Workers’ compensation is supposed to benefit workers and their families if they get injured on the job. This system was originally designed to be simple, fast, and straightforward. Unfortunately, there are many situations where getting benefits is anything but easy. You need a Stone Mountain workers’ compensation lawyer to help.
John Foy & Associates has helped thousands get workers’ compensation benefits. Just last year in 2020, Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s statistics showed more than 30,000 indemnity claims made for workplace injuries. You’re not alone in your pursuit of a settlement. Call us and get your free consultation today.
What Should I Do After a Workplace Injury in Stone Mountain?
If you get injured at work, you must initiate the process to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Although your employer will tell you about your benefits, you have to take specific steps to ensure you get those benefits. You should take the following steps after your injury.
Notify Your Employers as Soon as Possible
You should tell your employer what happened as soon as you can after the accident. In true emergencies, don’t worry about talking to your employer before calling 911. If matters are life and death, get medical attention before anything else.
Just be sure to tell the emergency medical personnel that your injury happened at work, if possible. In most non-emergency circumstances, you should talk to your employer before you see a doctor. Your employer should point you in the right direction to get the medical care you need.
Get Medical Help
Most employers have a specific clinic or doctor that they use. But, you can often choose among several doctors to get care as well. Your employer should have a list of available doctors or other medical professionals in or around the City of Stone Mountain that you can see for your work injury. Again, be sure to tell the doctor that you are visiting because of a work injury.
Never Lie to Your Employer or Doctor
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. That means that even if the accident was your fault, you should still be able to get medical care and workers’ compensation benefits. You should be truthful in telling the doctor about what happened in the accident, even if the incident was completely your fault.
Being straightforward and honest with your doctor will not only ensure that you get the care you need, but it’s also a good idea for your workers’ compensation case. This is also not the time to downplay your injuries. Instead, talk to your doctor about everything that you think is a result of the accident. You should always be thorough and truthful.
Retain All of Your Records
Your medical records will be vital in your case. But, notes that you take yourself will also be useful. For example, make notes about your recovery, any conversations with your employer, and what you are doing at work.
Make a list of anyone who may have seen your accident and get their contact information. Keep in mind that by the time you have to go to court for your situation, another employee may not be working at the same job as you anymore.
Speak to a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Having an experienced lawyer take a look at your claim will help ensure that you’re getting the benefits you should after your accident. You may not realize all of the benefits you are entitled to receive, and your attorney can help you determine what kind of benefits you should be getting.
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How Will a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help Me?
The Stone Mountain worker’s compensation lawyers at our law firm can help you in several ways:
- Understanding the merits of your case and all of the legal options available to you
- Handle the insurance company to ensure that they don’t cheat you out of your settlement
- Assist you in gathering evidence and witness testimony that strengthens the value of your claim
- Calculate all of your damages to ensure nothing gets left out
- Review all deals and offers so that they’re fair and not one-sided
- Handle all of your communications with other parties
It may seem unnecessary to hire a lawyer for a workers’ compensation claim, but the truth is that you have a better chance of getting the settlement you rightfully deserve with one. Unfortunately, insurance companies never play fair and often try to get you to settle for less. We can help you even out the odds against them so you can get properly compensated for your damages.
What Kind of Benefits Should I Receive from Workers’ Compensation?
The benefits that you’re entitled to receive under work comp will depend on the type and severity of your injury. Generally, a worker will get the following benefits after a work injury:
- Medical care. Your employer must provide you with medical care to treat your work injury. This includes initial treatment and any follow-up care, surgeries, or rehabilitation you may need.
- Temporary benefits. While you’re recovering and unable to go to work, you should get temporary benefits. These weekly benefits are supposed to cover a portion of your wages while you’re not permitted to return to work for medical reasons.
- Permanent benefits. In many situations, a work injury will result in permanent impairment to your body which gets converted into a percentage, and your employer or its insurance company should pay a specific number of weeks of benefits based on this percentage. This portion of work comp cases is the most contested.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to get additional benefits as well. For example, in some situations, vocational rehabilitation or job training may be available to you.
Keep in mind that you may be able to get benefits even if your work injury isn’t immediately apparent. This is because workers’ compensation covers gradual injuries or illnesses as well, including problems associated with overuse, chronic illnesses, or diseases.
What doesn’t Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation typically doesn’t cover:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish or emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
There are exceptions to this rule. In some cases, if you can establish a link between these damages to your physical injuries, then it’s possible that you can get compensated for them. However, this isn’t an easy task and will usually require the expertise of a lawyer.
The Statute of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims in Stone Mountain
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) §34-9-82 has a general statute of limitations of one year for workers’ compensation claims. However, don’t get fooled by this one-year time frame. You shouldn’t assume that you have plenty of time to get started.
You don’t want to waste any time filing your claim. Remember, the insurance company can use the amount of time passed against you. They might counter your claim by saying you weren’t seriously injured enough for any compensation since you waited so long to report.
The faster you inform your employer and begin the claims process, the better your chances are for a fair settlement. If the insurance company is giving you a hard time, let our lawyers give you the legal assistance you need to win.
Talk to a Stone Mountain Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
Do you think your workers’ compensation benefits seem low? Do you disagree with what your doctor is recommending? Are you worried about your future and being able to work? Then, sit down with the Stone Mountain workers’ compensation lawyers here at John Foy & Associates. Contact us for your free consultation today.