Injuries and illnesses in the workplace are unpredictable. They can occur at any time. One moment, everything is okay; the next, you are facing a cascade of problems like serious injury or illness, accruing medical bills, multiple surgeries, rehabilitation and, time off work which can be more costly.
Fortunately, you don’t have to go through all this alone. A skilled Monroe workers’ compensation lawyer can help you navigate the complex process of claiming workers’ compensation benefits.
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, we have handled numerous workers’ compensation cases in Georgia, and we would be happy to help you out no matter your situation. Call 770-796-0919 to get in touch with us and arrange a free case evaluation. Money shouldn’t be an issue; we take cases on contingency.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system designed to pay the expenses of workers harmed while on the job. Workers’ compensation exists in every state and helps injured employees recover medical expenses, lost income, disability payments, and rehabilitation and vocational retraining expenses. Workers’ compensation is run by the state and financed by compulsory employer contributions.
What Should I Do If I Sustain a Work-Related Injury?
If you’re hurt on the job in Monroe, Georgia, here is what to do.
- Notify your employer of your injury or illness: Report your injury to your supervisor or employer immediately or within 30 days.
- Seek medical attention as soon as you can and follow your doctor’s instructions: Make an appointment with your authorized WC physician as soon as you can after the injury. Also, make sure you attend all appointments, take prescriptions, and adhere to work restrictions.
- Document your injury and symptoms: Pen a detailed account of your accident and secure it
- Take photos of your injury, if visible: Take photos and videos of your work-related injury or illness to serve as evidence in case your employer denies that you were hurt while on the job.
- File a workers’ compensation claim with the assistance of a workers’ comp lawyer: Contact a Monroe workers’ comp attorney to help you file a workers’ compensation claim.
- Rest and recuperate: Let your attorney handle matters as you recover.
What Are The Most Common Work-Related Accidents & Injuries?
Some workplace injuries occur more often than others, but anyone can be injured at work. Here are the most common on-the-job injuries:
- Overexertion: This can happen when a worker suffers an injury from pulling, pushing, lifting, or throwing an object, causing a muscle pull, a ruptured tendon, a stretched ligament, or joint pain.
- Slip, trip, and fall: Slips, trips, and falls are common in almost every job environment, and they can sometimes cause serious injuries.
- Struck by an object or running/walking into an object: These injuries happen when a worker is hit or walks into a stationary object in the workplace.
- Mishaps on the roadways: This is a common cause of injury, particularly for truck drivers and those workers who travel for business.
- Machinery accidents: These accidents and injuries usually involve large, heavy machinery causing an injury to an employee. Machinery accidents are common in factories and constructions sites.
- Repetitive motion injuries: These injuries occur when a worker repeats the same physical motions repeatedly. Workers may suffer carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and bursitis due to repetitive motion.
- Workplace violence: Violence in the workplace is a common cause of job-related injuries. Workers tend to sustain these injuries when a fight breaks out among co-workers.
- Back/Neck Injuries: Back or neck injuries are common and usually affect the spine causing muscle strains and disc issues.
- Burns: Burn injuries and accidents are common in jobs where fire or heat is a utility. These injuries affect primarily people who work in kitchens, like chefs.
- Hearing Loss: Hearing loss is another job-related injury that affects employees constantly exposed to noise pollution.
Why Should I Hire a Monroe Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
While you aren’t obligated to hire a workers’ compensation lawyer, it is a smart move. Here are the reasons why you should hire a Monroe workers’ compensation lawyer:
To Maximize Your Workers’ Injury Benefits
Your workers’ injury benefits depend on your average weekly income. However, the insurance company often tries to reduce workers’ compensation benefits as much as they can. Insurers will take advantage of your inexperience and pay you lower than you deserve if you don’t have an attorney.
At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, we know how insurance companies operate. We know what it takes to obtain maximum benefits.
To Help Estimate the Final Settlement
Most injured workers often don’t know what they should be getting for their workplace injuries. Since every case is unique, you cannot get this information from other workers’ compensation claims. You can’t estimate the final settlement figure if you know nothing about the nature of workers’ compensation claims and compensation law. A workers’ compensation attorney can provide you with the best estimate.
To Make Court Appearances on Your Behalf
You might not be able to appear in court due to your job-related injuries. You need to rest and recover before you can start appearing in court. A workers’ compensation attorney can represent you in court and save you the hassle of the courtroom.
