Most employees in Lawrenceville are covered by workers’ compensation as soon as they walk on the job. Workers’ compensation is designed to protect you in the event of an injury no matter what your profession, title, or pay grade. But that doesn’t mean insurance companies are eager to pay out on your claim.
If you or a member of your family has been injured at work, talk to a personal injury lawyer in Lawrenceville immediately. At John Foy & Associates, we have over 20 years of experience helping injured workers. We have built a reputation as one of the top law firms in the state, and we have the experience and knowledge to take on the insurance companies and win.
What to Do After an Accident in the Workplace
After any accident, your number one priority should always be your own safety. To that end, you should remove yourself from any dangerous situation you might be in and seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Past ensuring your own safety, there are some steps you can take to help your chances of successfully getting workers’ compensation benefits. The key is to act as fast as you can – deadlines for workers’ compensation can be very tight.
After a workplace accident, you should notify your employer as soon as possible. They have to know about the accident for you to start the workers’ compensation process. This has to be done quickly, usually within the month, but the sooner you get started, the better. You should also talk to anyone who saw what happened and get their information.
Then, once you’re safe, contact a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer. You should do this as soon as possible, too. Your attorney will have a limited time to work on your case and make sure that you get the benefits that you deserve.
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When to Hire a Lawrenceville Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Ideally, workers’ compensation goes smoothly for any injured worker, and there is no need to hire a lawyer. That doesn’t always happen, though, and workers often miss out on compensation for reasons that should be preventable.
Unfortunately, insurers typically try to pay the smallest amount possible. They may question what treatment you really need, send you to a doctor you don’t believe has your interests at heart, or even challenge whether the accident happened at work at all. This leaves injured workers struggling to get the benefits they are guaranteed by law when they need them most.
A workers’ compensation attorney in Lawrenceville will be able to represent you and make sure that your rights are being observed. You should contact a lawyer about workers’ compensation as soon as possible if any of the following are true:
- You are being pressured to return to work early
- You have a preexisting condition that may be used to exclude you from benefits
- You have been denied your compensation
- Your ability to work normally has been diminished
- You have been fired after trying to get workers’ compensation
- Your compensation does not cover all your expenses
- A third party was involved in your accident
- The insurance company tries to reduce your compensation
You don’t even necessarily need a reason to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer. We offer free initial consultations for injured workers in Georgia. A lawyer will meet with you to help evaluate the details and weigh the possible benefits of filing a claim.
How Workers’ Compensation Claims Work
Workers’ compensation is supposed to act as a safety net for injured workers. It is a government program with two goals:
- To make sure injured workers get the medical care they need, free of charge
- To do away with the need for slow, expensive lawsuits
To accomplish this, employers are required to carry an insurance policy that protects all workers in the event of a workplace injury. If you get injured on the job, the policy will provide for the costs of your medical care and other essential costs. It can even help you get a paycheck while you recover. The most important things you should know about your claim are:
- Workers’ compensation is not a handout. You helped pay for the policy from your own paycheck. When you are injured, you have a right to use it.
- Workers’ compensation is not a lawsuit against your employer. You have a private claim with the insurance company and it does not affect your job or position.
- Workers’ compensation is your right in any workplace injury. It does not matter who is “at fault.”
According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §34-9-220, as long as you’re out of work for at least seven days, you can get compensation. If your employer or their insurance company is denying your rightful benefits, contact a workers’ comp attorney.
What Workers’ Compensation Pays in Georgia
As a general rule, workers’ compensation should pay 100% of your costs related to your workplace injury. The most common benefits include:
- Any medical care, tests, surgery, or other treatment you need
- The cost of your medication
- Rehabilitation or physical therapy if needed
- Occupational training or other support to help you return to work
- Reimbursement for travel costs to and from your medical appointments
- If needed, a regular paycheck until you can return to work
The paychecks given by workers’ compensation are lower than what you typically make, but they are completely tax-free, and they can be a lifeline if you need weeks or months to recover.
Workers’ compensation can also pay out substantial additional benefits if your injury was serious—for example, if you now have a disability or lifelong condition, or if your loved one passed away from a workplace injury. These are tragic situations and no amount of money can make up for them.
