Workplace injuries are common and can happen at any time. If you or someone you know has been injured at work, you are entitled to fair financial compensation for medical expenses and for lost wages – regardless of whose fault led to the accident and injuries.
However, many injured workers do not get the benefits they deserve due to various tactics used by greedy insurance companies. Here at Ted A. Greve and Associates, our Alpharetta workers’ compensation lawyers have helped many injured employees get the compensation they deserve.
Give us a call today at (844) 387-8677 to schedule a free initial consultation with an injury attorney and to know how we can help you get the benefits you deserve.
What is Workers Compensation?
It is a system where employees are entitled to certain benefits covering medical treatment, income benefits, and other benefits in case they get injured on the job. These benefits are provided to employees in lieu of them giving up the right to sue their employer. Georgia law requires every employer who employs 3 or more workers to carry workers compensation insurance.
The coverage provides for medical expenses, income benefits, vocational rehabilitation benefits, and various other benefits in case a worker gets injured on the job.
What Steps to Take If I Am Injured on the Job?
Do not assume that your workers’ compensation claim will be automatically approved when you apply. There are certain rules you need to follow in order to strengthen your case. Here is a list of some important steps you need to take when you are injured on the job.
Notify Your Employer in Writing
It is important to notify your employer in writing within 30 days of the accident. Merely telling your coworker or your supervisor about the accident isn’t sufficient. If you don’t, it might weaken your case.
Get Medical Treatment
Your health comes first and this is why the first thing you need to do when you’re injured on the job is to seek appropriate medical treatment. The rules require you to go to a doctor who is on the approved list of physicians as provided by your employer. However, you are free to go to a doctor of your own choice in case of an emergency.
Keep a Diary
You should keep a record of your medical treatment and how your injuries are getting better with time. Don’t forget to take photographs and keep them in the records.
Ask for Your Employer’s Report
The rules require your employer to report your injury to their insurance company. You need to ask your employer to provide you with a copy of the report.
Keep Your Employer and Insurance Company Informed
You should inform your employer in case work restrictions are recommended by your doctor. Ask your doctor to give it in writing and a copy should be given to your employer. Make sure the insurance carrier is aware of your injury.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim With the Help of an Experienced Attorney
You will need to fill out form WC – 14 and submit it with the required documents to the State Board to claim workers’ compensation benefits. However, you should know that benefits claims are routinely rejected for various reasons. Sometimes, even genuine cases are also denied for frivolous reasons. This is why you should hire the services of an experienced Alpharetta workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Firm of Ted A. Greve and Associates.
We have extensive experience in helping injured workers get the benefits they deserve. We will fight for your rights and negotiate, on your behalf, with the insurance companies. You do not need to worry about the cost as we provide services on a contingency fee basis. We get paid a part of the compensation benefits we win for you and you do not have to pay anything out of your own pocket.
Call us at (844) 387-8677 to know more about your rights and how the workers’ compensation system in Georgia works.
Common Workplace Accident Injuries in Georgia
Millions of workers across the country experience nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses, every year. Unfortunately, many of these injuries are preventable and are usually a result of the failure of the employer to maintain a safe work environment. Here is a list of some of the most common workplace injuries across the country:
- Handling of objects such as lifting heavy boxes
- Slip and fall
- Being hit by falling objects
- Falls to lower levels
- Awkward postures
- Slip or trip without fall
- Vehicle crashes caused by distracted drivers
- Running equipment or machines
- Colliding with objects
- Repetitive motion injuries
Georgia Work Injury Statistics
As per the US Bureau of Labor, the private industry employers in Georgia reported more than 78,100 non-fatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2019. It equates to an incidence rate of 2.5 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers. 41,600 injuries out of the 78,100 reported above were of a more severe nature that required a job transfer, days away from work, or other restrictions. In short, workplace injuries are common and can happen at any time.
Why Should I Hire an Alpharetta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
The law does not dictate that you need the services of a lawyer for filing your Worker’s Compensation claim but anecdotal evidence suggests that a majority of claim denials happen due to certain errors or the injured employee not being able to put forth their viewpoint with proper evidence to back up their claims.
An experienced Alpharetta workers’ compensation lawyer will help you file for your workers’ compensation claim in the right manner. In case your claim is denied, an attorney will reevaluate your case after thoroughly going through the reason for denial and help you outline a strategy to get the benefits you deserve.
In case you need to file an appeal, an experienced attorney will gather all the necessary evidence in order to effectively put your claim before the Administrative Law Judge and to increase your chances of getting the benefits you deserve.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Many injured workers refrain from hiring the services of an experienced workers compensation attorney based on the misconception that attorneys are expensive. We work on a contingency fee basis. In short, you don’t have to pay anything out of your own pocket. We get a percentage of the settlement or weekly benefits. Also, Georgia law caps the attorney fees at a maximum of 25% of weekly benefits or a settlement. The State Board has to approve all the attorney fees above $100.
