Most employers in Jonesboro are required by law to have workers compensation for their employees. That means that if an employee is injured at work for any reason, the employee has a right to certain benefits—including medical coverage and a paid leave from work. Unfortunately, both employers and the insurance industry play fast and loose with workers compensation, and it’s the injured worker who usually ends up paying the cost. If you have been injured at work, don’t wait until you’ve already been deprived of your rights. Talk to a Jonesboro workers compensation attorney from the start.
John Foy & Associates is the law firm you can count on. We have been assisting injured workers and their families for over 20 years. In that time, we’ve developed a reputation as one of Georgia’s toughest law firms, and a track record of forcing insurers to accept claims and honor the benefits that are owed. Let us give you a FREE consultation with our attorneys to help you start your claim right. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.
I was injured. What do I need to know about workers compensation?
Workers compensation is a system that blends together a government safety net for workers, and the private insurance market. Essentially, the law in Georgia requires most employers to participate in workers compensation (so that virtually all employees are covered), but the actual benefits are handled by insurers, not by the government.
To achieve this, employers are required to carry a special kind of insurance policy known as workers compensation insurance. The policy is designed to cover certain specific benefits (required by law) to employees only if they are injured on the job. Other than that, it works just like most other insurance policies—meaning that the insurer has to evaluate each claim, and can set rules around what is paid out and how.
This system has both advantages and disadvantages for injured workers.
Advantages of workers compensation include:
- Most workers are automatically covered from the day they start their job.
- Employees are protectedfrom retaliation. Your employer cannot fire or demote you because you made a claim.
- You do not have to file a lawsuit to get benefits. You simply make a claim with the insurance company.
However, with these advantages come some big drawbacks, including:
- You may be restricted to using certain doctors, clinics or healthcare providers based on your employer’s insurance.
- Some employers break the law by not carrying workers compensation insurance even though they are required to do so.
- The insurance company can attempt to deny your claim under certain circumstances—even if you were obviously hurt at work.
All of these downsides mean it’s often best to have a lawyer representing you as soon after your injury as possible.
Why do I need a lawyer if I am automatically covered by workers compensation?
Bringing an injury claim to your employer is always a fraught situation—even if they are legitimately working to be as fair as possible. In many cases, the insurance company will look to downplay your claim even if the employer is supportive of you. In other cases, the employer themselves may be skirting the law. Having a lawyer on your side means that you have the power to enforce your rights.
There are three main situations where injured workers tend to want to a personal injury lawyer on their side:
1. The insurer is questioning your workplace injury claim.
This may be for several reasons:
- They claim you weren’t hurt at work. Insurers pretend that workers fake all kinds of injuries, or bring real injuries that happened to home into work to try to get benefits. Statistically speaking, this is almost unheard of, but insurers use it as a tactic to avoid paying claims.
- They claim your injury isn’t severe. This tactic is used to restrict how long you get benefits or what kind of benefits you get. Injured workers can feel especially vulnerable to this, since the insurer is the one who chooses the doctor giving a medical opinion about your injury.
- They attempt to blame you for your injury. In general, workplace injuries are covered no matter how they happened. But there are circumstances where your claim could come under scrutiny if the insurer alleges that you were injured by your own negligence or carelessness. This is a way of attempting to deny covering your injury at all.
2. The employer doesn’t have workers compensation insurance at all.
Either that or they’re being evasive about how to file a claim. If your employer is supposed t have workers compensation coverage and doesn’t, you cannot file an insurance claim but you may have grounds for a lawsuit against your employer themselves.
3. You want to make sure you get the full benefits you deserve.
Workers compensation is a system where the whole power structure is stacked against you. You are expected to follow rules set by the same insurance company that profits if you get paid less. Legally, you have the power to enforce your rights, but only if you understand the system. This is why workers often get a much better outcome with a lawyer on their side than they do alone.
You are not required to have a lawyer to make a workers compensation claim—but it may be the single best thing you can do for yourself after your injury.
Talk to a Jonesboro Workers Compensation Lawyer for Free
Don’t risk missing out on the medical care and benefits you need. Our attorneys have helped injured workers for over 20 years, and we know how to fight insurance companies and win claims. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to set up your free consultation right away.