Few workers expect to be injured on the job, but unfortunately, accidents are relatively common in many industries. When they occur, injured workers may face extensive medical bills and be unable to return to work for weeks, months, or longer. Fortunately, most Georgia employers are mandated by law to offer workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides cash benefits and medical care for workers who
However, navigating workers’ compensation laws can be frustrating and time-intensive, especially when you want to be focusing on healing from injuries. There are several reasons why filing a workers’ compensation claim can be challenging, including the following:
- To stop or limit their insurance rates from rising, employers often refute employees’ injuries.
- The employer’s insurance company will deny the injury claim or attempt to lower its cost by considering its own profit margin.
- If the workers’ compensation rules are not meticulously followed, the insurer can dismiss injury claims, and appeals can take considerable time.
For these reasons and others, retaining a Garden City workers’ compensation lawyer can be essential as they can guide injured workers past various hurdles and secure the benefits they both need and deserve.
Signs You Should Retain a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
The following are some instances in which you may need a worker’s compensation attorney to help you with your claim:
Your Employer or Insurer Claims Your Injury Not Work-Related
This may happen if you incur a minor injury at work and you don’t report it until it is aggravated and becomes more severe. As a result, the employer or insurer states the original injury didn’t occur at your workplace. This can also happen when the accumulative effects of exposure to something at work (e.g., toxic chemicals) result in some illness or disease.
You Incur a Permanent Disability, Especially Amputation
If you experience a total or partial permanent disability that will prevent you from working at your previous capacity and wages, your claim may be contested because permanent disabilities are often the most expensive claims in the long run.
According to the National Safety Council, “the most costly lost-time workers’ compensation claims by nature of injury are for those resulting from amputation,” which “averaged $113,695 per workers’ compensation claim filed in 2018 and 2019.”
Your Claim is Denied
If your claim is denied and you appeal (which you should if you know your claim is legitimate), things can get complex, and professional legal advice is often needed.
The Settlement Offers Insufficient Coverage for Permanent Disability
Many worker compensation settlements are for permanent disabilities based on rating system guidelines and calculated by examining physicians. If the insurer doesn’t agree with the rating, it can compel you to undergo an independent medical exam from a doctor of its choice. This doctor may be more likely to give you a lower rating than is reasonable. An attorney can work to convince a workers’ compensation judge you are entitled to receive a higher rating.
You Have a Preexisting Condition
If you already had specific health problems before your work-related injury, your employer or their insurer may blame any new pain and suffering you incur on your preexisting condition. Therefore, you may need to provide additional evidence that will prove otherwise. Again, an attorney can help with this process.
You Intend to Apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits
SSDI payments may be decreased in proportion to your workers’ compensation benefits. However, a workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to arrange a settlement that will minimize or eliminate this reduction altogether.
Your Employer Retaliates to Punish You
If you have been terminated from your job, demoted, or your hours reduced, an attorney can fight for your rights. Under the law, employers are prohibited from retaliating against a worker for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
You Have a Third-Party Claim
In some cases, you may want to file a lawsuit against an individual other than your employer who contributed to your injury. For example, if a careless driver causes an accident while you are driving for work, you can sue that person for damages related to injuries you sustain.
For a free legal consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer serving Garden City, call (404) 888-8888
What Exactly does a Workers’ Compensation Attorney Do?
Even if the above scenarios do not apply to you, there are many ways in which a workers’ compensation can help you regarding your claim, including the following:
- Gather evidence that your work caused your injury or illness
- Secure medical records to prove your injury
- Walk you through the processing of filing a claim and answer any questions
- Ensure paperwork is completed correctly and before the deadline to qualify for benefits
- Help you choose which doctors to visit and when
- Advocate for you if your claim is delayed or denied
- Prepare you for any conversations with an insurer or appearance before a judge
- Estimate your claim’s potential worth and help you evaluate settlement offers, so you get the fairest compensation possible
- If necessary, question evidence presented by medical professionals approved by your employer or their insurer
Garden City Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Claim?
The statute of limitations for workers’ compensation requires that a claimant file Form WC 14 Notice of Claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the accident to qualify for compensation due to related injuries and losses. However, certain factors may extend the time you have to file, so you should consult an attorney regarding your claim and deadlines who can answer your questions.
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Hire a George Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
As you are reading this, you may have additional questions about your claim or have sustained work-related injuries and are unsure how to proceed. Speaking with legal counsel specializing in worker’s compensation can help you get personalized answers. Many injured workers turn to Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for guidance because our attorneys understand what it takes to win a fair settlement.
If you have any questions or concerns about your Georgia workers’ compensation case, we urge you to contact us today for your free and confidential case review.