If you get hurt at work, you should be able to file for workers compensation. As long as you meet very basic criteria, there’s no good reason why your claim would be denied. The problem is that too many employees assume their company will do the right thing. In reality, your employer and their insurance company are going to do whatever they can to avoid paying out claims. This is especially true if your injury is a major one or if you earn a higher-than-average income. This is why it’s so important that your hire an experienced Georgia workers’ comp lawyer right from the start.
You have to remember that there is unequal bargaining power between you and your employer. They own a company. You are merely a cog in their machine. If you get hurt on company time, it seems only fair that your employer would take care of you. Unfortunately, if you work at one of those companies that see you as nothing more than a number, you may be sorely disappointed.
If it comes down to a matter of your word against your employer’s, the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation may be more likely to side with them. After all, they probably have a long-standing reputation in the state. You’re just one person who is claiming to have been hurt while performing your work duties.
It’s for this reason that we suggest all injured workers retain an attorney before their case gets too far along. Here, we’ll explain the benefits of having an experienced Georgia workers compensation lawyer by your side. If you still have questions after reading this article, we recommend you call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation.
At What Point Should You Meet with a Georgia Workers Compensation Lawyer?
A lot of people don’t think they need to call a lawyer until their workers comp claim has been denied. That’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make. What you do in the first thirty days after your accident is crucial. Your employer’s insurance company has 21 days to respond to your claim. It’s important that you file your initial claim properly and include all the pertinent information the first time around.
Your Georgia personal injury attorney will help you fill out your WC-14 form. This way, you know you include all the right information. If you miss a single piece of information, your claim could be denied or bounced back to you. If this continues, there’s a good chance you’ll run out of time and lose your right to benefits altogether.
Your Georgia Personal Injury Attorney Will Help You File an Appeal
The odds of having your workers comp claim denied is approximately 7%. That number may sound incredibly low – until it happens to you. For the most part, as long as you meet the basic qualifications, you’ll receive your workers comp benefits. However, one mistake can cause your claim to be denied.
If your claim is denied by the insurance company, you can request a hearing in front of the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation. You’ll have a chance to say your peace and give your version of events. It gives you the opportunity to dispute the insurance company’s decision. However, it isn’t easy to convince the board that you’re in the right.
If you have an attorney there with you, the Board is going to take you more seriously. This may not seem fair, but it’s a fact. When you go to your hearing with a lawyer, the Board knows you’re taking the matter very seriously. It also shows the insurance company that they won’t be able to take advantage of you.
Your Georgia Workers Compensation Lawyer Will File Suit if Need Be
There’s no guarantee that you and your attorney will win your appeal. If this happens, you may have no choice but to file suit. This is, of course, the worst-case scenario. Legal action can drag things out for quite some time. It also makes it very awkward to return to work at the same job you had prior to the accident.
Most people only file suit if they’ve suffered a permanent disability as a result of their workplace accident. For example, if you find yourself partially or totally paralyzed after your accident, you won’t be able to work in the same position you had before. You may not be able to work at all. If you can work, it’ll likely take a year or two to recover enough to even think about working.
Your attorney will demand that you be fairly compensated for this. You won’t be demanding damages like you would in a typical personal injury lawsuit. Instead, you’ll demand compensation according to the state’s workers compensation guidelines. Everything comes down to what you made while you were still working. It also depends on what body part you are no longer able to fully use. You can refer to the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation for a published list of some of the awards issued to accident victims.
Your Georgia personal injury attorney will help you figure this out. They’ll also be right by your side throughout the legal process.
Protect Your Legal Rights by Calling One of Our Experienced Georgia Workers Compensation Lawyers Today
If you’ve been injured at work, you have certain rights. You have a right to medical care, and you have a right to replacement wages. If you don’t receive these things, then somebody, somewhere, made the wrong decision. If this happens to you, then you need to hire an experienced Georgia workers compensation lawyer. They can help get you the benefits you deserve.
What you have to do is retain your attorney early enough in the process that they can make a difference. While there’s no rule saying you must hire a lawyer, it’s in your best interests to have one by your side. You’re at a serious disadvantage if you go toe-to-toe with the insurance company all by yourself.
We recommend that you call and talk to one of our attorneys in the days following your workplace accident. There’s too much at stake to risk having your claim denied. Plus, you need to focus on getting better. Let our Georgia personal injury lawyers handle the legal side of things for you. The initial consultation won’t cost you a thing, so you have nothing to lose.