When a workplace accident occurs, it’s only right for the employee to expect the compensation process to be straightforward. After all, the workers’ compensation system gives employees certain benefits, rights, and responsibilities. Employers also have responsibilities and obligations to their employees under Georgia’s law.
Unfortunately, many employers and insurance companies place profits before the interests of their employees, leaving accident victims stranded in financial limbo. To avoid this situation, you can reach out to us to hire a Peachtree City workers’ compensation lawyer.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident, you should know that we have helped thousands of injured workers overcome hurdles associated with workers’ compensation law. At the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, our team of work injury lawyers can help you fight for the justice and the compensation you need and deserve.
Call 770-796-0919 today for a free consultation.
What Is Workers Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a system of law meant to provide medical care and pay for lost wages to workers that are injured or become disabled due to an illness or accident related to their job. While injured workers are usually not required to prove fault on their employer’s part, they give up their right to sue in tort. This helps eliminate complex legal battles and allows for immediate benefits to the injured workers.
Under workers’ compensation laws, employees that are injured on the job are entitled to:
- Medical treatment (prescription, emergency room, hospital stays, etc.) paid for by their employer’s insurer
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Disability benefits in case the physician deems fit to take you out of work
- Travel expenses
Sometimes, you may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation.
What Should I Do if I’m Hurt on the Job?
If you are hurt at work, you need to take the right steps to protect your right to compensation.
Let Your Employer Know That You’re Hurt
Among the first things you want to do is to report your injury to your employer (or a supervisor) as soon as possible. In many cases, employers and their insurance companies will try denying claims if the injured employee did not report it promptly.
Get to a Doctor as Soon as You Can and Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
When you seek medical care, ensure that your doctor knows that the injury is related to your workplace. It’s also wise to follow all the instructions and guidance the doctor provides, including all the provided restrictions, prescribed medications, and attending all the appointments.
Journal Your Symptoms and Injuries
Start a detailed journal of your injuries and symptoms as soon as possible after the accident happens. Be sure to include any names and dates relevant to the accident, including the witnesses present at the scene if any.
Take Photos of the Injury and the Incident
If you can, take photos or videos of the scene of the accident to document it. This can serve as critical evidence to support your claim, especially if your employer denies that you got hurt while at work.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Our team of lawyers can help you file your workers’ compensation claim. We can fill out and submit your injury forms, handle communication with your employer’s insurance company, and make sure that you receive the right kind of treatment to recover from the injury and recover the wages you lost due to the time you spent away from work.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Anyone can be injured at work, though some workplaces are more prone to accidents than others. These are typical injuries:
- Back / Neck Injuries
- Hearing Loss
- Joint Pain
- Slip and Fall
- Construction accidents
- Accidents while traveling for business
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools.
Why Should I Hire a Peachtree City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer will almost instantly ensure that you receive more workers’ compensation benefits. Keep in mind that your employer and their insurer will have their own legal team to handle the matter, and they can easily take advantage of the situation if you don’t have proper legal representation.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Peachtree City Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Just as with most personal injury cases, workers’ compensation cases are often handled on what is referred to as a “contingency fee” basis. This means that you don’t have to pay your lawyer anything until they win your case. And if they do win, they will receive a percentage of your workers’ compensation settlement or benefits. If they lose, they don’t get anything.
In Georgia, the maximum amount a lawyer can charge in a workers’ compensation case is capped at 25% of the settlement amount or the income benefits.
What Should I Do If My Workers Compensation Claim is Denied?
In case your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have a legal right to seek a reason for the denial, and to file an appeal. Just because your claim was denied doesn’t mean that you can’t receive workers’ compensation benefits.
With the help of a Peachtree City workers’ compensation lawyer, you can file a request to have an official hearing before the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation. This typically means having an Administrative Law Judge hear your claim and make a ruling on whether you should receive workers’ comp benefits.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming a Workers Comp Claim?
No. No employer is legally allowed to fire you for filing a workers’ comp claim. In fact, workers’ compensation laws are put in place to prevent this kind of behavior. With this in mind, if you believe that you were wrongly terminated, it’s important you work with an experienced lawyer to help you build a case against your former employer on the grounds of illegal retaliation for filing a workers’ comp claim.
Is there a Time Limit to File a Workers Comp Claim in Peachtree City, GA?
Yes. Georgia places a time limit for filing workers’ compensation claims. It’s usually covered under the state’s statute of limitations, which allows one year from the time of the accident to file workers’ compensation claims.
If you received medical treatment, the statute of limitations is one year from the time your medical treatment was paid for by your employer’s insurance carrier, and two years from the date you received a check for workers’ comp benefits.
Keep in mind that there’s a deadline for reporting your injury or accident to your employer, which is 30 days from the time of the incident. What qualifies as “reporting” can be quite broad, and sometimes verbal communication is enough to qualify for a report.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers Comp Claim?
Georgia law does not cover independent contractors under the workers’ compensation system. This creates a loophole for some employers to avoid paying income benefits simply by classifying their employees as independent contractors.
However, there are some exceptions. Independent contractors can be eligible for income benefits or workers’ comp in the following situations:
- When you get a structured work schedule from a third party
- When the working conditions are personally controlled
- When another entity, individual, or company establishes the means by which the contractor completes the job
What Is My Peachtree City Workers Compensation Claim Worth?
The workers’ compensation system mainly allows for two benefits following a workplace accident – paying for medical bills and expenses and paying for two-thirds of your weekly wage for time spent away from work. In case you are temporarily or permanently disable or unable to go back to work, the law may grant you a lump sum amount on either the vocational limitation incurred or the medical impairment suffered.
Generally speaking, workers’ compensation will pay for the following:
- Your medical bills (with authorized treating physicians)
- Any rehab costs
- A percentage of your lost wages
- Prescription medication
- Any necessary travel expenses related to the treatment of your injury
- Your income loss replacement benefit, which will be two-thirds of your average weekly wage (with a cap of $575 per week)
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) – an additional sum of money if the authorized treating physician issues a disability rating in compliance with the American Medical Association Guidelines
Consult a Peachtree City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one was seriously hurt on the job, or suffered an occupational illness, you have rights under the Georgia workers’ compensation law. Our team at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition can advise you more on what those rights are, and if you’re up for it, fight aggressively on your behalf to ensure you get the settlement you deserve.
We see each client as an individual with a unique set of circumstances and their own personal concerns. This has allowed us to secure huge workers’ compensation payouts and settlements over the years, and in doing so, change the lives of our clients by helping them recover physically, mentally, and financially.
To learn more about how we can help, submit the provided contact form or call us at 770-796-0919 to schedule your free consultation. We will evaluate the details of your case and work out whether you have a case or not.