Getting injured at work could leave you worrying about your employment future and how you’ll continue providing for your family as recuperate. And while you’ve probably heard all about workers’ comp, chances are you do not have the slightest clue of how the workers’ compensation process works in Georgia.
Fortunately, with the help and counsel of a professional Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer from Ted A. Greve & Associates, you will have an easier time understanding what workers’ comp is, how it works, and if pursuing a workers’ compensation claim is something that’ll work for you. We are here to help workplace injury victims like you seek compensation for their injuries and damages.
For help filing a workers’ compensation claim in Marietta, get in touch with the law office of Ted A. Greve & Associates today to schedule a free initial meeting with our team of experienced workers’ compensation attorneys for professional legal counsel. Call (800) 693-7833 now to speak to an attorney.
Workers’ Compensation? What is it?
Workers’ comp is a system backed by the government whose main purpose is to ensure that workers who get injured or become disabled while in the line of duty receive monetary benefits for their injuries and damages. Through workers’ comp, victims are entitled to receive:
- Temporary total disability benefits – these only apply if a doctor prescribes that you take time away from work to recover
- Medical benefits – cover medical expenses incurred due to the accident
- Necessary travel expenses.
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medication
- Vocational rehabilitation, etc.
Hurt on the Job? Here’s What You Need to Do
If you’ve been injured while performing your duties, the steps you take immediately after the accident could help bolster up your claim should you decide to file for workers’ compensation. Here is what you should consider doing:
Seek Treatment Immediately
Even if your injuries seem minor, you are still advised to visit an emergency room for examination and treatment. Always put your welfare and health first.
Notify Your Employer
Make sure you let your employer know that you got injured while at work by reporting the incident as soon as possible.
Take Photos for Evidence
If you can, don’t forget to take a few photos of the injuries you’ve suffered and of the accident scene.
See a Doctor
When notified, your employer should provide you with a list of doctors the company has enlisted as its panel of physicians. As a victim, make sure you see one of these doctors for a checkup. During your examination, be very honest with the physician when explaining how the illness or injury happened and how it is affecting your life.
File a Claim
To file for workers’ compensation in Georgia, you have to fill out and submit a WC-14 or Notice of Claim form with the SBWC (State Board of Workers’ Compensation). You can get this form from either your employer or the SBWC’s official website. When filing the form, be as detailed as possible since the information you provide in this form will be used to approve or deny your claim.
Rest and Recuperate
What Are Some of the Most Common Injuries Suffered During Workplace Accidents?
Since we all work in different industries, the injuries people suffer in places of work typically differ depending on what they do and the risks they are prone to; however, some types of injuries are a bit more common amongst workers in all types of industries.
- Slip and Fall
- Joint Pain
- Back / Neck Injuries
- Construction accidents
- Hearing Loss
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools.
- Accidents while traveling for business
Why Should I Hire a Marietta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Filing a workers’ comp claim is a complicated and time-sensitive process that requires one to know the laws surrounding workers’ compensation and what it takes to pursue a claim. While there’s no one stopping you from pursuing a claim by yourself, you are still advised to consider having a Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer handle the case for you. Why? Well, there are many reasons why.
First of all, Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer know workers’ compensation rules and how they apply to different scenarios and cases. A workers’ comp attorney can help you determine when to file a claim and how to file it. When you choose to have a lawyer handle your claim, he or she takes on the responsibility of preparing different forms and gather the documentation needed to support your case, looking for professional/expert witnesses to support your case, negotiating compensation terms, scheduling hearings, and representing you during trial before a court.
For more on how a Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer can help you with your claim, call the law firm of Ted A. Greve & Associates today to speak to a professional.
How Much Does it Cost Hire a Marietta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
All workers’ compensation lawyers in Georgia, including those at the law firm of Ted A. Greve & Associates, are paid on what’s known as a contingency fee basis. Under this option, instead of charging hourly rates, attorneys get paid a portion of what the victim receives as settlement; which means that if the victim doesn’t get compensated, neither will the lawyer.
According to Georgia law, a lawyer cannot charge more than 25 percent of the benefits their client receives through their settlement – and that does not include medical benefits. Furthermore, their fee collection cannot exceed 400 weeks of their client’s disability benefits.
What Do I Do if My Workers’ Comp Claim is Denied?
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you still have the option to request a hearing before the SBWC. When that’s the case, an Administrative Law Judge is appointed to preside over the matter and determine if your claim is valid and if you should be compensated for your workplace-related injuries.
Since the judges that preside over such cases listen to both sides of the claim – both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s – it’s vital that to ensure that the information you provide is supportive and factual enough to back your claims and to prove the severity and extent of the injuries you sustained while performing your duties. That’s why you are advised to rely on the legal expertise and knowledge of a seasoned Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer in Marietta, Georgia.
