Regardless of how safe your workplace may seem, getting injured while on the job is a real possibility. If this happens, you are left with medical bills and could potentially take some time off work to recover. Despite the pressure that comes with a work-related injury, workers’ compensation covers financial costs and lost income if you miss time at work.
Each state has different workers’ compensation laws, and Georgia laws have their own specifics. Speaking with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer when reporting your injury and filing your claim takes the load off your shoulders as you focus on recovery.
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, our lawyers in Loganville understand the specifics of Georgia law and can handle your claim, even when it is disputed or denied by your employer.
To find out the validity of your workers’ comp claim, call us at 470-518-5026 or fill our online form today.
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What Is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a statutory-mandated system that allows employees to receive certain benefits when they suffer an injury or occupational disease arising out of an in the course of their employment.
Under workers’ compensation, injured employees can receive monetary or income-loss benefits, medical and physical therapy benefits, and career rehabilitation benefits. In the case of accidental employee death, dependents are entitled to death benefits.
What Should I Do If I’m Hurt On The Job?
While getting injured while on the job can be stressful and overwhelming, doing the right things can expedite your compensation process and help prevent denial of the claim. If you have suffered a workplace injury or occupational disease, it is important that you do the following:
- Inform your employer, supervisor, or HR personnel that you have been hurt.
- Seek medical treatment from the recommended physician and follow their instructions.
- Make useful notes about your injury and the immediate symptoms while your memory is still fresh.
- If your injury is visible, take clear photographs of the injured part and keep them safe.
- Speak to a workers’ compensation attorney about your injury and file a claim with their help.
- Take time off work to recover.
What Is The Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Anyone can get injured while on the job, regardless of their work environment or industry. It follows that workplace injuries differ from one sector to the other, but the most common ones are as follows:
- Back and neck injuries: Commonly caused by falling objects on construction sites and other industries.
- Burns: These injuries may occur among workers who handle corrosive chemicals or operate boilers and kilns.
- Fractures and broken bones.
- Amputations: Workers who operate heavy machinery may suffer severed limbs.
- Hearing loss: Working in overly noisy work environments without proper hearing protection equipment could lead to loss of hearing.
- Joint pain: Employees who engage in repetitive activities and heavy lifting often suffer joint pain.
- Slip and fall accidents in workplaces may result in injuries like back, neck, and hip injuries.
- Construction accidents can result in serious injuries like disfigurement, lacerations, and broken bones.
- Injuries due to accidents that occur while traveling for work reasons.
- Injuries due to accidents that may occur while working with machinery or tools.
Why Should I Hire A Loganville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
While workers’ compensation is intended to make compensation of injured employees straightforward, this isn’t always the case. Insurance carriers often look to dispute or deny a workers’ compensation claim for their own financial interests. If you feel that the insurance carrier is unfairly denying your claim, a workers’ comp attorney can help ensure that you are awarded the benefits you’re entitled to.
In the case of a denied or disputed workers’ comp claim, you’re better off working with an attorney than going alone. A Loganville workers’ compensation lawyer can help gather evidence to strengthen your case, including medical records, eyewitness testimonies, and safety reports. If you still don’t receive your benefits, your attorney can help you appeal with the state workers’ comp board.
A lawyer can also advise you if there is a possibility of seeking additional damages for your workplace injury. This may be the case if a third party was responsible for your accident, and your lawyer can establish whether a third-party lawsuit is possible.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire A Loganville Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, we handle workers’ comp cases on a contingency basis. It means that you don’t pay anything unless we represent you successfully and you obtain a compensation award. After receiving the award, a part of it is used as the lawyer fees. In Georgia, lawyers aren’t allowed to collect more than 25% of the workers’ comp award.
What Should I Do If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Employers and their insurance carriers may deny your claim due to various reasons. However, denial of your claim doesn’t always spell doom for your efforts to receive workers’ comp benefits. The most reasonable thing to do is to request a hearing before the Georgia workers’ comp board not later than 1 year from the date of the accident.
If the request is granted, you and your employer’s insurance carrier (or their defense team) are given a date to appear before an Administrative Law Judge. The judge hears both sides of the case and makes a decision on whether you’ll receive benefits or not.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have In Filing A Workers’ Comp Claim?
Once your workplace injury or occupational disease becomes apparent, there are various responsibilities that you ought to fulfill. Some of these include:
- Reporting the workplace accident to your employer immediately, and not later than 30 days from the date of the accident.
- Seeking medical care from the recommended physician and keeping medical records.
- Filing your workers’ compensation claim in time. Georgia laws require that you do this not later than 1 year from the date of the accident.
- Submitting to a drug test if your employer requests it.
- Accepting a light-duty job approved by the treating physician.
- Keeping your employer updated on essential information, including doctor’s recommendations and the possible return date.
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have In the Workers’ Compensation Process?
Some of the employer’s responsibilities in the workers’ comp process include:
- Filing the First Report of Injury Form to notify their insurance carrier of the employee’s injury.
- Providing a list of recommended doctors from whom the injured employee can seek medical treatment.
- Offering the injured employee a return-to-work option, often in the form of light-duty work.
- Welcoming the injured employee back to work if they have attained maximum medical improvement and have been cleared by their physician to resume work.
Can I Be Fired For Claiming A Workers Comp Claim?
No. Your employer doesn’t have the right to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Georgia workers’ comp laws protect employees who suffer work-related injuries from any form of reiteration by their employers since they are rightfully entitled to workers’ comp benefits.
Is There A Time Limit To File A Workers Comp Claim In Loganville, Georgia?
Workers’ compensation cases in most states are time-limited. In Georgia, you are required to file your workers’ comp claim not later than 1 year from the date of the workplace accident. Failure to adhere to this time limit could result in the loss or forfeiture of your benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning that you have the right to receive benefits for your work-related injury regardless of who contributed to the injury. Under this system, the employer is protected from tort liability.
In exchange for no-fault workers’ comp benefits, you give up the right to sue your employer. This means that you don’t have the right to sue them, even if they contributed to your workplace injury.
Can An Independent Contractor File A Workers Comp Claim?
Independent contractors in Georgia are not entitled to workers’ comp benefits. However, there are several exceptions to this rule, including:
- Where they follow a third party’s structured work schedule
- Where they don’t control their working conditions
- Where the means of completing a job is determined by another person, company, or entity.
What Is My Loganville Workers Compensation Claim Worth?
Workers’ compensation mainly consists of medical and income benefits. Besides these benefits, the value of your claim will also depend on various factors, including your pre-injury wages and your prognosis. The following factors play a significant part in determining the value of your claim:
- Your pre-injury average weekly wages
- The duration of the benefits you’re likely to receive
- The ability to return to work in any capacity
- The average weekly wages if you take up a light-duty job
- Existence of a disability or permanent injuries
- Future medical expenses
- Whether your claim qualifies for a catastrophic designation.
Generally, the worth of your claim will be determined by medical and income benefits. Medical benefits often include medical bills, prescription medication costs, physical therapy costs, and vocational rehabilitation costs.
Income benefits include temporary total disability (TTD) benefits if you have to take time off work. In Georgia, these are usually 2/3 of your average pre-injury income and are capped at $675 per week are meant to cover lost wages.
You may also receive permanent partial disability (PPD) if your physician assigns a disability rating and permanent total disability (PTD) benefits if you may never be able to return to any meaningful employment.
I Need Help With My Workers Compensation In Loganville
If you have suffered an injury out of and in the course of your employment, you have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. Keep in mind that you have limited time, and working with an attorney can help you beat deadlines.