What Steps to Take If My Workers Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Denial of your workers’ compensation claim doesn’t mean the end of the road. You can file an appeal before the State Board to get the benefits you deserve. It is better to have an experienced lawyer by your side to increase your chances of getting the benefits.
You have the option of filing an appeal before the State Board in case your claim is denied. The Administrative Law Judge will go through the arguments put forth by both sides and arrive at a decision. They need to give this decision within 30 days of the hearing.
In the hearing, you need to provide the necessary evidence to back up your claims. This is why you need an experienced attorney who has handled many such cases successfully as they are aware of the tricks used by insurance carriers to deny benefits.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Employee in Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Employees have certain responsibilities as per the Georgia workers’ compensation law. Here is a brief list of the expected responsibilities of an employee:
The employee needs to inform their employer within 30 days of the date of the accident. Employees are expected to follow the rules of safety at the workplace. After suffering an on-the-job injury, the employee might be asked to submit to a drug test and they should. They can deny the request but they will have to explain the reasons.
Any reasonable medical treatment and rehabilitation services as recommended by the State Board should be accepted by the employee. Also, an injured employee needs to adhere to the deadline of filing a claim within a year of their last authorized medical treatment. In addition to these, the workers’ compensation law outlines a number of other responsibilities.
Call us at (844) 387-8677 for a free initial consultation.
What Are the Responsibilities of an Employer in the Workers’ Compensation Process?
Similar to employees, employers also have certain responsibilities.
An employer needs to provide the required information to their employees such as the name of the insurance carrier as well as the panel of physicians. Also, the employer has to fill out the WC – 1 form which is also known as the employer’s first report of injury or occupational disease as soon as they come to know of the employee’s injury. They need to send this form to their insurance company or to the self-insurance claims office. If they fail to do that, it may result in a penalty.
Any serious injuries must be reported by phone to the insurer’s claim department. Employees need to be provided prompt medical attention and employee should be allowed to choose the physician from the posted panel of physicians
Can Your Employer Fire You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You cannot be fired for the simple reason of filing a workers’ compensation claim. In fact, you cannot be retaliated against in any form.
What is the Deadline to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
Am I Allowed to Sue My Employer?
The workers’ compensation law specifically prevents employees from suing their employers. On the other hand, employees have the legal right to get workers compensation benefits if they are injured on the job – regardless of who is at fault.
Is an Independent Contractor Allowed to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
Independent contractors are not allowed to file a workers compensation claim in the state of Georgia. However, not everyone can be classified as an independent contractor. There is a method used by the State Board to establish whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor.
How Much Is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
The value of a workers compensation claim in Alpharetta, Georgia depends on a number of factors. Here is a list of the benefits an injured worker is allowed to claim as per the Georgia workers’ compensation law.
- All Medical Expenses
The insurance carrier needs to pay all medical expenses related to the injury. It might cover the cost of physical therapy, emergency room care, occupational therapy, chiropractic services, in-home nursing and attendant care, prosthetics, prescription medication, and other such expenses. In addition, the injured worker is also entitled to reimbursement for mileage whenever they need to go to their medical provider or a pharmacy.
- Vocational Rehabilitation
An injured worker has the right to medical and vocational rehabilitation benefits in case of a catastrophic injury.
- Income Benefits
Injured workers are also entitled to certain income benefits depending on the extent of their injuries.
- TTD Benefits
If an injured worker suffers a temporary total disability, they are entitled to these benefits. A maximum of $675 per week can be awarded to the worker as TTD income benefits. Also, these benefits can be paid for a maximum of 400 weeks starting from the date of injury.
- TPD Benefits
These benefits are provided in case of temporary partial disability. The upper limit in such cases is $450 per week and an employee can be provided these benefits for a maximum of 350 weeks.
- PPD Benefits
These benefits are paid in case of permanent partial disability. The calculation for these benefits is complex and there is an upper limit of $675 per week. It depends on the impairment rating as decided by an authorized doctor. Also, injuries to different organs are covered at different rates in terms of the total number of weeks of benefits.
Get a Free Consultation With an Alpharetta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
We have extensive experience in helping injured workers get the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. Worker’s Compensation claims are never straightforward. We routinely come across cases where genuine claims are denied by insurance carriers for various reasons.
An insurance adjuster or an insurance carrier does not work for you. They employ highly paid lawyers to keep the payouts to a minimum. They will use every trick in the book to get you to agree to an amount far less than the amount you are entitled to. You need an experienced attorney at Ted A. Greve and Associates to help you get the benefits you deserve.
Don’t worry about the legal expenses as we offer our services on a contingency fee basis.
Call us today at (844) 387-8677 to know more about your rights.