and addressed by the healthcare professional.
- Contact a Kennesaw workers’ compensation attorney. He or she will walk you through the steps that you need to take. This includes the specific points you must disclose to your employer and doctor to ensure you cover all your bases.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer will also help you to fill out the official claim notice – Form WC-14.
Can You Handle Your Own Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Your focus may shift to the growing stack of bills that you have on your desk at home – perhaps thinking of how tall the stack will grow during the time you are stuck at home recovering from your injury.
To protect your household from further loss, you may quickly tighten the reins of your financial spending right away. This common reaction explains why many people decide to not invest in the expertise of a Kennesaw workers’ compensation attorney.
If they do decide to apply for workers’ compensation, he or she may even believe that it is something they can handle on their own without legal representation.
As outlined above, there are plenty of facts and facets of workers’ compensation in Georgia that most employees do not know – especially if the need to know it never arose.
- Most employers reference Form WC-14 during new hire training, but few focus on what to do with it after you fill it out.
- You may think your supervisor “has your back” based on your personal friendship or working relationship. However, you may forget their need to respond to their supervisor or that the insurance company will have a different conversation with your employer than they will with you.
Another false assumption is that workers’ compensation will not come anywhere close to your regular pay and it is better to focus on returning to work as soon as possible. A Kennesaw workers’ compensation attorney would tell you that your eligibility for monetary benefits kicks in if you are out of work for more than 7 days.
At that point, you are eligible to receive up to 2/3s of your weekly income (maximum: $575). Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may even qualify to receive this weekly benefit for more than 7 years (up to 400 weeks).
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Will Fight for Your Rights
As shown above, the workers’ compensation benefits enforced by the State of Georgia are substantial. This does not mean you will receive all of those benefits without a fight. In fact, the insurance company that covers your employer will put up a strong fight to protect them. It is critically important for you to have a Kennesaw workers’ compensation attorney available to protect you.
Think about the phone calls you will receive from opposing counsel and the insurance company. Take a moment to consider the vast number of questions you must answer and concerns you must address throughout the entire process.
It is best to have a Kennesaw workers’ compensation attorney ready and waiting to handle those incoming “missiles” just as quickly as they are fired in your direction.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
There is a lot of work to do to file your workers’ compensation claim and build a solid case to receive the benefits and justice that you deserve. That is why you should not hesitate to contact the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition today. Our team of Kennesaw workers’ compensation lawyers will make sure that we met your needs. You will receive a free consultation and should we accept your case, you owe us nothing until your settlement is received.
We understand the importance of restoring your normal routine as quickly as possible after a workplace injury. However, just like with anything else, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about it. Call our firm today to schedule your free consultation. We will assign an attorney to your case who is determined to review the details and recommend the right way to handle it from there.