If you got hurt at work or developed a job-related illness, you might be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits could pay your medical bills and rehabilitation expenses and replace a portion of your income while you cannot work. The rules of Georgia’s workers’ compensation program are strict.
Many people get their benefits requests denied or receive lower cash benefits than they should. You do not have to accept an unfair result if you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. A Smyrna workers’ compensation attorney could fight for you to get the benefits you deserve.
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Most companies are required to have workers’ comp for their employees. However, there are some exceptions, including the following:
- Companies with less than three employees
- Railroad workers
- Government employees
- Independent contractors
For a free legal consultation with a workers compensation lawyer serving Smyrna, call (404) 888-8888
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What Is Covered by Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ comp covers any type of injury sustained while an employee was performing work duties. This includes injuries that occur in the office, at remote job sites, or while running work-related errands.
Chronic illnesses that develop over time as a result of your work duties will also be covered. This includes carpal tunnel syndrome and back injuries that may occur as a result of performing a repeated movement at your job. It can also apply to cancers and lung diseases that develop due to chemical exposure.
Psychological illnesses such as anxiety and depression are not covered unless they directly result from an injury that occurred at work.
Smyrna Workers Compensation Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
What If the Injury Is My Fault?
Workers’ comp is a no-fault system. All injuries will be covered no matter who is at fault. The only exception is if the injury is due to a willful action made on the part of the employee.
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Want Great Results for Your Workers’ Comp Case in Smyrna?
You deserve a Smyrna workers’ compensation attorney with a track record of great results. Here are a few examples of workers’ compensation awards we have won for our clients:
- $5.25 million for a personal injury and workers’ compensation claim involving paralysis.
- $2 million for a workers’ compensation claim involving traumatic brain injury.
- $1.9 million for a workers’ compensation claim involving paralysis.
- $500,000 for a workers’ compensation claim involving amputation.
Your results will depend on the facts of your situation and may vary from these examples.
What Benefits Are Available in Smyrna?
Employees who were injured in the workplace and file a workers’ comp claim are eligible for the following benefits:
- Medical Expenses: This includes any doctor’s visits and hospitalizations that are a direct result of your injury, as well as any ongoing care that is required.
- Lost Wages: Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) and Temporary Total Disability (TTD) are available to workers who can not work at all or must work at a reduced rate due to injuries. If workers are unable to return to work at all, they can apply for permanent disability benefits.
- Death Benefits: If an employee dies due to work-related injuries, the family may be able to collect compensation for lost wages and funeral and medical expenses.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Injuries and accidents must be reported within 30 days after the injury occurred. Employees must also file a First Report of Occupational Disease with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Claims must be filed within a year after the injury occurred unless you are receiving ongoing treatment. If you are receiving ongoing treatment, you have two years from the last treatment or injury benefit payment.
It is not always necessary to file a claim. However, you will need to do so in the following circumstances:
- If your employer does not report your injury as required.
- If you do not get benefits
- If you believe your interests are incorrect
- If you are cleared to return to work but are still unable to perform your job duties
- If you are not receiving proper care
- If you disagree with your company about the benefits, you are entitled to appeal
Reasons Why Workers’ Compensation Requests Get Denied
In theory, Georgia’s workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system, which means you do not have to prove that your employer’s negligence caused your injury. A common misunderstanding is that an injured worker automatically gets benefits, but that is not always the case.
Here are some of the reasons that workers’ compensation claims get denied:
- The illness or injury did not happen at work. The workers’ compensation program does not cover workers 24/7. Your illness or injury must be the result of your job.
- You have to notify your boss immediately after you discover the injury or illness. If you are unable to notify your employer right away, you can ask someone to do so for you. Failure to provide prompt notice is one of the most common grounds for a denial of benefits.
You must fill in all program forms completely. Incomplete forms can delay the processing of your claim, which can delay your benefits.
- Your boss has a list of the doctors and other medical providers who are authorized to treat people for accidents or sickness within a workers’ comp setting. You cannot go to your regular doctor for treatment. In the event of an emergency, you could go to the nearest emergency room, but after that, you will have to use a doctor from your employer’s list.
- You can qualify for benefits if you were partially or entirely at fault in the accident that injured you, as long as the wounds were not self-inflicted. It raises a red flag if you have the same type of injury to the same part of your body more than once.
- You will have to go back to work when your workers’ comp doctor releases you to regular work activities. Refusing to do so can stop the payment of your benefits.
- If you are required to undergo a medical procedure, like blood tests or x-rays, refusal to do so can terminate your benefits.
We will be happy to explain how you can avoid losing your eligibility for workers’ comp benefits.
Can I Appeal a Workers’ Comp Decision in Smyrna?
If you feel your workers’ comp benefits were unfairly denied, you can appeal this decision. The process will include a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. During the hearing, you will need to present evidence to support your claim, which may include medical records and testimony by a medical professional.
If benefits are still denied, you may further appeal the decision to the Appellate Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You will have 20 days from the initial ruling to make this appeal.
If you are appealing a court ruling on your workers’ comp benefits, it’s a good idea to have a reliable lawyer on your side. They will help make sure your benefits are approved. You do not have to go through this process alone. We can be there with you every step of the way and fight relentlessly for you to get the benefits you deserve.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Employer for My Injury in Smyrna?
In most cases, you must choose between a workers’ comp claim and a lawsuit. Therefore, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer unless he committed a negligent or intentional act that caused your injury. Also, if a third party’s intentional or negligent act caused your injury, you may sue that third party.
Finding the Right Lawyer for Your Smyrna Workers’ Comp Case
If you feel your workers’ comp claim is not being handled fairly, you may want to seek the help of a workers’ comp attorney. If you are looking for an attorney in the Smyrna, GA area, Bader Scott Injury Lawyers is highly recommended.
Bader Scott’s team has years of experience in workers’ comp and personal injury law. Their exclusive focus on these fields has allowed them to develop an in-depth knowledge of the industry, ensuring their clients will get the best possible outcome. They are known for their caring approach, affordable rates, and aggressive representation.
If you were injured on the job, make sure you get the compensation you deserve. The Bader Scott team will see to it that justice is served.