What Responsibilities Do Employees in Georgia Have in Filing Workers’ Compensation Claims?
As a worker in Georgia, the first, and most important step to filing a workers’ comp claim is making sure you notify your employer that you got hurt. While you shouldn’t be subjected to intense scrutiny or required to fill out a substantial amount of paperwork, there are a couple of things that you need to make sure you do after you have been hurt while performing your duties.
As a worker, it is your responsibility to:
- Report any workplace accidents and injuries as soon as they occur
- Make sure you notify your employer if you have been hurt while performing your duties – this should be done within a month or thirty days from the day of your injury.
- Inform the physician about your injuries and how they happened.
- Accept reasonable medical care and treatments when directed to do so by the SBWC (State Board of Workers’ Compensation.)
- Agree to drug tests after an accident if the employer or workers’ compensation insurance company requires it.
- Report any status changes to the workers’ comp provider or your employer
- Make honest and truthful statements and claims to receive workers’ comp. Making false or misleading statements to qualify for workers’ comp benefits could lead to you being charged with a misdemeanor.
What Role Do Employers Play in the Workers’ Compensation Process?
In Georgia, employers have a few roles to play according to the state’s workers’ compensation system. Georgia law stipulates that employers with at least three workers should have coverage or risk being prosecuted. Furthermore, they are required by law to post notices that highlight the name of the company’s workers’ compensation carrier and which inform employees that they have the right to receive medical treatment and benefits.
These notices should be posted in areas where employees spend their time in the workplace like in changing rooms, recreation spaces, or the factory floor. Furthermore, the notices should also dictate the different benefits workers are entitled to. Employers are also required to give injured employees a workers’ compensation claim form within one day of getting notice of an injury or illness. They’re also required to provide employees with written material explaining their rights to receive compensation.
Can an Injured Worker Be Fired for Claiming Workers’ Compensation?
While most states bar employers from firing or retaliating against injured workers who file a workers’ compensation claim, Georgia does not have any laws that bar employers from firing or retaliating against injured workers who file a claim. Georgia is an at-will employment state, which means that employers reserve the right to willfully terminate the services of employees without employment contracts.
If you’re worried that your employer might harass you or discriminate against you for the injuries you experienced while performing your duties, get in touch with us at the law firm of Ted A. Greve & Associates now for dependable legal counsel from an experienced Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer.
Is There a Time Limit to Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Marietta, Georgia?
Yes, there is! Injured workers in Georgia have only 1-year from the day the work-related injury or illness occurred or was discovered to file a workers’ compensation claim. Failure to file a claim within this period will mean that you lose your right to file for compensation.
Can I Sue My Employer?
Workers’ compensation laws in Georgia make workers’ compensation the only avenue through which injured workers can seek damages for injuries suffered while performing their duties. The problem with this is that even if the injuries were due to outright negligence, you still cannot sue your employer outside of the workers’ compensation settings.
Can Independent Contractors File Workers’ Compensation Claims?
In Georgia, independent contractors aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation. For an independent contractor to be eligible, he or she will have to have been a permanent or statutory employee. If your employer can control how, when, and where you execute tasks, then you are more of an employed worker than a contractor. In such an instance, you could be eligible to file for workers’ compensation.
What is My Marietta Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
In Georgia, all companies that employ at least three people are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage is essential as it’s what is used to compensate injured workers in the event of a workplace accident.
It’s worth noting that your income loss replacement benefits in Georgia are two-thirds of your average weekly wage (capped at $675 per week) and only applies to accidents that happened as of the first of July, 2019. Workers’ comp in Georgia will pay for:
- Your medical bills (only with the approved treating physicians)
- A percentage of your lost wages
- Prescription medication
- Travel expenses related to the treatment of your injuries
- Rehabilitation costs
- Income loss replacement benefits
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
- Extra cash; but only if the approved physicians provide disability ratings that comply with the American Medical Association guidelines.
Hire Workers’ Compensation Attorney Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. to Begin Working on Your Claim Today
The personal injury lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates are experienced legal experts with a good understanding of Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws and have the knowledge and skills needed to pursue or even appeal a workers’ compensation claim.
If you’re currently nursing injuries from a workplace accident, our Marietta workers’ compensation lawyers can help you seek compensation for your injuries and are ready to fight aggressively to ensure that you receive the benefits that you need and deserve. Get in touch with Ted A. Greve & Associates today to set up a meeting (at no cost to you) with one of our attorneys to have your case reviewed and for professional legal counsel. Call (800) 693-7833 now for assistance.