Most people who get hurt on the job are entitled to workers compensation benefits. As long as they can demonstrate that their injuries were suffered while working, they will be entitled to medical care and weekly replacement wages. Our Atlanta workers comp lawyers have represented hundreds of clients who qualified for workers comp only to have their benefits terminated at some point. By the time they come to us, they have usually received the medical care they need and are in the process of recovering. They had also been receiving their weekly benefits. Then something happens and they stop receiving their weekly checks or direct deposits. That’s when they call one of our Atlanta injury lawyers.
Here, we’ll discuss the most common reasons why somebody’s workers compensation benefits would stop. In 90% of these cases, our client’s employer terminated their benefits for one of a few reasons. For example, if you refuse to participate in your medical care, your benefits will be terminated. The same is true if you are caught working a second job. Regardless of the reason your benefits were terminated, give us a call. One of our Atlanta workers comp lawyers will sit down and review your claim and find out what’s going on. They can also reach out to your employer or their insurance carrier and find out why your benefits were stopped.
Most Workers Comp Cases Close When the Worker is Fully Healed
Most of the cases our Atlanta workers comp lawyers handle are usually resolved when our client is ready to go back to work. Once your workers comp doctor determines that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement, you’ll be expected to return to your job. Maximum medical improvement simply means that you would no longer benefit from treatment. You may have already had surgery and gone to physical therapy for months. Or maybe you had surgery and it’s been six or seven weeks and your doctor thinks you’re fully healed.
In cases like this, we have one of two options. Your Atlanta injury lawyer may get a second opinion that states you need another two weeks to recover. Or you may go back to work in a light-duty position. It all depends on the nature and extent of your injuries. Of course, at some point, you will have to go back to work.
Your Benefits Will Be Terminated if You Are Caught Working Another Job
There are times when we can help a client whose benefits were terminated and other times when we can’t. If your benefits stopped because you were caught working a second job, there’s little your Atlanta workers comp lawyer can do. One of the first rules about collecting workers compensation is that you can’t work at another job. Now, if you had two jobs before your workplace accident, you may be allowed to keep your second job. For example, if your injuries at your primary job don’t affect your ability to do your second job, you may be okay. But if you are working a second job and don’t report it, don’t be surprised to see your benefits terminated. There will be nothing your attorney can do in a situation like this. There’s no way they can convince the workers’ compensation commission that you didn’t realize you were lying or that you didn’t know you couldn’t work a second job.
Your Employer Will Close Your Claim if You Refuse to Participate in Your Treatment
One of the most frustrating things for our Atlanta injury lawyers is when we learn that a client is not participating in their treatment. The whole point of workers compensation is that injured workers are provided with the medical care they need to heal. If you miss your doctor’s appointments or you refuse to undergo reasonable treatment, your benefits will be terminated. You can’t expect to stay at home until you feel better. You need to engage with your medical treatment and do your part in your recovery.
Your Benefits Can Also Be Terminated if You Refuse to Return to Work
If your doctor does declare that you’re fit to return to work and you refuse, your benefits will be terminated. While your Atlanta workers comp lawyer can get a second opinion, you can’t just refuse to go back to work. You need to either request an extension, ask if there’s an available light-duty position, or go back to work under protest. The last thing you want to do is just refuse to go back. Your employer has been paying someone else to do your job the entire time you were out of work. They don’t want to do this any longer than necessary. On top of that, the more your claim is, the higher your employer’s insurance premiums will be. They have every incentive to get you back to work as quickly as possible.
Your Atlanta Injury Lawyer Can Appeal the Decision to Terminate Your Benefits
For many of our clients, our Atlanta injury lawyer can help if their benefits are terminated. It depends on the reason why they were terminated. For example, if your doctor determines that you’ve met maximum medical improvement and you disagree, they can likely file an appeal. At a minimum, they can get a second opinion from an independent doctor. On the other hand, if your employer finds out that you were high at the time of your workplace accident, there won’t be much we can do.
We suggest that you call one of our Atlanta workers comp lawyers as soon as possible after your workplace accident. You won’t have much time to file an appeal. If you wait too long to hire an Atlanta injury lawyer, they may not be able to help. That’s why you should call and take advantage of your free, initial consultation as quickly as possible. Since the consultation is free, you don’t really have anything to lose.