Getting injured at work in Smyrna can cause a lot of stress. You have to deal with painful injuries and costly treatments to get better. And, you probably have to miss work time as you recover. Workers’ compensation was set up to protect workers from taking on these costs.
However, many workers still struggle to get the full compensation they need, so hiring a Smyrna workers’ compensation attorney is highly recommended. A Smyrna personal injury lawyer can help you with your workers’ compensation claim and ensure the insurance company does not take advantage of you.
The Problem with Compensation Claims in Smyrna
Workers’ compensation, also known as workers’ compensation, was created as insurance employers pay to protect their workers in the event of an injury. Workers’ compensation is also meant to protect employers because it doesn’t allow employees to sue for injuries, and no one can be blamed for what happened.
The problem with workers’ compensation is that insurance companies (not employers) handle the actual claim. Insurance companies care most about their bottom line and routinely look for ways to pay less on injury claims. As an injured worker, you may run into issues like:
- Having your claim denied, even if it was valid
- Being pressured to return to work too soon
- Having claims for certain conditions, such as emotional damages or scarring, denied
- Having lost wages or injury severity undervalued
- Feeling like you cannot seek a second opinion from another doctor, even though it’s your right
The insurance company does not have your best interests in mind. Sometimes, your employer does not either. This is why it’s best to consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer who can make sure your rights are protected as you try to heal from your injuries.
Get the strong arm
Can You Sue Your Employer While on Employee Compensation?
No, if you are approved for workers’ compensation for an on-the-job injury, you cannot sue your employer. The point of workers’ compensation is for your employer not to be legally liable for workplace accidents. When you accept a workers’ compensation settlement, you cede any right to sue your employer for the accident.
However, there could be other parties that you can sue for compensation. In a third-party personal injury claim, you could be able to hold someone else accountable who was at fault for your accident. That could include equipment manufacturers, property owners, or any other party whose negligence led to your injuries.
When you meet with a workers’ compensation attorney in Smyrna for your initial consultation, they will look at your case and tell you who you can get compensation from. If a valid third-party personal injury claim is available, our team will pursue it and ensure every responsible party is held accountable.
Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?
No, in most cases, you cannot get any money for pain and suffering from your workers’ compensation claim. Pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other non-economic damages (damages to your enjoyment of life) are generally only available in normal personal injury cases, not workers’ compensation claims.
Injured workers can only get economic damages (financial losses including medical expenses and lost wages) in workers’ compensation claims. However, if you can pursue a third-party claim, then that could be different, as most third-party claims are standard personal injury cases.
The nuances of workers’ compensation and personal injury law can be confusing. If you have questions about whether workers’ compensation pays for pain and suffering or believe you aren’t getting all the compensation you deserve from your claim, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Smyrna can help.
How Work Injuries Happen in Smyrna
Although certain jobs are more prone to injuries (such as construction or electrical), any work can lead to injuries. Under workers’ compensation laws in Georgia, it does not matter how your injury happened. If it occurred at work, it should be covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
Some examples of situations where injuries may happen at work include the following:
- Injuries from repetitive use of equipment or electronics, including computers
- Truck accidents
- Construction site accidents
- Poorly-maintained equipment
- Falling from ladders or tripping downstairs
- Slip-and-fall accidents
These are just a few examples, but any type of injury may be eligible if it happened at work or, in many situations, while performing work duties elsewhere.
How to Know If Your Company in Smyrna Has Employee Compensation
In Georgia, any business with three or more regular employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This includes those who are full-time, seasonal, or part-time (as long as they are regular).
If the business is an LLC or incorporated, any members or corporate officers also count towards the “three or more” employee requirements (even if they have exempted themselves from coverage).
There are a few exceptions to who must carry this coverage. Those include government agencies, railroad carriers, domestic servants, and farm laborers. Most injured workers are covered.
To check if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you can use the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation (SBWC) online employer’s workers’ compensation coverage verification.
What to Do After an Injury at Your Smyrna Job
If you become injured at work, there are several things you should do to protect your rights to workers’ compensation benefits and begin working on your claim.
Report the Injury
Any injury on the job should be reported to your employer immediately. Tell your supervisor or boss that you were hurt.
You must report the accident as soon as possible. If you wait more than 30 days, you might lose your right to receive medical benefits.
See a Doctor
Under workers’ compensation, you need to initially see a doctor listed under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy. Your employer should provide and post visible information with the names of medical care providers you can use.
Your employer may post a list of at least six doctors you can choose from for your treatment. Sometimes, an exception may be made if the listed doctors are not easily accessible. Be sure to retain all medical records.
Another option the employer has is to provide the name of a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization (WC/MCO) contracted with your employer to provide medical treatment. The Georgia SBWC must approve this organization.
If your employer does not provide information about medical providers after your workplace injury, contact a Smyrna workers’ compensation lawyer immediately for help.
Use your phone or a camera to take pictures of your injuries and the accident scene. It never hurts to have picture evidence as proof of your injuries right after the incident.
Keep Track of Expenses
Keep detailed records of all:
- Medical bills
- Prescription medications
- Travel expenses
- Physical therapy
- Missed work time
All authorized expenses should be eligible for coverage through workers’ compensation. You will want proof of everything you’ve experienced from the work-related injury.
Call a Smyrna Workers’ Compensation Attorney
An experienced injury lawyer can give you the best chance at the full comp benefits you deserve. Workers’ compensation is your right. A good lawyer will be your biggest advocate throughout the entire process.
How Much does an Employee Compensation Law Attorney Cost?
A workers’ compensation lawyer in Smyrna will usually cost you nothing upfront. At least, that’s the case with our personal injury firm. We work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means our payment only comes once your workers’ compensation claim has succeeded.
Our fees are part of your settlement — we don’t want you to pay out of pocket. The most that any lawyer can charge for their services in a workers’ compensation case is 25%, much lower than lawyers usually charge for other personal injury claims.
When you meet with your workers’ comp lawyer, they will discuss their payment before working on your case. Once you two have agreed on what portion of your compensation will go towards legal fees, they will work to ensure you have enough to support yourself and recover from your injuries.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Smyrna for Free
The Smyrna workers’ compensation lawyers at John Foy & Associates make filing a workers’ compensation claim as easy as possible. We can help you compile all the necessary information, attend hearings on your behalf, and make sure your rights are upheld every step of the way.
To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call or contact us online now. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.