From your first day on the job in the state of Georgia, you are eligible for workers’ compensation. This means that if you are injured on the job, you are entitled to medical care and a paycheck while you recover. Workers’ compensation was set up to help you, not punish anyone else.
Once you get hurt, contact our workers’ compensation attorneys in Atlanta at John Foy & Associates so that we can represent your interests. We can help you navigate this intricate system, and you don’t have to pay our workers’ compensation lawyers unless you win.
Atlanta Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Navigating Georgia’s workers’ comp system can be tricky following a work-related injury. Get the answers to your frequently asked questions from a knowledgeable Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney.
How Do You Know if You Are Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
If you were hurt on the job, there’s a good chance that you will be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, in Georgia, you must have a physical injury to be eligible.
If you have an emotional injury along with a physical wound, you also may be eligible for psychiatric care. For example, if you have been assaulted on the job by a coworker, supervisor, or client, you may have emotional after-effects.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you may be entitled to a full salary award. A workers’ compensation attorney can review your claim and best advise you on your next steps.
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Employer Obligations to Provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Your employer is legally obligated to purchase workers’ compensation insurance if his or her business has three or more employees, including the owner. The insurance carrier or a third-party administrator is the party responsible for paying out benefits.
There aren’t supposed to be adversaries in your pursuit of benefits, but sometimes, there are. Some doctors try to send people back to work too soon, and employers cast doubt on your injuries.
As an Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer at our firm puts it: “Insurance companies know the rules. Attorneys know the rules. You don’t know the rules. Let us help you navigate this system.” Insurance carriers have attorneys helping them long before anyone gets hurt. They know exactly what to do and how to save their company as much money as possible.
Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Near Me 404-400-4000
If You Are an Independent Contractor, Can You Sue for Workers’ Compensation?
Even if you are labeled an independent contractor and receive a W-9 for tax purposes, you may well qualify for workers’ compensation. Says one of our top attorneys, “In nine out of 10 cases, the worker is eligible for coverage.”
Let a workers’ compensation lawyer determine if you are eligible. State and federal labor laws can be complex and difficult to understand. Plus, mistakes can be extremely costly, especially when you are injured and depend on this compensation in order to survive and recuperate.
What Do You Have to Do to File a Workers’ Compensation Case in Atlanta?
First, you must inform your employer that you have been injured on the job. You have 30 days to do this, and you may have already told a supervisor or coworker who should have contacted your manager. Second, we urge you to contact an attorney to help you navigate this process.
Do not give any recorded statements or sign any papers, either for your employer or their insurance company, without first contacting an attorney. By law, you are not required to give insurance companies or employers a recorded statement.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Atlanta always recommend against giving a recorded statement that will undoubtedly be used against you.
The point of workers’ compensation is to get you back on your feet. There may be undue pressure for you to return to work before you are able.
Seeing Your Doctor Can Improve Your Chances of Receiving a Fair Settlement in an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Case
There are mistakes you can avoid making that could otherwise compromise your chances of receiving a fair settlement in your workers’ compensation case.
For one thing, don’t miss your doctor’s appointments, and don’t ignore your doctor’s advice. It may be difficult to prove you are suffering from a serious accident-related injury if you aren’t seeing your doctor in an effort to treat it.
Keep copies of any and all medical documentation you receive, including prescriptions, to help you prove you are, in fact, receiving treatment. Not only does this prove the extent of how much treatment you need and that you aren’t exaggerating your injuries, but you also have a record of your expenses which you can include in your claim for reimbursement purposes.
Further, make sure to disclose any and all pre-existing conditions from which you suffer. If anything comes up later on that you failed to disclose, the insurance company may decide that you were hiding your condition because your injuries were actually related to your condition, not the accident, and you were looking for a payout based on fraud.
What Is the Average Workers’ Comp Settlement in Georgia?
The amount of compensation you can receive in a workers’ comp settlement depends on several items. First, the amount you get is typically two-thirds of your salary, capped at $675 per week. Many settlements reflect that value, but there could be additional factors that impact how much your case is worth.
