Sustaining injury while at work can be one of the most stressful periods in your life. There are medical bills, missed time at work, difficulty in looking after your loved ones, and in some cases, you have to deal with the pressure from your employer and the insurance company if they try to avoid compensation.
While the worker’s compensation law is similar in most states, Georgia has its specifics. Our Mableton workers’ compensation lawyers at the Ted A. Greve and Associates are well-versed in the ins and outs of Georgia’s workers’ comp law and can help you navigate these tricky waters. So, if you have been recently hurt on the job, have been denied your benefits, or are dealing with a complex case, call us today at [PHONE].
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What is Workers Compensation?
Also referred to as workers’ comp, this is a type of insurance that’s governed by the state to protect the long-term wellbeing of employees by giving them a financial safety net after sustaining injury. This program protects you against ant financial loss caused by any work-related injury or damage. Workers comp offers the following benefits:
- Income Loss
- Medical Bills
- Death Benefits
Also, you might be entitled to vocational rehabilitation. The laws surrounding this aspect are usually state-specific and that’s why it is imperative to get a Mableton workers’ compensation lawyer who is specialized in Georgia law.
What Should I Do If I Am Hurt on the Job?
Notify Your Employer
It is important to report the injury, illness or accident to your boss or the relevant party- general manager, supervisor or HR manager- as soon as possible. Once you have reported the issue, the employer should give you the forms and resources required to file a compensation claim and a panel of physicians. In Mableton, Georgia, employees are required to file an injury or accident report within 30 days.
Seek Medical Attention
If the accident is fatal, you should seek medical attention immediately by visiting the nearest hospital or ER. Your health and welfare should be a top priority and you can figure out how the accident or injury will impact your claim later. Even if the injury is minor, it’s imperative to visit your doctor.
Take Photos and Videos of the Accident or Injury
It is not uncommon for employers and insurance companies to try and deny worker’s compensation claims. As such, it’s best to stay safe and record the injury by taking photos and videos if possible.
File a Workers’ Compensation Claim
To initiate the claims process, you’ll need to fill and submit a WC-14 form or Notice of Claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Ensure that you send copies to both your boss and the insurance company. Keep in mind that you have 1 year from the date of the accident to complete and submit the form.
Ideally, it’s advisable to take your time when filling out this form as the details you provide will be used to approve or deny your claim. And since you’ll want to recuperate, it’s best to have a seasoned lawyer by your side.
What are the Most Common Injuries Sustained in Workplace Accidents?
While there’s a myriad of injuries that you can sustain during a workplace accident, there are several common ones. These include:
- Joint pain
- Muscle strains
- Neck and back injuries
- Inhaling toxic fumes
- Fight accidents
- Slip and falls
- Hearing loss
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools
Why Should I Hire a Mableton Workers Compensation lawyer?
When it comes to making a workers’ compensation claim, it’s best to have a skilled and experienced Mableton workers’ compensation lawyers for the best chance of getting a fair settlement. Here are some of the reasons to hire one.
They Know and Understand the Law
Workers’ comp law is complex and the fact that the insurance company or employer can deny or decline your claim does not help. Your Mableton workers’ compensation lawyers has the knowledge required to properly fight for you and ensure your claim is justly and fairly resolved.
They Can Prevent Retaliation From Your Boss
If the employer and insurer know you have an attorney by your side, they are less likely to retaliate. You can think of it as a policy that protects you from bad behavior and ascertain you’re treated with respect throughout the claim process.
They Will Work to Seek the Settlement You Deserve
Almost all insurance companies have a habit of lowballing claims. That’s because they are in business and will therefore try to pay as little as possible. Getting a fair settlement calls for more than just being a good negotiator. Leverage, experience, and knowledge are also needed in order to get the most compensation out of an insurer. If you try to seek compensation on your own, the insurer will know you don’t have leverage or the necessary knowledge. As such, they will use every trick in the book to get you to accept an offer that’s lower than what you deserve.
Protect Your Future
Even if you’re able to resume working, you may have ongoing medical needs as a result of the injury. A lawyer can push for the boss and insurer to cover your past, present, and future medical expenses, thus protecting your financial stability down the road.
What Much Will It Cost to Hire a Mableton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
In Georgia, attorneys operate on a contingency basis. This means that the lawyer doesn’t charge you unless they win the case. In order to get paid, they need to ensure you get compensated. This is usually an agreed-upon percentage before pursuing the claim.
What Should I Do If My Claim is Denied?
If you’ve been denied workers’ compensation benefits or aren’t content, you can ask to have your case heard by the State Board of Workers Compensation (SBWC). Since this board allows both employees and employers to be represented by a lawyer at the hearing, ensure you have one as well.
Also, you’re free to present evidence and call witnesses at the hearing in order to prove your case. If the claim is denied again, there’s the option of filing a petition with the SBWC Appellate Division. Here, you are given the opportunity to argue your case in front of judges.
What are the Responsibilities of Employees in Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims
In Georgia, as an employee, you have the following responsibilities:
- File any work-related injury as soon as it occurs
- Ensure you notify your boss if you have sustained an injury while working. Keep in mind that the law requires you to do this within 30 days.
- Inform your doctor about the injury
- Make honest and truthful statements and claims to get compensation. Note that you could be convicted of a misdemeanor for making false or misleading statements.
- Accept drug tests after an accident if the employer and insurer require it.
- Ensure you follow any safety rules provided at the workplace
What are the Responsibilities of Employers in the Workers’ Compensation Process?
All employers in Mableton have various responsibilities when it comes to workers’ compensation. According to state law, employers with 2 or more employees need to have coverage. Also, they are required to provide the workers’ compensation carrier’s name, the state the workers keep the right to get benefits and medical treatment in places where they spend most of their time working.
Employers are also expected to respect the rights of their employees and cooperate with any investigative party.
Can I Be Fired for Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?
No, employers are forbidden from laying off or retaliating against injured employees who file a workers’ compensation claim.
Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Workers Compensation Claim in Mableton?
Yes, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases in Georgia is 2 years. However, workers just have one year to file their claim or will lose their ability to seek benefits.
Can I Sue My Boss?
According to state law, employees can only use the workers’ compensation program to seek settlement for injuries or damages experienced while working. This means that even if the employer was negligent, you cannot sue them outside of workers’ compensation.
Can Independent Contractors File a Workers’ Comp Claim?
According to state law, independent contractors aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation. However, they can be if they were a permanent or statutory employee. If the boss controls the employee’s time, means, manner, and execution methods of a job, then they are considered an employee rather than an independent contractor. In such a case, they can file for workers’ compensation.
What is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
As a work-related injury victim in Georgia, your income loss replacement is two-thirds of your average weekly pay. However, it’s important to note that it comes with a $670 per week cap. Workers’ comp will cover:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medication
- Rehabilitation costs
- Treatment-related travel costs
- A percentage of your lost income
- Permanent Partial Disability
Hire a Mableton Workers’ Comp Lawyer Today!
It’s evident that workers’ compensation consists of many elements that need to be done right. With a Mableton workers’ compensation lawyer by your side, you can be sure that we will fight aggressively for your rights to be compensated and also keep your position safe as you recover.
Call us today at [PHONE] for a free, no-obligation initial consultation!