Almost every worker in Brunswick who is injured on the job is entitled to workers compensation benefits. Under workers compensation (or workers comp), all the costs of your injury are paid for. However, actually receiving those benefits, even though you are entitled to them as an employee, are not always so easy. For example; the insurance company providing the workers’ comp might try to pay out less than you really need.
This can leave you with less than sufficient funds to cover your medical bills and other damages while you’re out of work and recovering. To protect yourself, it’s important to work with a Brunswick personal injury lawyer after you’ve suffered a work injury.
At John Foy & Associates, we’ve helped countless injured workers get the full workers’ comp benefits they need to cover their expenses and provide for their families while they’re away from work recovering. With more than 20 years of experience, we know how to handle these types of cases.
And working with us is risk-free: we don’t charge you a thing unless we win you money. For a FREE consultation to talk about your workers’ compensation case, contact us today. Call 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to your right for the free consultation.
Are All Workers Automatically Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Not all workers in Brunswick are covered by workers compensation insurance, but most should be. Your employer is the one who carries the workers’ compensation insurance, but when you make a claim, the insurer (not the employer) pays for it.
In the State of Georgia, any employer with three or more employees must offer workers comp insurance to their workers. So, chances are you are covered unless you work for a very small company, are self-employed, or work as a contractor (although there are exceptions to that too).
That being said, it’s surprisingly common for employers to never get workers comp insurance even if they were supposed to have it. That’s why it’s always good to talk with a workers compensation lawyer if you’re told there’s no workers comp after a work injury. If your employer was supposed to have the insurance but doesn’t, you can take legal action against them.
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Are All Injuries that Happen At Work Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Almost all injuries that occur at work are covered. There can be some exceptions, though. Workers comp generally won’t cover injuries that result from an employee using illegal drugs or being drunk. Situations where coverage may be denied also include if injuries happen when the employee:
- Was committing a serious crime
- Was not on the job
- Had self-inflicted injuries or started a fight
- When the employee’s actions were violating company policy
Some of these can be a gray area, especially if your employer or the insurance company tries to make claims about the injury situation that wasn’t true. If you feel an exception for workers comp coverage is being used against you, contact a workers compensation lawyer right away.
Otherwise, there are two main criteria you must typically meet to make a workers comp claim:
- You must have been injured.
- That injury must have occurred while on the job (even if you were doing something that wasn’t related to your job duties).
A workers compensation claim is different from a traditional insurance claim for one big reason: fault doesn’t matter. In regular personal injury cases, the at-fault party’s insurance is responsible for paying damages. But with workers compensation, the fault isn’t even considered. That means you don’t need to blame or accuse anyone, including your employer, for the injuries. If they happened at work, they should be covered.
However, to be covered, you do need to show that your injury happened while at work. You’ll also need to provide medical records to demonstrate the severity of your injuries.
I Was Injured While Working, But It Wasn’t On-Site. Am I Covered?
This is often a gray area that, to be sure, you’ll need to discuss with your lawyer. In some situations, you can still make a claim if you weren’t at your employer’s place of business but were still working or “on the job.” Situations that might count include:
- Attending an event or meeting for work
- Working off-site somewhere, such as doing work while you’re out of town
- Using a company vehicle
- Running an errand for your employer
Injuries that happen while commuting to and from work are typically not covered because you weren’t yet at work during that time. But if you had arrived at work and sustained an injury in the parking lot of your work, that might qualify.
Is It True I Won’t Be Able to Choose My Own Doctor?
Most of the time, yes. Under most workers comp policies, you’ll have to choose from a list of doctors or clinics chosen by the insurer. This is important to find out for sure because if there is a list and you go to a doctor outside of it, you might not get reimbursed for your costs.
Do I Need a Lawyer to Handle My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Working with a lawyer for your workers’ compensation claim is highly recommended. That’s because the process can be complicated, and you’ll need to not only act fast but also file your claim correctly to avoid delays in benefits.
Injured workers in Georgia have 30 days from the date of injury to file a “notice of injury” with their employer. But the sooner you can report it, the better, because this step has to happen before you can actually start your workers’ compensation claim.
Next, you’ll need to file a WC-14 form with the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation that will need to include crucial details like:
- Where exactly the injury happened on the work site
- Confirmation of your employment
- Records of your wages
- Proof that your injury happened at work
A workers compensation lawyer can help make this process as stress-free as possible and ensure it’s all completed correctly the first time. They can also help you with steps along the way that help your claim, such as picking the right doctor.
Talk to a Brunswick Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
If you were injured on the job, don’t miss your chance to get full recovery through your employer’s workers compensation policy. If you need help with the process, or are dealing with pushback from your employer or the insurer, our attorneys at John Foy & Associates can help.
We’ve been in this business for over 20 years, and we know how to handle workers comp claims. For a FREE consultation to discuss your options, call us at 404-400-4000, or complete the form to your right.