If you suffered an occupational illness or lost a family member in a work-related accident, you may be entitled to compensation. The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) may provide employees with partial pay and cover any authorized medical treatments related to a work injury or illness.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance companies do their best to pay out as little as possible, offering far less than you may need to support your family and pay for medical bills. Our Valdosta workers’ compensation attorney can help you face the insurance company and guide you through the appeals process if necessary.
Do You Qualify for Georgia Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation insurance is a complex system that bases potential compensation on a variety of factors. Using a formula uniquely created for Georgia’s laws, they determine your settlement amount. The settlement can vary depending on the following:
- How much money you earned before your injury
- The severity of your injuries
- What part of your body was affected
- Whether or not you can continue to work
Qualifying for benefits, however, relies on meeting these common requirements:
Your Employer Must Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance
U.S. government agencies and railroad carriers are exempt from the coverage requirement. Those who hire domestic workers and farm laborers are not required to offer workers’ compensation benefits either.
You Must Be an Employee
Independent contractors such as freelancers, consultants, and “gig” workers typically don’t qualify. If you feel that an employer misclassified you to avoid paying insurance premiums, our firm’s workers’ compensation lawyers can help you fight it in court.
Your Illness or Injury Must be Job-Related
The state of Georgia considers injuries from job duties during work hours to be work-related. You are not covered for injuries that occur during breaks, lunch, or your commute.
You are also not covered for any injuries that occur on company time when you are not actively working.
Your Illness or Injury Must Not Be Caused By Willful Misconduct
Workers’ compensation insurance denies claims for accidents resulting from employee misconduct.
This includes injuries related to alcohol or drug abuse, horseplay, fighting, or willful acts of third parties due to personal reasons.
For a free legal consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer serving Valdosta, call (404) 888-8888
Compensation Offered By Your Insurance Company May Be Insufficient
Georgia bases workers’ compensation payments on:
- A doctor’s determination of how severe your injuries are
- Whether a doctor believes you have met what’s known as “maximum medical improvement”
If the doctors feel your injuries are minor or you are no longer improving with treatment, your workers’ compensation insurance company requires the doctor to report back. Questionable medical reports from the doctors chosen by your employer or insurance company may mean a denial or cessation of benefits.
Worse yet, claims are wrongly denied every day due to issues as small as processor errors. Georgia statute O.C.G.A. § 34-9-220 states that workers’ compensation won’t pay benefits for your first seven days out of work unless your injury or illness incapacitates you for 21 consecutive days.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
It is always in an insurance company’s best interest to restrict payouts to the bare minimum required so they can improve their bottom line.
Living on lower or no income with long-term catastrophic injuries may cause great financial strain for you and your family. You can appeal a denial of benefits, but building a case by yourself can be difficult and takes time. Committing to a case while sick or in pain may feel like too much to handle.
Having someone in your corner who understands state labor laws, like one of our lawyers, is often beneficial and provides you with support during a stressful time. You should be focusing on your recovery. Our firm will fight for you.
Valdosta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Near Me (404) 888-8888
How do You Get Approved for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Your first step in applying for workers’ compensation benefits is filing an accident report with your work supervisor. Any illness or injury not reported within 30 days may no longer be eligible for benefits. Your employer’s insurance company will then investigate your claim and file a report with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation within 21 days.
The state lets you file a notice of the claim within a year of the reported injury and request a hearing to determine your benefits. While you can negotiate on your own, calculating a settlement for serious injuries or appealing a denied claim may be beyond your scope.
Hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer with a better understanding of potential benefits can strengthen your case.
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Is It Worth Getting a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Valdosta?
We take pride in our ability to help injured workers and bereaved families fight for fair compensation. We have won millions for Georgia employees by representing their claim against insurance companies that only had their own best interests in mind. Do you want your settlement to reach its best potential?
Some of our highest settlements for work-related injuries include:
- $2M in a workers’ compensation case involving traumatic brain injury
- $1.9M in a workers’ compensation case involving paralysis
- $500K in a workers’ compensation case involving amputation
- $400K in a workers’ compensation case involving death
- $255K in a workers’ compensation case involving abdominal injury
- $5.25M in a workers’ compensation and third-party personal injury case involving paralysis
We know the ins and outs of Georgia employment and personal injury law, and we understand the importance of keeping a steady income. Whether you work at a small business on West Hill Avenue or a factory on Highway 84, our team can handle your insurance provider so you can relax and focus on recuperating. We work hard to achieve the settlement you deserve and don’t collect a fee unless we win.
Get a Free Consultation for Your Workers’ Compensation Case Today
For a free consultation regarding your work injury or claim, contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at (404) 888-8888. We represent clients throughout Georgia from our centralized office locations.