Even if you have performed a workplace task a thousand times before, it only takes one small thing to go wrong to cause an injury. For instance, your glove could get caught in a piece of equipment, or the equipment could malfunction. Or maybe you lift a piece of equipment that’s a bit too heavy, and it throws out your back, or you fall due to a slick floor.
Whatever the cause of your workplace injury, it may leave you with medical expenses and the possibility of a long-term disability that keeps you out of work. At Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, we can help you to pursue benefits that can help you to tackle those issues and move towards a better future. We can bring nearly 40 years of combined legal experience to your case and a record of aggressively protecting the rights of injured workers in Athens and throughout Georgia.
Keep in mind: You have only one year from the date of your injury to file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia. So, don’t wait to take action. Contact us today through our Athens office to discuss your case in a free consultation.
Why Do You Need a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
If you have been injured at work, and you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, you may assume that you don’t need an Athens workers’ compensation lawyer. You may believe that your employer’s workers’ comp insurer will be happy to pay out your claim. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. In fact, you may find that your employer and its insurer:
- Dispute the extent of your injuries
- Denies that your injuries happened on the job
- Claims you are healthy enough to return to work
- Rejects your workers’ comp claim altogether
- Offers you a settlement that is less than you believe you deserve
If any of the above is true, working with a skilled workers’ comp lawyer at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, may significantly improve the outcome of your case. We can help you in filing your claim, negotiating your settlement and appealing a denied claim.
What Types of Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation should cover all injuries and illnesses that arise within the course and scope of a person’s employment. Some of the most common injuries that we see among workers in Athens are:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Injuries to limbs and extremities, including amputation injuries
- Workplace burn and electrocution injuries
- Sprains, strains and repetitive stress injuries
- Internal injuries
- Bone fracture injuries
- Back and neck injuries, including spinal cord injuries
The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act also provides coverage for illnesses resulting from exposure to toxic substances in the workplace such as mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure. In some cases, an injured worker may have the right to recover workers’ compensation benefits and bring a claim a claim against the manufacturer of the hazardous substance.
How Can Workers’ Comp Benefits Help You?
Workers’ compensation benefits can help injured and ill workers to get the medical care which they need as well replace a portion of the income which they lose due to a partial or total disability. These benefits include:
- Medical benefits – Workers’ compensation will cover 100 percent of your necessary and reasonable medical expenses, including your hospital stays, emergency room expenses, surgery, medications rehabilitation, and more. You can also receive reimbursement for travel expenses connected to your medical care.
- Lost-wage benefits – If you miss more than seven days of work as a result of your injuries, you may be eligible to receive lost-wage benefits under workers’ compensation insurance. These benefits will depend on whether your work-related disability is total or partial, permanent or temporary. For instance, if you suffer from a total disability – you cannot go to work at all – then you could be compensated at a rate that equates to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. On the other hand, if you are partially disabled – you can return to work in a limited capacity – then you could be compensated at a rate that equates to two-thirds of the difference between what you earned prior to your disability and what you earn now.
The Georgia workers’ compensation system also provides vocational rehabilitation benefits which can help you to train for a different line of work.
When Can You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
If you are injured on the job in Georgia, you should notify your employer of your injury immediately. If you wait more than 30 days to report your injury, then you may forfeit your right to recover any benefits.
After you report your injury, you have one year from the date of your injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. If you have already been receiving weekly income benefits, then you have two years from the date of your last benefit check to file a claim. If you are pursuing compensation for an occupational disease or illness, then you will have one year from the date that you discovered your disease or discovered that your disease was the result of a workplace activity/exposure in which to file your claim. Again, if you fail to file your claim within these time limits, you may lose the right to receive any benefits.
What Can You Do If Your Claim Is Denied?
It can be highly frustrating if your employer and/or its insurer denies your worker’s compensation claim. But don’t panic. You have the right to appeal a denied claim. You may request a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation to appeal the denial. It is likely that you will be requested to mediate the claim prior to the hearing. If the mediation is unsuccessful, the hearing will proceed. Your attorney from Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, can guide you through the process and fight for what you are due.
Our Athens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Are Here for You
If you are injured at work in Athens, don’t wait to act. Instead, call our Athens workers’ compensation attorneys directly to schedule a free consultation and start the process of fighting for the benefits you deserve. We are ready to put our skill, experience and resources to work for you right away.