Nobody goes to work expecting to get hurt. However, workplace accidents are still pretty common, and most will lead to temporary or permanent disability, which could complicate your professional life. Following a workplace accident, the last thing you want is to start struggling in pursuit of compensation from your employer and their insurance company.
If you or a loved one was injured in their workplace and are experiencing problems when seeking compensation, it’s time to get in touch with a Powder Springs workers’ compensation lawyer from the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition. Call us today to schedule a free consultation with us with no obligations.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is the system of laws designed to make sure that workers that are injured on the job are compensated accordingly. Based on these laws, the employer is required to provide all eligible employees with workers’ compensation insurance coverage. The coverage typically accounts for the following:
- Medical treatment and expenses related to the injuries
- Prescriptions and rehabilitation
- Travel expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Physical therapy
- Temporary total disability benefits in case you need to spend time away from work for a statutory amount of work
What Should I Do If I’m Hurt on the Job?
In case you end up getting hurt on your job, you should ideally follow the following steps:
- Inform your employer (or someone in a supervisory capacity) that you got hurt.
- Find and go to an employer-approved physician or doctor for treatment. Be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions and prescriptions to the letter.
- Keep a journal of the injuries you sustained and the symptoms you experience.
- If the injuries are visible, take photos and videos where possible.
- Seek the assistance of a reputable workers’ compensation lawyer to file a claim.
- Rest and make a full recovery.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Almost all forms of accidents in the workplace pose some risk of injury. Although some workplace injuries could result in minor injuries like scrapes and bruises, others can be fatal or life-threatening. The following are some of the most common forms of workplace accident injuries:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Construction accidents
- Joint pain
- Hearing loss
- Neck and back injuries
- Accidents while traveling for business
- Accidents that occur when working with machinery or tools
Serious workplace accidents may result in a diminished quality of life. It can prevent the worker from ever performing the tasks required by their line of work ever again. But you don’t have to suffer in silence. Our Powder Springs workers’ compensation attorneys are passionate about helping you get the compensation you’re entitled to.
Why Should I Hire a Powder Springs Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Making the decision to work with us for your workers’ compensation claim instead of going at it alone can be the difference between recovering the benefits you may be entitled to and losing out on the chance to ever recover any benefits. The following are some of the reasons why you should consider hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer:
- To help appeal or re-ignite your claim after it is denied by your employer and/or their insurer
- To help strengthen your chances of making a successful claim in court
- Our lawyers will handle negotiations with the insurer on your behalf
- We’ll ensure that your agreement is worded correctly
- Our team will help you deal with any other related legal issues
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Powder Springs Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
The workers’ compensation lawyers in Georgia, including those from the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition, usually work on a contingency fee basis. This refers to the payment arrangement where instead of charging an hourly rate, the lawyer has to wait until they recover compensation for the client and get paid a percentage of the award.
Based on Georgia law, lawyers are not legally allowed to charge more than 25% of the benefits received in a settlement award. Moreover, the fee should generally not exceed 400 weeks of your disability benefits.
What Should I Do If My Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
In case you filed a claim and it ended up being denied, you can always appeal the decision. However, the appeals process is usually rather difficult, which is why it’s often advisable to hire an experienced Powder Springs workers’ compensation lawyer, such as those working at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition for professional guidance through the process.
The following are the steps you need to follow when challenging your denial:
- File a Claim (Notice of Claim): Form WC-14, or the notice of claim, is good for a year after the injury occurred or after the last medical treatment was provided, and 2 years following your last weekly disability payment.
- Mediation: Your employer’s insurer might suggest a mediation session to reach an agreement with you. However, if you can’t reach a settlement, the process will continue to the hearing stage.
- Hearing: This informal legal proceeding is usually conducted in a courtroom in the county from which the injury occurred. Your lawyer will essentially present the relevant evidence and make arguments on your behalf before the judge, who should then decide on the matter within 30 days.
- Appellate Review: When the decision of the judge is unfavorable, your lawyer can file an application for review with the appellate division within 20 days of the ruling. The appellate division will then decide after evaluating arguments from each side.
- Court: In case the appellate judge rules against you, you still have a final recourse. You can proceed to the Georgia Court of Appeals and even the Georgia Supreme Court. Nonetheless, the appeal needs to be filed in the county where the injury occurred within 20 days of the final ruling by the appellate court.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have in Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
The following are some of the responsibilities that the employee has when filing a workers’ compensation claim against their employer.
- Adhere to the provided rules of safety by the employer, along with other reasonable policies and procedures
- Seek medical attention for any form of injury with physicians specified by the employer
- Report the injury to the employer or a representative of the employer such as the supervisor immediately (within 30 days)
- Take a drug test when requested, otherwise, provide reasonable reasons for the refusal
- File a claim with the SBWC (State Board of Workers’ Compensation)
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in the Workers’ Compensation Process?
The following are some of the responsibilities the employer has to their employees in terms of the workers’ compensation process:
- Carry workers’ compensation insurance for all the qualifying workers.
- Provide all employees with a reasonably safe working environment.
- To acquire and maintain compliance with all the safety and health regulation of the job as outlined by OSHA.
- Make sure any injured employee receives medical attention by approved medical practitioners.
- Offer injured workers with the names and addresses of their insurer, the policy number, and the expiry date of the policy.
- Fill out form WC-1 Section A following a workplace injury and submit it to their insurance provider.
- Make a significant effort to return the injured worker to their former or designated position.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
No. It’s illegal in Georgia for employers to fire their employees because they filed or claimed a workers’ compensation claim
Is There a Time Limit to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Powder Springs, GA?
If you or a loved one is injured in the workplace in Powder Springs, GA, you should report the injury as soon as they happen, even if they don’t appear severe. Although the law allows for about 30 days from the date of the injury for the injured worker to file a claim, any delay will likely complicate the process of seeking compensation, or actually lead to lost benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Technically speaking, you are not allowed to sue your employer for workplace injuries in Georgia. Why? Well, when you accept the employer-provided workers’ compensation insurance, you forfeit the right to sue your employer in case of a workplace injury.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Under Georgia law, independent contractors aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation in Georgia, you need to be either a statutory employee or an employee.
However, it’s sometimes difficult to establish your status as a worker under Georgia law. Some employers will misclassify employees for one reason or another. A Powder Springs workers’ compensation lawyer at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition can help you in case you’re injured as an independent contractor.
What Is My Powder Springs, GA Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
It’s difficult to determine how much a worker’s compensation claim in Powder Springs is worth, though it’s usually based on the following factors:
- The permanence of injuries
- Cost of medical treatment
- Average weekly pay before the injury
- Whether the employer owes you any back pay
- Whether you will be receiving temporary total disability benefits
- Whether your employer has light duty work available
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in their workplace in Powder Springs, Georgia, it’s your employer’s duty to cover for the damages. Contact a Powder Springs workers’ compensation lawyer today to discuss your options for seeking compensation from your employer. You can contact us at 770-796-0919 or submit an online form to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation with the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition.