Even though workplace accidents happen every day, many workers don’t know what to do when they’re hurt on the job. This causes workers to miss out on benefits they’re legally entitled to. A Tucker workers’ compensation lawyer from the Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition will help you collect everything you’re owed as quickly as possible.
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What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that Georgia law requires employers to pay into. When an employee suffers illness or injury because of their work, they are entitled to receive benefits, including:
- Medical treatment, including hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Disability benefits to cover time off from work
- Essential travel expenses
- Assistive devices
- Occupational therapy
While workers’ compensation is available in every state, laws differ from one state to the next. That’s why it’s crucial to work with an attorney who has extensive experience with Georgia workers’ compensation laws. You’ll need the help and guidance of a lawyer who is familiar with the law and is willing to fight for your rights.
What Should I Do If I’m Hurt on the Job?
It’s important that you receive prompt medical attention after being injured on the job. Not only will seeing a doctor right away improve your chances of recovery, but it will help you to gather valuable evidence of your claims. You should photograph your injury and keep a written record of the symptoms you’ve experienced.
You should also inform your employer of the injury as soon as possible, even if the injury was witnessed by other workers. In Georgia, an injury must be reported in 30 days if you intend to file for benefits. While you are not required to submit a written notice of your injury, you may find it helpful to create a paper trail.
You should continue to see a doctor and follow care instructions closely. This could include rest, time off from work, or modified work duties. You’ll also want to work with a workers’ compensation attorney to file a claim so that you can access benefits.
What Are the Most Common Workplace Accident Injuries?
Workplace injuries can occur for a number of reasons. Common causes for on-the-job accidents include slip and falls, construction accidents, accidents involve tools and machinery, and accidents that take place while traveling for work.
Of course, anyone can suffer a work injury, even in a workplace that follows best safety practices. Common injuries include:
- Injuries to the back or neck
- Broken bones
- Vision loss
- Hearing loss
- Joint pain
It’s important to report and seek medical attention for an injury that occurs on the job, even if it doesn’t seem serious. It’s common for injuries to become worse over time. Seeing a doctor can protect evidence, which will help you to build a stronger claim.
Why Should I Hire a Tucker Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Claiming workers’ compensation may seem like an easy process, but in many cases, it’s highly complex. Insurance companies will take advantage of any opportunity to dispute or deny your claim. When you hire an attorney, you’ll have someone representing your interests and ensuring that your claim is not unfairly denied.
You may not be familiar with Georgia’s legal requirements or your rights as an employee. Your lawyer will ensure that you meet these requirements and that your rights are fully protected. If your claim is denied, and you have to file an appeal, having the help of an attorney will be essential.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Tucker Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Injuries can have a serious impact on a person’s finances. While workers’ comp benefits are intended to minimize that impact, you may not have access to certain benefits if your claim hasn’t been approved. Thankfully, most Tucker workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis.
When your attorney works on contingency, you won’t have to pay hourly fees, nor will you be sent costly legal bills. Instead, you’ll agree to give your lawyer a percentage of the money that you receive. Your attorney won’t receive any money until you do, which is why they’ll be highly motivated to favorably resolve your case.
What Should I Do if My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. You may submit a Notice of Claim and have your claim heard by an Administrative Law judge. Both sides will have the opportunity to prepare for the hearing and present a case in front of a judge.
If the judge rules that the claim is compensable, you may be awarded retroactive benefits. If the judge does not rule in your favor, you can continue to appeal the case. Successfully appealing a claim can be difficult, which is why you’ll need an attorney to prepare your case for you.
What Responsibility Does the Employee Have in Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
It’s an employee’s responsibility to report an injury within 30 days. If an injury is not immediately detected, it should be reported shortly after the injury is identified by a physician. Employees must accept reasonable recommendations for treatment and attempt any jobs approved by the physician that is treating them.
Requests for reimbursement must be submitted to an employer or an employer’s insurance carrier within one year of the date the expense was incurred. Claims must be filed within one year of the date of the last authorized medical treatment an employee received. If an employer requests that an employee submit to a drug test, the employee must do so unless they can provide valid evidence for refusal.
What Responsibility Does the Employer Have in the Workers’ Compensation Process?
Any employer with three or more employees is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance and provide information about coverage to employees. Employees must provide swift benefits to injured workers. Delaying or denying an employee benefits without valid cause could lead to serious penalties.
Can I Be Fired for Claiming Workers’ Comp?
Even though Georgia is an at-will state, your employer can’t fire you for claiming workers’ comp. This is seen as retaliatory behavior. However, an employer can fire you for other reasons, even if you are receiving medical treatment or workers’ compensation benefits.
When you engage the services of a lawyer, you’ll be protected against wrongful termination. Workers’ comp exists to protect employees, and you have the right to claim any benefits you are entitled to without fear of penalty.
Is there a Time Limit to File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Tucker, GA?
The time limit for filing a claim in Georgia is fairly lax. Claims must be filed within one year of the date of the injury or within one year of the date you stopped receiving medical treatment. Although you have time to file a claim, it is vital that you report your injury right away.
Employees only have 30 days to report an injury to their employer. If an injury is not reported within that time, a claim could be denied for failing to meet deadlines. It’s always best to swift action after a workplace injury.
Can I Sue My Employer?
If you have accepted workers’ compensation, you will not be able to sue your employer in most cases. You forfeit your right to sue when accepting benefits. However, in some rare cases, such as incidents in which a workplace incident was caused by a third party, lawsuits may be an option available to you.
Can an Independent Contractor File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
Independent contractors are not eligible to receive workers’ comp in Georgia. However, if a worker that has been labeled as an independent contractor is misclassified, they may be able to claim workers’ comp as well as other benefits. If you’re an independent contractor, you should have your case assessed by an attorney so that you can see if you have options.
What Is My Tucker Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
The total worth of a workers’ compensation claim can vary based on many factors, such as the severity of your injury and your earnings before the accident. You can expect workers’ comp to pay for:
- Medical treatment from authorized physicians
- Prescription medication
- Rehabilitation costs
- Income loss replacement benefits equal to two-thirds of lost wages, up to $675 per week
- Travel expenses related to treatment
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits, an additional sum available to workers that are permanently impaired because of injuries
To get a more accurate picture of your claim’s total value, it’s best to have it assessed by an attorney that specializes in Georgia workers’ compensation law. Your lawyer can calculate the worth of your claim, making sure that all owed benefits are paid to you.
Call Our Tucker Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
When you’re recovering from an injury, workers’ compensation benefits may not be on the top of your mind. It can be difficult to file a claim yourself, especially when you don’t know much about Georgia employment laws. Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition in Tucker, GA can handle every aspect of your claim and will make sure that your rights aren’t trampled on. Call us now at 470-518-5026 to speak with an attorney and set up a free case assessment.