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According to the National Safety Council, a worker is injured on the job every 7 seconds, leading to 4.5 million injuries each year. When you are hurt at work, you should have access to a state-mandated program to pay your related medical bills, support you during your recovery, and assist with long-term disabilities.

a man in a wheelchair after a work related injury in Georgia

Workers’ compensation – commonly referred to as workers’ comp – can provide you with medical treatment, financial support for your time off work, and more. As long as your injury occurred in the course of your work, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of why the injury occurred. However, successfully recovering full benefits can be difficult. At Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, our experienced workers’ comp attorneys are prepared to help you through each step of the workers’ comp process.

Our Norcross and Gwinnett County workers’ comp attorneys value every worker, and we want to make sure that you get the support you deserve after a workplace injury. If you have been injured on the job in the greater Atlanta area, contact the knowledgeable lawyers at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC today to discuss your workers’ compensation claim during a free consultation.

Norcross Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

If you are hurt on the job, it is important to get medical attention right away. Even if you think at first that you feel okay, a doctor should still check you out. Some very serious injuries do not show immediate symptoms.

Once you are safe, you need to notify your supervisor or human resources department about the accident. Generally, you have 30 days to notify your employer of your injury. However, do not delay. It is best to report quickly so that you can be reimbursed for any medical expenses or directed to participating health care providers where you do not have to pay out of pocket.

Some people wrongly assume that workers’ compensation will cover them only if their employer was at fault for their injury. That is not true. As long as your injury occurred while you were at work or carrying out work-related duties, you should be able to recover benefits.

Despite this, it is still very possible that your claim will be minimized or denied. Your employer’s insurance may argue that the treatment you received for your injury was unnecessary and refuse to reimburse you for the costs. They may also try to argue that your injury did not occur at work. A lawyer can be essential to refuting these claims and pursuing the money you need and deserve.

One of the most common mistakes that we see at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC is that employees assume that their company will take automatically take care of them when they are injured. It is important to remember that initiating a workers’ comp claim is ultimately your responsibility. If no one knows about your injury, they cannot get you the help you need. 

client stories

My workers’ comp. case was handled promptly, professionally and with care by Alan and his staff. I would highly recommend them for any legal issue. My case took only a few months to settle and I am pleased with the results. No case is too Big or small for these guys.

My case was against one of the largest companies in the world and I would use them again and again.

Alan and his team of experts stood by me all the way!! They earned My business for life. Thank You to Alan, Maria and the whole staff for representing MY best interest!!

How do You File a Workers’ Comp Claim?

a workers' compensation formOnce you receive the immediate medical attention you need for your injury and you are in a safe place, you need to report your injury to your employer. Be as detailed as possible when you let them know what happened. This will give the Georgia State Workers’ Compensation Board and your company’s insurance company the information they need to authenticate your claim.

In order to file your claim, you will need to complete a Form WC-14 and file it with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Your supervisor or human resources department should be able to provide you with this form, but you can also access it here. You have thirty days to file your claim.

Make sure you keep up with the treatment plan prescribed to you by your doctor. If you fail to do as directed, insurance may argue that your injuries were not as bad as you initially claimed and refuse to compensate you in full.

Hiring a lawyer is a crucial step to ensuring you get the full amount of compensation you need in a smooth and timely manner. A lawyer can gather the necessary evidence, fill out the documentation, and file properly and on time to ensure no mistakes are made. They can also assist you if your claim is wrongfully minimized, delayed, or denied.

How do You Appeal a Denied Workers’ Comp Claim?

If your workers’ comp claim is denied or undervalued, you can make an appeal. In some instances, an appeal can be as simple as providing more information about your injuries. Other cases are more complex.

You will need to contact the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation to request a hearing on your claim. At your hearing, you will need to present your case and provide documentation of your injuries. A judge will then approve or deny your appeal.

Appeals can quickly become complex, and you should get help from an experienced attorney. Do not try and go into this process on your own. A worker’s compensation lawyer will be able to identify what went wrong with your claim, whether you needed more proof for your injuries, had an inconsistency in your paperwork, or something else.

When are You Entitled to More Than Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

a man filling out a workers compensation claim after a work related injuryIn some instances, you may be entitled to more than workers’ compensation for your injuries. This happens if a third party other than your employer was responsible for your injuries. A third party could include, for example, an independent contractor, vehicle driver, property manager, or anyone else who is not your employer or a co-worker. In these cases, you can file a claim for workers’ compensation with your employer and also file a personal injury lawsuit against the third party.

This third-party claim will function just like a regular personal injury claim. In order to be successful, you will have to prove that the third party was negligent in causing your injuries. Negligence has a very specific definition under the law, and requires you to prove four components: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

A lawyer can be instrumental to helping you prove negligence and collect compensation in a third-party claim. At Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, we have experience in both workers’ compensation and personal injury claims, so we can help you with both parts of your case if this is your situation. Our goal is to help you seek maximum compensation from all available sources.

What Compensation is in a Workers’ Comp Claim?

Workers’ compensation will cover your medical expenses and lost wages associated with your workplace injuries. “Medical expenses” is a broad term that may include:

  • Emergency treatment
  • Hospital stays
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Prosthetics
  • Prescriptions
  • Mileage reimbursement for transportation to medical appointments

However, it is important to note that your employer’s insurance will only reimburse you for treatments they deem to be reasonable and necessary. It may take the knowledge and skills of a lawyer to prove that the treatments you received meet these qualifications.

Partial replacement of lost wages is also available under workers’ compensation. You can be paid 2/3 of your weekly wages, up to $575 for a maximum of 400 weeks. The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation also has the discretion to award workers’ compensation for life depending on your specific injuries.

If your health recovers enough to return to work, your benefits generally end. However, if you are only able to return to a job with lighter duties than your former role, you may be entitled to receive benefits to make up the difference in your wages, or a weekly maximum of $383.

How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?

The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation gives you 30 days from the date of your injury to formally file your claim. In cases of severe injuries that require hospitalization, exceptions can be made to this rule, but will require the assistance of an experienced workers’ comp attorney. For this reason, it is imperative that you do not hesitate to contact a lawyer to get started on your claim.

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How an Attorney Can Help with Your Workers’ Comp Claim

Being injured on the job can be overwhelming. You are likely in pain as you struggle to recover from your injuries. You worry about your ability to return to work, how to pay daily expenses and financially support your family, and keep up with other responsibilities.

Most of all, you worry about how you can navigate complicated workers’ compensation laws while all of your energy is going into your recovery. A workers’ comp attorney can assist you with your claim so that you can get the help you need.

A lawyer can assist you at any point in the workers’ compensation process. If you were just injured and are unsure of where to begin, a lawyer can step in to help you gather evidence, fill out paperwork, and file your claim properly. If you have already applied for workers’ compensation but are facing unexpected delays, a lawyer can investigate the source of the delay and work to remedy the situation.

If your claim has been approved but for less money than you thought you deserved, a lawyer can negotiate with insurance to argue for the full amount of compensation. If your claim has been denied outright, a lawyer can investigate what went wrong and help you file an appeal to seek the money you need.

Common Types of Workplace Injury Cases We Handle

Any injury that occurs in the workplace or while you are performing job-related activities may qualify for workers’ compensation. Some of the most common kinds of workplace accidents include:

  • Overexertion – Overexertion injuries can be from lifting or lowering equipment or goods, as well as environmental conditions including heat, humidity, and dehydration.
  • Equipment Accidents – Getting entangled in heavy machinery or hit by moving parts can cause serious, often deadly injuries.
  • Falling Objects – These accidents are especially common on construction sites and can occur whenever an object falls from a tall height and strikes a worker on the ground below.
  • Slips, Trips and Falls – Wet or slippery surfaces, climbing ladders, uneven surfaces, and other hazards are frequent causes of falls in the workplace.
  • Repetitive Motion – Workers who perform the same action all day long, such as office workers who spend all day typing, may be susceptible to injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Workplace Violence – If you are assaulted by a coworker, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for your injuries. Note that if you are assault by your employer, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit, which can help you recover even more in compensation. However, this only works if your employer attacked you. If they injured you in self-defense, you will be unable to recover any compensation at all.
  • Vehicle Crashes – If you are required to drive as part of your job duties, it is very likely that you will eventually be involved in a collision. Even though you weren’t in your workplace at the time of this accident, you may still recover workers’ compensation benefits for these injuries.
  • Noise – Workers in industrial plants and factories are especially susceptible to ear damage through loud noises. These injuries can occur slowly over time, or at once if an extremely loud noise occurs.

These and other accidents can result in injuries that may include:

  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Ear damage
  • Eye damage
  • Respiratory conditions
  • Chronic illness, such as mesothelioma

Tragically, many workplace accidents result in death. If your loved one passed away as a result of a workplace injury, workers’ compensation may provide death benefits to you and your family. These benefits may help cover the cost of funeral and burial expenses, as well as provide some financial support for your family.

Frequently Asked Questions About Workers’ Compensation

Nobody expects to get injured while they are at work. For this reason, you may be highly confused about what to do next when you get hurt in a workplace accident. You will want to know if you are entitled to compensation, and you will have lots of questions about how to claim it. At Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, one of our experienced Norcross workers’ compensation lawyers can answer all of those questions. We will also walk you through the process of filing your claim so you pursue the full amount of compensation that you are due. After a workplace accident, contact us to get started with a free consultation.

  • What is workers’ compensation?
  • How long do I have to be employed to receive workers’ compensation after a workplace accident?
  • How do I know if my employer carries workers’ compensation insurance?
  • How long do I have to report a workplace accident?
  • Can I see my doctor, or will my employer tell me which doctor to see?
  • Who pays for the doctor and my medical treatment?
  • When can I receive my disability benefits?
  • How much money will I get per week?
  • How long can I receive workers’ compensation benefits?
  • Can I be fired for filing a workers’ comp claim?
  • What is the time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim?
  • What do I do if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation in Georgia is the system injured workers must go through in order to claim the compensation they need for their medical expenses and recover a portion of their lost income. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. So, it does not matter whether you contributed to your accident and injuries, or if your employer or a co-worker caused the accident that resulted in your injuries. As long as you suffered your injury while you were performing duties in the course and scope of your employment, you can claim workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.

How long do I have to be employed to receive workers’ compensation after a workplace accident?

All employees are covered by workers’ compensation from the first day they start working. There is no waiting period. So, if you become hurt your first day on the job, you should be eligible for benefits.

How do I know if my employer carries workers’ compensation insurance?

All employers in Georgia that employ at least three workers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employers must carry this insurance whether they employ full-time or part-time workers. You can also check if your employer carries this insurance through the government of Georgia’s website.

How long do I have to report a workplace accident?

You should always report any accident that resulted in injury to your employer as soon as possible. However, you must report the accident within 30 days of the accident, and you should report it in writing so you have proof that you did provide notice to your employer. If your employer is not available at the time of your accident, report the accident immediately to your manager or supervisor. If you do not tell your employer about the accident within 30 days, you will likely lose your right to compensation.

Can I see my doctor, or will my employer tell me which doctor to see?

If you are injured in a workplace accident and claim workers’ compensation, you likely will not be able to see your own doctor. Your employer must have information about the doctor you can see available to you. They can provide this information in one of two ways.

The first way is through a panel of physicians. This is a list of up to six doctors that you can choose from in order to receive treatment. If you decide to change doctors, you can choose another doctor on that list without requiring the permission of your employer.

The second way your employer can make a physician available to you is by posting the name of the workers’ compensation doctor or organization that has been certified by the Worker’s Compensation Board and that the employer has contracted with to provide the treatment you need. Your employer must tell you of this organization and must also provide you with a phone number so you can contact them.

Who pays for the doctor and my medical treatment?

You must obtain authorization for any medical treatment you need as a result of the workplace accident. Once you do, the insurance carrier that provides the workers’ compensation insurance to your employer will incur the cost for the necessary medical treatment.

When can I receive my disability benefits?

If you miss seven or more days as a result of your injury, you have the right to claim workers’ compensation disability benefits in Georgia. You should receive your first benefits check within three weeks of incurring the injury. If your injury causes you to miss work for 21 or more days, you will receive back pay for the first seven days of your injury.

How much money will I get per week?

You can recover two-thirds of your average weekly wage. However, Georgia law places a cap on the amount it will pay out in benefits. This cap gets adjusted annually to account for cost-of-living changes.

How long can I receive workers’ compensation benefits?

After being injured at work, you can claim workers’ compensation benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks. If your injury is particularly severe, you may qualify for lifetime benefits. If you return to light duty at work, your benefits may be reduced. If you return to your regular duties, your benefits may stop.

Can I be fired for filing a workers’ comp claim?

No. Although you can be fired while out on workers’ compensation, your employer cannot fire you strictly for filing a workers’ comp claim. This is known as employer retaliation. Georgia law prohibits it.

What is the time limit for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

Workers’ compensation claims have a statute of limitations, or time limit, in Georgia. This statute of limitations is one year from the date of the accident. However, you must report the accident to your employer within 30 days. If you do not file a claim within one year, you will likely forfeit your right to compensation.

What should I do if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

Not all claims for workers’ compensation are approved. If your claim is denied, the most important thing for you to do is to refuse to give up. You can appeal the decision, which may involve attending a hearing. A workers’ comp lawyer at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, can prepare you for this hearing and help you through every step of your appeal.

Get Help from an Experienced Norcross Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

After a workplace injury, you should not try to file a workers’ compensation claim on your own. At Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers will will walk you through the entire process and help with an appeal, if necessary. Contact us to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.

Contact Us Now for Legal Help After a Workplace Injury in Georgia

If you were hurt in a workplace accident in Norcross, GA, Gwinnett County, or anywhere in the greater Atlanta area, turn to the attorneys at Adamson & Cleveland, LLC for help. From filing your claim to making an appeal or pursuing a third-party suit, we have the experience you need to purse the workers’ compensation support that you deserve.

Schedule a free and confidential consultation with us by calling or contacting us online today.

experienced workers' compensation lawyers working with a client