Can You Sue Your Employer Instead of Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you or your spouse get hurt at work, a few things are going to go through your mind. First, you want to make sure you’re okay. Your health really has to be your primary concern. Second, you’re going to worry about how you’ll take care of your family if you’re unable to work. But, third, you’re going to be angry. If your injury could have been prevented, you may want your employer to pay. You’ll start calling lawyers looking to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. However, you don’t sue your employer for workplace injuries. Instead you can look into workers’ comp benefits.
There is a system in place in Georgia (and just about every state) to protect employers and employees in situations like this. Your employer pays into a workers’ compensation insurance plan and so do you. You’ll notice this deduction on your paystub. The whole point of this insurance is to take care of you if you suffer a workplace injury or illness. It ensures that you’re provided with medical care and replacement wages while you recover from your injury. It also ensures that your employer isn’t forced into bankruptcy due to personal injury claims.
It may seem unfair, but this is the way the law works. Your Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney understands the law and knows your rights. They’ll make sure your claim is handled properly from the start. They’ll also make sure you get the benefits you deserve. This is why you should contact an experienced workers’ comp lawyer in Atlanta right away if you or your loved one are hurt on the job.
How Do I Qualify for Workers’ Comp Benefits in Atlanta?
In order to qualify for workers’ comp, you have to meet certain requirements. For most people injured on the job, this isn’t an issue. The general rule is that, if you’re hurt at work, and were doing what you were supposed to be doing, you’ll qualify for benefits. However, if you weren’t doing what you were supposed to be doing, or were injured in some other way, your claim will be denied.
The requirements to receive workers’ comp in Georgia (and most other states) include the following:
- Your injury took place while you were on the clock (for salaried workers, this just means you were legally working at the time of your accident)
- You were hurt while performing job duties
- Your injury took place within the scope of your job (For example – if you’re a cashier, you have no business loading and unloading freight.)
- You were not high or drunk at the time of your injury
- Your injuries weren’t caused by something outside of your employment
- You report the injury to your employer and follow all company rules regarding workplace accidents
- You were treated by a company approved doctor
- You followed the treatment instructions provided
As long as you meet these criteria, your workers’ comp claim should be approved. If it isn’t your Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer will file an appeal and fight to get you the benefits you’re entitled to.
What if These Benefits Don’t Cover All My Damages?
When you’re on workers’ comp in Atlanta, you’ll receive the following benefits:
- Once you’re out of work for more than seven (7) days, you will start receiving replacement wages equal to ⅔ of your average weekly wages
- The maximum amount you can receive per week is $575
- You can receive your benefits for 400 weeks or until you reached maximum medical improvement (whichever is sooner)
One of the first things employees say is that it isn’t fair that they only get ⅔ of their weekly wages while on workers’ comp. It wasn’t their fault that they got hurt. Why should they suffer? Some people can’t afford to feed their families on only ⅔ of their salary. In fact, most people can’t. This can be a problem if you’re out on workers’ comp for months or even years.
It seems unfair that you can’t go after your employer for additional monies. The only option you have is if your employer was negligent. If your employer was negligent, or if a third party was responsible for your injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury suit. Your Atlanta workers’ comp attorney will review your case and see if this is true. These cases are few and far between. It isn’t easy to prove negligence in workplace injury cases.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Atlanta
If you get hurt at work, you’re going to need to file a workers’ comp claim. You should contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney in Georgia to help you do this. It’s important that you cross all your “t”s and dot all you “i”s. A skilled attorney can make sure you do this.
Call Workers Compensation Lawyer Coalition today and schedule your free initial consultation. You should have someone by your side throughout the claim’s process.
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