To Protect Your Legal Rights As a Worker
Ordinary people may have difficulty understanding the numerous complex jargon and terms in the Workers’ Compensation Act. Since you have little knowledge about the compensation act, the insurance company may misguide or trick you. Workers’ compensation attorneys protect you from the insurance company’s trickery while helping you to exercise your legal rights.
To Protect Your Future Needs
Apart from helping you win your case, a workers’ compensation attorney can protect your future needs. A professional attorney will ensure that you get the Medicare, medical benefits, and Social Security disability benefits that you are entitled to.
To Help You Pursue Third Party Liability Claims
In some instances, co-workers may cause workplace injuries. In this case, you will have two options; file a normal workers’ compensation claim, or a third-party liability suit against the co-worker responsible for your injury. A workers’ compensation lawyer will know if you have a valid third-party liability claim to pursue.
How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Monroe Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Since our workers’ compensation attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, we will not charge you any upfront fees to hire a lawyer. We will only get paid a percentage of your award if we manage to win your case and recover benefits. You will not owe us anything if we fail to recover benefits for your workplace injuries.
What Should I Do If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
All is not lost when your workers’ compensation claim is denied. You can appeal your claim and request a hearing with Georgia’s Board of Workers’ Compensation.
What Are the Employee’s Responsibilities When Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Employees are responsible for the following:
- Reporting an injury: As an employee, it is your responsibility to immediately inform your supervisor or manager of your workplace injury. Once you are ready to resume work after recuperating, it is your responsibility to submit a written notice to your employer and the insurance company.
- Returning to Work: Georgia laws require you to accept employment if your authorized WC doctor says you can resume work on a part-time or modified work basis as long as your employer can accommodate the restrictions. You risk losing some or all of your workers’ comp benefits by refusing to accept light-duty work.
- Drug test: You are required to accept a drug test if asked following an on-the-job injury or illness.
- Honesty: The law requires you to be honest throughout the workers’ compensation claims process. Falsifying or providing misleading information is a misdemeanor, and you can face criminal charges.
What Responsibilities Do Employers Have in Georgia’s Workers’ Comp Process?
When a worker is hurt, the employer has the following responsibilities.
- First Report of Injury: Employers are responsible for filling in and submitting the first report of injury to Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Board.
- Provide Forms: Employers are responsible for supplying employees with workers’ comp claim forms within 24 hours after the employee reports their on-the-job injury or illness.
- Report the Injury to the Workers’ Compensation Carrier: Employers are responsible for reporting the job-related injury or illness to their workers’ compensation insurance carrier as soon as they can.
- Respond Promptly to Requests for Additional Information: Employers are required to respond quickly to questions or information requests made by the insurance adjuster, injured worker, or medical providers after the workers’ compensation claims are filed.
- Employee’s Return to Work: An employer’s responsibility is to help an injured employee return to work following successful recovery.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming Workers’ Comp Benefits?
No! The law prohibits employers from retaliating or discriminating against employees who claim workers’ compensation benefits. So, no, your employer can’t fire you for claiming work injury benefits.
Is There a Deadline to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Monroe, GA?
In Georgia, an employee has one year from the date of their injury or illness to file a workers’ compensation claim. However, employees should report their injuries or illnesses within 30 days. Despite the time limit for filing a claim, employees can be barred from claiming workers’ compensation claims if they don’t report the injury or illness within that time.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Generally, no. You can’t sue your employer for a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation protects employers but enables you to recover financially.
Are Independent Contractors Eligible for Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Independent contractors cannot apply for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia because the law doesn’t recognize them as employees. An independent contractor can only be eligible for workers’ comp benefits if the employer controls the means, time, and manner of employment.
What Is My Monroe Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
Your Monroe workers’ comp claim will pay for:
- Medical bills and expenses if you get treatment from your assigned WC doctor.
- A percentage of your lost income during your time away from work.
- Any rehabilitation and vocational training costs to help you gain new skills.
- Necessary mileage expenses associated with the treatment of your injury.
- Income/wage loss reimbursement benefit: Workers’ comp will pay for two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): Workers’ compensation will pay you an additional sum of money if your assigned WC doctor issues a disability rating that complies with the American Medical Association (AMA) Guidelines.
Contact Our Monroe Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
At the Workers Compensation Lawyers Coalition, we offer aggressive representation to victims of work-related injuries in Monroe and throughout Georgia. Our workers’ compensation lawyers are experienced in litigation matters. We can fight to ensure you get maximum benefits for your job-related injuries.
To speak to us about your work injury claim, call 770-796-0919 to schedule a free case review.