For this reason, it’s difficult to estimate a true average of workers’ compensation settlements. When you consult with a skilled workers’ comp attorney, they can help you better understand exactly how much you should get in any settlement related to your injury.
For a free legal consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer serving Atlanta, call 404-400-4000
What Are You Eligible for in a Workers’ Compensation Case?
In a workers’ compensation claim, you are eligible for:
- A weekly paycheck. If a doctor takes you off the job for seven or more days, you are entitled to two-thirds of your weekly paycheck, capped at $675. Workers’ compensation is tax-exempt, so your take-home pay may not change. If you are able to work at a less physically demanding job and earn less than you were before, you may be eligible for part of that difference.
- Medical treatment and most associated costs, including transportation. However, your medical treatment must be provided by a panel of at least six physicians. Your employer must provide information on this panel.
- If you are permanently injured, according to the American Medical Association guidelines, you are entitled to some sort of payment. This is called a permanent or partial disability rating.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Workers’ Compensation Case in Atlanta?
Yes, there is a time limit to file a case—that is one year from the date of your accident. If you receive medical treatment – it is one year from the last time you received medical treatment paid for by the workers’ compensation carrier and it is two years from the date you received a check for workers’ compensation.
You have 30 days to report your injury to your employer. However, that definition can be very broad and a verbal conversation is often enough to qualify for a report. A workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta can help sort out these details.
How Long Does It Take to Settle a Workers’ Comp Case in Georgia?
Unfortunately, there is no solid answer to this question. Your workers’ compensation claim in Atlanta can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months and even more than a year. While many employers are understanding, insurance companies and opposing attorneys may try to drag out proceedings in an effort not to pay (or to pay you too little).
That’s why it’s often important to have a workers’ comp attorney to help you fight for the money you deserve. Very few people have enough savings to stay out of work for months or more with no income. In some cases, the opposing side will try to use this financial pressure to get you to settle for less than the proper amount.
Why Should You Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
“Imagine that you are trying to get from Point A to Point B, you’ve never been there before and you don’t have a map.” That’s how one of our top attorneys describes navigating workers’ compensation without legal help.
Workers’ compensation is an administrative system with very strict rules about what rights you have if you are injured on the job. Insurance companies and employers are very well versed in the rules of the system. You are not.
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at John Foy & Associates have been practicing in this arena for more than 25 years. We can help you through this intricate system. We can help you get to doctors whose main purpose is to facilitate your recovery and won’t release you back to work before you are actually recovered.
Will You Have to Testify Against Your Boss?
Many people feel guilty about “harming” a boss’ business, but you are not going after an employer. You are trying to enforce a right that you are entitled to under the course of the law. And hopefully, your boss will be on your side throughout this process.
We prepare every case as if we are going to court. But often we are able to come to an agreement long before anyone appears in front of a judge. Workers’ compensation cases are treated differently from personal injury claims.
The court provides expedited hearings within six to eight weeks because the system is set up to protect and compensate you as quickly as possible.
What Should You Do if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that your workers’ compensation claim will be approved. The insurance company may ultimately decide that you haven’t provided enough evidence to support your claim, or that your injuries may have resulted from a preexisting condition. Now what? All hope is not lost – you may still be able to recoup compensation.
A workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta will get to work on helping you file an appeal, which may then proceed to a hearing. If you are granted a hearing, a judge will then hear both sides of the case and decide whether to award or deny your claim.
In an appeal, your attorney can help in a variety of ways:
- Gathering and preserving additional evidence of your injury
- Speaking with eyewitnesses of the event that injured you
- Providing notification to your employer and their insurance company
- Filing your appeal within the appropriate time frame
- Arguing your case before the judge
Contact an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
At John Foy & Associates, we have decades of experience as workers’ comp lawyers. We have the ability and knowhow to help you navigate your case, gather evidence of your injury and its causation, negotiate with opposing parties, and even appeal a denial.
Don’t wait until the one-year deadline has passed and you lose the right to the compensation you’ve earned as a worker. Let us know about your case in a FREE consultation by filling out the case evaluation form on our contact page or calling our office today.
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys work on contingency as well, which means you pay us nothing unless and until you get the compensation you need.