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 are recovering. Workers compensation was set up to help you, not punish anyone else. There aren’t supposed to be adversaries, but sometimes there are as doctors try to send people back to work too soon and employers cast doubt on your injuries. The system is also very complicated. As one of our attorneys at John Foy & Associates puts it: “Insurance companies know the rules. Attorneys know the rules. You don’t know the rules. Let us help you navigate this system.”
Our Workers Compensation Attorneys can help you manage through this intricate system. Give our office a call at 404-400-4000 for free advice.
What is Workers Compensation?
Worker’s compensation is a system whereby if you get hurt on the job, you are entitled to:
- Medical treatment, including hospital stays, paid for by the insurance company of your employer
- Temporary total disability benefit if your doctor takes you out of work for the statutory amount of time.
- Physical therapy
- Necessary travel expenses.
You may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation. Each state’s laws about workers compensation are different, that’s why it’s important for you to contact an attorney who specializes in Georgia law.
How do I know if I am 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, then you also may be eligible for psychiatric care. For example, if you have been assaulted on the job by a co-worker, supervisor or client, you may have emotional aftereffects.
What are the typical reasons for workers compensation?
Workers Compensation cases can occur in any type of work. It should be no surprise that working on a construction site can be dangerous. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration, carefully monitors on-the-job injuries and calls for an end to the “Fatal Four” reasons for death on the job: falls, electrocutions, “Struck by Object” and “Caught-in/between.”
But anyone can be injured at work. These are typical injuries:
- Back / Neck Injuries
- Hearing Loss
- Joint Pain
- Slip and Fall
- Construction accidents
- Accidents while traveling for business
- Accidents while working with machinery or tools.
What do I have to do to have 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 attorneys at John Foy & Associates 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 you feet. There may be undue pressure for you to return to work before you are able.
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 worker’s compensation carrier and it is two years from the date you received a check for worker’s 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 at John Foy & Associates can help sort out these details. Call us at 404-400-4000.
Who is the responsible party in a workers compensation case?
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. Remember that these 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. Once you get hurt, contact a Workers Compensation Attorney so we can represent your interests.
Will I be suing my employer? Will I have to testify against my 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.
At John Foy & Associates, 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.
I am an independent contractor–can I 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 our workers compensation experts determine if you are eligible.
What am I 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 then you are entitled to two-thirds of your weekly paycheck, capped at $550. 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 earning less than you were before, then you may be eligible for part of that difference.
- Medical treatment and most associated costs, including transportation. However, your medical treatment must be provided from a panel of at least six physicians. Your employer must provide information on this panel.
- If you are permanently injured, according the American Medical Association guidelines, you are entitled to some sort of payment. This is called a permanent or partial disability rating.
Why should I hire a Workers Compensation Lawyer?
“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 a 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 attorneys 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 it to facilitate your recovery and won’t release you back to work before you are actually recovered.
Give us a call at 404-400-4000 for a free consultation.