Not all workers’ compensation cases end in settlements. The success of your workers’ compensation case will depend on the evidence that supports it. If you can connect an injury to work-related activities and your employer has this coverage, then you may be owed compensation. However, you may also be denied benefits if, for example, there is insufficient evidence to prove causality between your injuries and your work.
If you have problems bringing your workers’ compensation claim to fruition, consider working with our team. We have successfully secured benefits for injured workers in the past, and we would be happy to assist you.
Do All Workers Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
No, not everyone qualifies for benefits. Per the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, most workplaces with three or more employees must provide workers’ compensation insurance – including part-time workers. However, this law does not apply to everyone.
Your lawyer from our firm can determine whether you qualify for benefits and take the appropriate steps to secure compensation.
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What Evidence Could Support a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
As noted, the success of your case will hinge on its supporting evidence. You need to prove that you were injured while working and that you were not intoxicated or “horseplaying” at the time of the incident. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, meaning you could get benefits even if you contributed to your injuries.
Evidence that could support your case includes:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Photos of the accident scene and your injuries
- Videos of the incident itself (if possible)
- Medical reports and test results
- The statements from an approved healthcare provider
You might have some of this information on hand. If not, your lawyer from our team can secure evidence for you.
Why Could Your Claim be Denied?
Just because you filed a workers’ compensation claim does not immediately mean you will get benefits. There are numerous reasons why your claim could be denied, such as:
Your Injuries did not Happen on the Job
You must have been actively working at the time of your incident to recover damages. So, for instance, if you swung by your workplace to visit a co-worker and you suffered injuries, you could not file a claim because you weren’t on the clock. While you could file a third-party liability claim or lawsuit, this legal action would fall outside of the workers’ compensation realm.
Your Injuries will not Require You to Miss a Week of Work
Your injuries must cause you to miss work for a week before you can start receiving benefits. If your injuries heal or do not interfere with your ability to work, the insurer could dismiss your claim.
You were Intoxicated at the Time of the Incident
Being intoxicated does not just refer to alcohol use; it refers to any altered state of mind caused by a substance, including prescription medications. If your employer believes that intoxication of any kind led to your condition, they could reject your case.
You were Engaged in Horseplay at the Time of the Incident
Horseplay can be defined as “willful misconduct” on the job. According to Emory University’s definition, horseplay can pertain to:
- Improperly using mechanical equipment
- Racing motor vehicles
- Competing in games, competitions, or contests not approved by your employer
- Engaging in physical contact, like roughhousing or wrestling
- Social pressure
Our law firm will argue that you deserve benefits. We can do this by presenting witness statements, consulting with accident reconstruction specialists, and reviewing your medical records.
How Much Can You Get for Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?
A fixed, formula-based rating scale helps determine your settlement. It will take into consideration the nature of your injuries, the salary or wages you earned before your injury, and how long your injuries are expected to last. It will also evaluate how much of an effect your injuries will have on your ability to work in the future.
Workers’ compensation settlements typically cover medical bills, doctor’s fees, rehabilitation and therapy expenses, the cost of medicine, and other treatment-related costs. It also provides the injured worker with two-thirds of his or her weekly salary up to a limit of $675 per week for as long as he or she is unable to work.
You Could Qualify for Lifetime Benefits
Permanent or life-changing injuries that limit the victim’s ability to perform basic tasks or work in a gainfully employed capacity may warrant lifetime benefits. These benefits are determined using a state-approved formula that calculates benefits based on the severity of the victim’s injuries and the impact that those injuries have on the victim’s livelihood and quality of life.
Are Settlements Negotiable?
In some cases, the victim may believe that the benefits provided using the formula are unfair or inadequate to compensate for the bodily harm suffered. In instances such as these, the victim can seek a higher payout via discussions with the employer’s insurer.
Whether or not the insurance company agrees to a higher payout depends on the evidence the victim presents and how he or she negotiates with the insurance adjusters. The victim may be able to receive a lump sum amount or a payment plan.
You Could File a Third-Party Claim or Lawsuit
If you were injured on the job due to negligence, you might have means of seeking damages other than workers’ compensation. You could file an injury claim or lawsuit to secure financial recovery. The at-fault party in your case could be a:
- Property owner
- Government agency
- Product manufacturer
- Healthcare provider
Workers’ compensation generally covers your medical bills and a portion of your lost income. It does not cover non-economic damages, like pain and suffering. However, you can pursue this expense through a civil lawsuit. Our team can explain the feasibility of this option and handle your case accordingly.
Explore Your Options in a Free Case Review
If you are not sure if your workers’ compensation claim will end in a settlement, you may want to seek legal representation. Our firm can gather the evidence needed to support your claim and represent you in any workers’ compensation hearings.
Connect with Bader Scott Injury Lawyers by calling (404) 888-8888 for a free consultation.