If you have suffered an injury at work, you may be interested in finding a good workers’ compensation lawyer in Georgia.
To do this, seek a lawyer who lists workers’ compensation in their practice areas. Most attorneys working in this area of the law have knowledge of how workers’ compensation cases operate, the laws that protect employees, and the rights that injured employees have to receive compensation.
Then, call the law firm to discuss their services and how they may be able to help you with your case. Most law firms offer a free, no-obligation consultation to potential clients. This can give you an opportunity to gauge their personality and how you feel about working with them.
You may also want to ask the law firm about their history of handling workers’ compensation cases, the outcomes they have received, and how they usually handle cases with your types of injuries. Educating yourself about the workers’ compensation process beforehand can also help you decide what lawyer is right for you.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
The majority of businesses in the state of Georgia must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Technically, the state requires any business with three or more employees—including part-time employees—to carry this type of insurance.
Workers’ compensation insurance is designed to protect businesses and employees, should the employee suffer an injury or illness while on the job. Some of the benefits of this coverage include:
- Business benefits: workers’ compensation is designed to prevent the need for lawsuits to be filed against a business after an injury that could potentially leave the business struggling to continue operations.
- Employee benefits: employees receive protection from the financial fallout of injuries suffered on the job, while also ensuring they receive the medical care to recover.
Accordingly, workers’ compensation in Georgia operates on a no-fault system. This means that even if a worker caused or contributed to their accident—for example, by dropping a glass that cut their arm—they may still be liable for compensation.
Limitations for Workers’ Compensation
Even if an employee was at work when the injury occurred, there are some items that workers’ compensation insurance may not cover in Georgia, including:
- A personal fight resulting in injuries
- Injuries suffered after the employee had been drinking alcohol or taking drugs
- An injury the employee purposefully causes to himself or herself
A workers’ compensation claim may be rejected if one of these scenarios caused the injuries. Other times, a claim may be denied because of an issue with the application process that can be remedied, or for a wrongful reason that can be challenged.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can advise you about whether your case qualifies under state law for this insurance coverage. If your case has been rejected, your lawyer can help you appeal the decision.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
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Following Workers’ Compensation Rules
One of the most confusing aspects for an employee after suffering an injury on the job can be making sure he or she follows all of the rules required to file a workers’ compensation claim. Without following the proper rules, the employee runs the risk of having a claim denied.
Some of the steps and injured employee should follow include:
Inform the employer: the employee must tell the employer about the injury as soon as possible, which starts the process of the employer filing the paperwork. This may need to be done within 30 days of the accident.
See a doctor: the injured party needs to see a doctor for a full diagnosis of the injuries, as well as for a set of steps to follow for attempting to recover from the injuries. There may be specific instructions for this step according to your employer’s workers’ compensation plan.
A lawyer may be able to help you in the early stages of your case by offering guidance and ensuring your claim stays on track and follows state law.
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Understanding What Could Cause a Denial of a Claim
Occasionally, a workers’ compensation claim may be denied. Sometimes, the person reviewing the claim may not believe your injuries are as serious as you are claiming. Other times, you may make a mistake in filing your claim, resulting in a denial. Some examples of why a claim could be denied include:
- Ignoring a doctor’s advice: if you skip appointments or fail to follow the doctor’s advice for recovery, it may indicate your injuries are not as serious as initially believed.
- Not disclosing accurate information: if you hide a pre-existing condition or exaggerate your injuries, you could face a denial.
- Application error: if you make an error with your paperwork, your claim can be denied.
Appealing a Denial of Benefits
If you receive a denial of workers’ compensation benefits, you have the right to appeal the decision. First, you are allowed to appeal your case before a judge at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC). If that judge rules to again deny you benefits, you are allowed a second appeal before the Appellate Division.
A lawyer working on your case can examine your denial letter and help you formulate an appeal when they represent you. This may include gathering new evidence in your defense, such as medical expert testimony.
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers May Be Able to Represent You
Bader Scott Injury Lawyers defends the rights of injured workers in the Atlanta area. We understand the Georgia workers’ compensation system and its laws. Whether you want help starting a new claim, or if your application was denied and you would like representation during your appeal, our team may be able to fight on your behalf.
Call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today at (404) 888-8888 for a free case review with a member of our team. We can help you understand if a workers’ compensation lawyer in Georgia from our firm may be a good fit for you as part of this call.