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.
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.
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?
Once 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 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?
In 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
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- 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.