Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, you do not have to worry about who actually caused the workplace accident. If your injury occurred at work, then you are eligible for benefits, even if the injury was your own fault.
Your employer cannot stop you from filing a workers’ compensation claim, no matter how much of the blame you carry for the injury occurring. A Rome workers’ compensation attorney from Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can help.
Common Types of Work-Related Accidents in Workers’ Compensation Claims
On-the-job accidents and injuries can take many forms. However, there are some types of accidents, incidents, events, and injuries we see more frequently in Rome workers’ compensation claims than others. These include:
- Trips, slips, and falls
- Injuries caused by defective products
- Machinery accidents
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Commercial truck accidents
- Bulldozer Accidents
- Factory accidents
- Construction accidents
- Exposure to toxic substances
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Crane accidents
- Forklift accidents
- Accidents caused by negligence
These are only a few of the more common ways in which these work-related accidents occur. If you have been involved in another type of on-the-job incident that was not described above, you may still have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. You can explore your legal options further when you contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Rome for help.
For a free legal consultation with a workers compensation lawyer serving Rome, call (404) 888-8888
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Qualifying Injuries For Workers’ Compensation
All injuries that occur in the course of performing job-related activities are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This includes accidental injuries, repetitive motion injuries, occupational illnesses, and even death benefits if you pass away from your injuries or illness.
Having said that, if you caused the injury through gross misconduct, willful recklessness, intoxication, or illegal activities, then exceptions apply, and you will not be covered.
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Workers’ Compensation Requirements
The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) states that all employers in Georgia are required to have workers’ compensation insurance if they have three or more regular employees (including part-time, full-time, minors, and illegal workers).
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Available Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Rome, GA
An Employee Handbook is available from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation to explain the system and the benefits that are available to you when you’ve suffered a workplace injury or illness. Among the benefits available are medical coverage, reimbursement for lost wages, and death benefits to survivors in the event of a fatal workplace accident.
Medical coverage addresses all of your medical expenses which are deemed reasonable and necessary for your treatment and recovery. Hospital stays, surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, prescriptions, and doctor appointments are all included in this. However, you are only covered if you seek treatment from authorized physicians. A list will be provided to you by your employer or the workers’ compensation insurance coverage provider.
Reimbursement for lost wages will apply if you miss more than seven days of work, though you will only be paid for those first seven days if you miss more than 21 days. The number of your benefits will be based on 2/3 of your average weekly pay. You will be able to receive these benefits for up to 400 weeks until you return to work or indefinitely if the injury was catastrophic.
Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits
Vocational rehabilitation benefits are designed to provide injury victims with compensation for educational opportunities or job training when their injuries are so severe they are no longer able to continue working in the same line of work.
The insurance company will be responsible for covering the costs of these educational opportunities so you can find gainful employment and no longer require workers’ compensation benefits.
Death benefits are available to your survivors and dependents if you pass away from a workplace injury or illness. This will cover your medical bills, pay your funeral and burial expenses, and reimburse your lost wages to support those dependents.
How To File a Workers’ Compensation Claim In Rome, GA
If you’ve been injured on the job, you should not waste any time filing your workers’ compensation claim. You need to act fast to remain eligible for benefits and compensation from your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance company. Thus, you need to notify your employer of the incident right away. You have 30 days to do so without losing your right to file a claim, but the longer you wait, the more harm you will do to your injury claim.
Your employer, when notified of your injury, will file a First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease form. Your employer will face civil penalties if he or she does not file this form, and you should quickly contact an attorney if this happens. You can also choose to file your claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation directly within one year of the accident.
Common Reasons for Workers’ Compensation Claim Denials
Workers’ compensation claims are denied far more frequently than you might think. Remember, the insurance company will lose money by paying out on your claim. For this reason, it is in their best interests to have entire teams analyze your claim to look for reasons for the denial.
Some of the more common reasons given for workers comp claim denials in Rome include:
- Having a pre-existing condition
- Committing a crime at the time of the injury
- Having self-inflicted your injuries
- Being in violation of your employer’s code of ethics
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident
- Working off the clock
- Failure to include supporting medical documentation
- Making mistakes on your application
As can be seen, some of these reasons are valid, while others are considered bad faith denials. Your attorney will attempt to provide the insurance company with the information and supporting documentation they need to get your denial overturned.
However, if the insurance company is unwilling to settle your claim fairly, we will be prepared to advocate for your right to workers’ compensation benefits before an administrative law judge.
Appealing A Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim
You can always appeal a denied claim, though your greatest chance of success in this action is to contact a Rome workers’ compensation attorney to represent you. You will receive notification of the denial with an explanation, and you can request a hearing to present your evidence.
At this hearing, which would be best handled with the guidance of an attorney, you can use witnesses (including yourself), expert witnesses, and records from your injury and treatment. Your claim may still be denied, and if it is, your attorney can help you to appeal with the Appellate Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation within 20 days of the denial.
Third-Party Liability Claims For Workplace Injuries in Rome
The aim of workers’ compensation is to ensure that you are covered for workplace injuries while also protecting your employer from liability for further damages. This means that you can’t sue your employer if you are covered by workers’ compensation unless willful misconduct has occurred to warrant a lawsuit. There are circumstances where a third party is also liable for your injuries, and in these cases, you can file a personal injury claim or suit against that third party.
Following are some examples of third-party liability claims:
- Defective Product Claim against manufacturer/distributor in defective product accidents
- Auto Accident Claim against the at-fault driver in an auto accident
- Premises Liability Claim against homeowner/business owner in premises accidents
- Other Personal Injury Claims, such as dog bite/attack claims
While you cannot seek non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering) from workers’ compensation claims, you can seek these damages in third-party liability claims.
Deciding To Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Not all workers’ compensation claims are complex enough to require legal representation. For example, if you slip and fall at work, you injure your arm, you notify your employer, your employer files a First Report of Injury, you miss a few days of work, you file a workers’ compensation claim, and you receive coverage and benefits as expected, then you don’t need an attorney.
However, if your employer doesn’t file the First Report of Injury, if the employer or insurance company denies your claim, if you are pressured to return to work too soon, or if your claim is disputed or mishandled, you need to contact a workers’ compensation attorney to represent you.
Once you’ve obtained the services of a qualified workers’ compensation attorney in Rome, GA, you’re going to feel a lot more confident about the direction of your claim. You’ll know that you have an expert on your side, defending your rights and presenting your evidence in an effective manner to prove your right to receive workers’ compensation for your injuries. The best part is that workers’ compensation attorneys in Georgia can charge no more than 25% of what you receive in workers’ compensation benefits, so adequate legal representation is affordable.
Meet With a Rome Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When you need access to the workers’ compensation benefits that are rightfully yours, but you do not know where to turn for help, reach out to a Rome workers’ compensation lawyer at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers.
Our firm is proud to offer no-cost, risk-free consultations to work injury victims across Rome and surrounding cities. Claim yours by completing our online contact form or calling our office to get started on your case.