Georgia law requires most employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Worker’s compensation insurance is not required for:
- Employers with fewer than three employees
- Railroad workers
- Government employees
- Independent contractors
Full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees are covered, as are minors and even immigrants working without authorization. A Carrollton workers’ compensation attorney from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can handle your case.
What Types of Injuries Are Covered by Georgia Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation benefits are available to any Carrollton, Georgia, worker who is injured while on the job. This includes injuries sustained at your place of employment, at a remote job site, and while traveling to and from work. It also covers injuries sustained while on an errand for your employer.
Different types of workers’ compensation injuries could entitle you to workers’ compensation. For example, you can make a claim if you experienced:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Broken bones (fractures)
- Lung diseases
Such conditions are covered only if they were caused by activities or hazards at your workplace and if your exposure to the hazard at the workplace was greater than what you would experience outside of the workplace.
For example, some cancers are caused by exposure to chemicals. Workers’ compensation benefits are available to a worker whose cancer is caused by exposure to chemicals and if the worker was not exposed to the same chemicals outside of the workplace.
Psychological illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD are not covered unless they are caused by a covered occupational injury or disease. For example, a worker who is permanently disabled in a workplace accident may suffer from depression. Treatment for depression in such a case may be covered.
For a free legal consultation with a workers compensation lawyer serving Carrollton, call (404) 888-8888
What if an Accident Is My Fault and I Want to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Workers’ compensation insurance is a no-fault system. Even if a worker was partially at fault for a workplace accident, they are covered. The no-fault system also protects employers from being sued by injured employees, even if the employer was negligent.
If an employee’s injuries are caused by willful misconduct, they are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Willful misconduct might include deliberately misusing equipment, fighting, or using drugs or alcohol on the job.
Carrollton Workers Compensation Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
What Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available?
If your employer’s insurer accepts your workers’ compensation claim, your benefits will cover some, but not all, of your losses. Covered losses include:
- Medical expenses: Workers’ compensation insurance will cover all medical expenses associated with the illness or injury, including doctor’s fees, hospitalization, surgery, rehabilitation, medications, and prosthetics. Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company may provide a list of approved doctors, and the injured worker must select a doctor from the list.
- Lost wages: Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) and Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits are available to workers who cannot work at all or are able to work at a reduced rate or on light duty. Permanent disability benefits are also available if a worker is unable to return to work at all after an injury.
- Death benefits: Death benefits are available to the families of workers who are killed at work or die from a work-related illness. Benefits include payments for funeral and medical expenses, and payments for the worker’s lost wages, up to statutory limits.
You may not collect benefits for pain and suffering in a workers’ compensation claim. If you are filing a lawsuit against a liable third party (the process for which this article will discuss later), you may be able to recover such damages in that lawsuit.
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How Much Can I Get in Workers’ Compensation in Carrollton?
Ideally, you should be able to collect enough to cover your financial needs following the accident. This amount varies greatly from case to case. In past cases, for instance, Bader Scott Injury Lawyers has been able to recover the following amounts for workers’ compensation clients:
- $2 million for a worker who suffered a traumatic brain injury
- $500,000 for a worker who required amputation
- $250,000 for a worker who suffered neck and back injuries
Part of our job is to carefully evaluate each client’s case and determine how much they can collect based on their particular circumstances.
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Filing a Claim for Workers’ Compensation Benefits
You must report any accident or injury to your employer within 30 days in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation. Your employer must then file a First Report of Occupational Disease with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Reporting an accident is not the same as filing a claim. You may file a claim within one year of the injury unless you are receiving continued medical treatment or weekly benefits; then, the claim must be filed within two years of the last treatment or weekly benefit payment.
You may need to file a claim if:
- Your employer fails to report your injury as required.
- You do not receive benefits.
- You are cleared to return to work even though you are still unable to return to your former job.
- You believe the benefits you are receiving are incorrect.
- You believe you are not receiving proper care.
- You disagree with the decision of the insurance company about the amount or type of benefits to which you are entitled.
Filing an Appeal with the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Board
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the right to file an appeal. The State Board of Worker’s’ Compensation (SBWC) will notify you in writing of their decision. You will have the opportunity to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), at which you will be able to present evidence in support of your appeal.
Evidence may include your own testimony, testimony from medical professionals, medical records, and any other evidence that might be helpful. If the Administrative Law Judge denies your claim, you may file an appeal to the Appellate Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This appeal must be filed within twenty days of the ALJ’s decision.
Before filing an appeal of a denied claim, you should talk to a Carrollton workers’ compensation lawyer. Your ability to navigate the legal system will be much greater with an experienced attorney by your side.
Can I Sue My Employer After an Injury Instead of Filing for Workers’ Compensation?
Worker’s compensation takes the place of civil litigation against your employer, so you may not sue your employer unless the employer is guilty of an intentional or willful act that caused your injury. If your injury was caused by the negligent or intentional act of a third party, however, you may have a personal injury claim against that person or entity in addition to your workers’ compensation claim. Examples of third-party liability may include the following:
- If you were injured in a car accident while on the job, you may sue the responsible driver.
- If a co-worker’s intentional act caused your injury, you can hire a lawyer to help you sue that co-worker.
- If you were operating or using a defective piece of machinery, you may have recourse against the manufacturer.
In a third-party action, you may be eligible for compensation for the damages you could not recover in your worker’s compensation claim, like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life if you are permanently disabled.
How Our Attorneys Handle Workers’ Compensation Cases
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported “over 78,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses” in Georgia in 2019. A large number of those cases were fairly straightforward. The worker’s claim was paid, they recovered from their injuries, and they returned to work.
You could benefit from the advice of an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorney when your case does not fall into that category: when your injuries were very serious or permanent; when your employer does not report the injury as required; when your employer disputes your version of the events leading to the accident; and when your claim has been denied or you are not getting the benefits you should have.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers handles workers’ compensation cases in Carrollton and many other communities throughout Georgia. We make it easier for clients to recover the benefits they deserve by:
- Collecting evidence: The better we understand your accident, the stronger the case we can build on your behalf, and the more accurate we can be when estimating how much compensation you should ask for.
- Filing paperwork: Whether we are notifying the insurer about your case or going back and forth with your employer, it is vital to maintain timely and proper communication between all involved parties.
- Negotiating a settlement: If it comes down to it, we can meet with your employer and/or their insurer to argue your case, show evidence, and insist that they pay you a fair amount.
- Filing an appeal: Dealing with a denied claim can be painful. We can walk you through every step of the way.
- Filing a lawsuit: If there is a third party involved, we can talk to you about suing them for damages on top of seeking workers’ compensation benefits from your employer. This process involves either negotiation and/or a courtroom trial.
- Answering your questions: We know how confusing and complex the claims process can be, so we make sure to respond to your calls promptly and devote as much time as you need to explaining your options and legal rights.
You do not have to wait another day to get started. Our firm offers free case reviews to everyone who calls in. We can tell you within minutes if you have a valid case and how our legal team can help you fight for fair compensation for your injury.
Work With a Carrollton, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When you hire an attorney to handle your workers’ compensation claim, you can stop worrying about legal details and start focusing on your recovery. You will not have to pay any money up front, either. Your attorney will be paid after your claim is settled, and the fee is limited to 25% of your award.
For a free consultation, call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today. We can file your claim while you focus on recovery.
Office InformationAddress Bader Scott Injury Lawyers
228 Bankhead Hwy
Carrollton, GA 30117
Call or text (404) 888-8888 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form