The point of workers’ compensation benefits is to help you and your family remain afloat financially in the aftermath of your loss. You should be able to get financial help after an accident.
Lawrenceville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer FAQs
There are often lots of questions about filing a workers’ comp claim and what the issues might be if you hire an attorney. Here are some of our frequently asked questions at John Foy & Associates about working with a Lawrenceville workers’ compensation lawyer to pursue a claim.
Do I Have to Sue My Employer for Workers’ Compensation?
It’s common in some cases for people to have a level of guilt about the possibility that they may harm the business, especially if they happen to admire their boss. However, your goal is to gain the rights you are already entitled to by law. Your employer isn’t going to be sued by you.
You are negotiating with an insurance company and possibly filing a claim against them. Workmans’ compensation insurance is generally paid for by the employee as a deduction from their own pay. Each case we prepare is handled as though we are going to court, but in these cases we usually come to an agreement with the insurance company.
If we progress to the point where court is necessary, the hearings are expedited so that your case can be heard within eight weeks. The workers affected in these cases are processed faster by the courts so that they can be compensated as soon as possible.
What Types of Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation in Lawrenceville?
Normally, any injury at work is covered by workers’ compensation. This means:
- It doesn’t matter whose fault the injury is
- It doesn’t matter how the injury happened
- The injury is covered even if it’s unrelated to your work duties
- Even tripping and falling on a staircase at work is covered
The most common injuries we see are construction accidents such as electrical shock, falling from a scaffold, being caught between equipment, or having an object fall on you. But claims from any profession are covered, including white-collar work, the service industry, professional drivers, and more.
Lawrenceville workers’ compensation lawyers will help you pursue your case if your compensation is being denied or you believe your rights have been violated.
When does Workers’ Compensation Not Cover Injuries?
The biggest exception to the rule is injuries that don’t happen on-premises at your actual workplace. Normally, if an injury didn’t happen at work, it’s not covered. For example, if you are commuting to work and you get into a car accident, workers compensation will not cover your injury.
But even if it’s off-premises, your injury may still be covered if:
- Your accident happened during business travel
- An accident happened in a company vehicle
- You were injured while running an errand for your job
- You were at a required work meeting off-site and were harmed
- You were injured while working remotely
- Injuries that happen outside on a sidewalk or parking lot are also covered if the property is owned by your employer.
If you were injured in any situation while performing duties for your company, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A Lawrenceville workers’ compensation attorney can help you find out more.
Does Workers’ Compensation Cover Psychological or Emotional Damages?
Yes and no. Workers compensation is focused primarily on physical injuries. Thus, if you suffered emotional trauma from something that happened at work but you were not physically hurt, unfortunately, your condition is not covered. However, if you have psychological trauma related to a physical injury, your treatment is covered.
Is My Job at Risk If I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Law Firm for My Case?
The law protects you and your job. Your employer cannot retaliate against you in any way—including firing you or refusing to promote you. But in practice, these rules rarely come into play.
Your claim is with an insurance company, not with your employer directly, and you do not have to accuse them of any wrongdoing. Often, the employer is very sympathetic and helpful while the insurance company is the one we have to be aggressive with.
How do I Contact the State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?
You may need information or you have not yet filed the initial paperwork for your workers’ comp claim. If you need to learn more about filing or the laws in Georgia, visit their website for more information.
To file a claim, you first need to complete and file a WC-14 by sending it to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, your employer, and their insurance carrier. The address for the board is:
State Board of Workers’ Compensation
270 Peachtree St., NW
Atlanta, GA 30303-1299
Contact a Lawrenceville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today
Your workers’ comp benefits are your right – and they can be the only thing that keeps you afloat if you suffer a costly workplace injury. Let our legal team help you to pursue the compensation you may be legally entitled to.
The Lawrenceville workers’ compensation attorneys with John Foy & Associates have over 20 years of experience, and we offer a consultation at no cost to you to help you get started. Call us or fill out our online contact form and get your free consultation today.