Workers’ Comp Lawyer Handling Work Injury Accidents in Columbus Georgia
If you get hurt at work, you expect to be taken care of. You need to know that you’ll be able to take care of your family. You also want to make sure you are able to get the medical treatment you need. Lastly, you shouldn’t have to pay for this yourself. If you were hurt on the job, your worker’s compensation insurance should handle it for you. Sadly, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, people who get hurt at work at left out to dry. Their employer tells them there’s nothing they can do to help. You may even file a worker’s comp claim only to find out it’s denied. Or, your claim is approved but they expect you to go back to work before you’re physically able to do so. If you’ve been injured in a work accident, you need to contact a Columbus workers’ comp attorney.
Workers’ Compensation Hearing
If your worker’s comp claim is denied, you may have to attend a worker’s compensation hearing. Your claim can be denied for many reasons. Perhaps you didn’t file the paperwork correctly. Or maybe the insurance company thinks you weren’t really injured. Regardless, if you believe you are entitled to benefits, your worker’s comp lawyer can file an appeal by requesting a hearing.
At this hearing, the court will determine a few things:
- Were you actually hurt?
- Were you hurt while performing your job and not while doing something else?
- Do your injuries prevent you from doing your job?
- Did you have any pre-existing conditions?
- Did you submit the correct earnings information?
The court considers these factors when reviewing your case. You want to make sure you present all your evidence since this hearing is your only shot at winning your appeal. This is why we suggest you have an experienced Columbus workers’ comp attorney do this for you.
Workers’ Comp Denials
There are several reasons why your workers’ comp claim may be denied. Some can be easily fixed, including:
- Your attendance records are incorrect or incomplete
- Your paperwork has not been completed properly
- You didn’t include your medical records
However, there are many times when it’s not so easy to overcome a workers’ comp denial. These reasons have nothing to do with paperwork. They have to do with the legitimacy of your injuries. These reasons include:
- The insurance company believes you got hurt intentionally
- You may have a pre-existing condition
- The insurance company doesn’t believe you were injured
- They believe your injuries happened somewhere outside of work
- You were behaving outside the scope of your employment
- You were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of your injury
If your claim has been denied for any of these reasons, you are going to want to retain a workers’ comp lawyer.
What are Workers’ Comp Benefits in Georgia?
Georgia is similar to most states when it comes to workers’ comp benefits. In Georgia, you are entitled to the following benefits under workers’ compensation:
- Medical benefits – You are entitled to have your medical care covered under workers’ comp in Georgia. You are not required to pay co-pays or fees. Your prescriptions must be covered under these benefits. You should not have to put out any money for your medical care. If this is not the case, contact your workers’ comp attorney in Columbus immediately.
- Wage Loss Benefits – this is the money you will receive to replace your ordinary wages. There are two types of wage loss benefits: temporary total disability benefits (TTD) and temporary partial disability benefits (TPD)
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits – This money you will receive long-term to compensate you for whatever permanent disability the work-related accident caused.
In order to protect your rights, you want to have a worker’s comp attorney handle your claim.
Workers’ Comp Death Benefits in Columbus
Sadly, some work injuries and illnesses result in death. In Georgia, the family members of the deceased have a right to collect death benefits under worker’s compensation. In order to collect death benefits, you must prove the following:
- The death was an immediate result of the work-related accident. For a work illness case, the illness must have caused the death of the employee.
- Compensation is limited to the employee’s immediate family and dependents
If you are eligible to collect workers comp death benefits in Georgia, you are entitled to the following:
- Up to $7,500 to cover the employee’s funeral and burial expenses
- Employee’s dependents are entitled to collect two-thirds of the employee’s salary per week up to $575 per week
- The length of these benefits depends on the employee’s age
Many death benefit cases settle so that the family can receive a lump sum upfront rather than collect benefits weekly. Your workers’ comp attorney in Columbus can explain how this related to your case.
Are you Entitled to Permanent Disability Benefits in Georgia?
If you are seriously injured, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits in Georgia. It depends on the nature and severity of your injuries. It also depends on whether or not the court believes you are able to work. Basically, in order to qualify for permanent partial disability, you have to prove that you have lost the ability to use a certain part of your body.
Permanent partial disability benefits do not kick in until you have exhausted your temporary benefits. If you are awarded permanent disability benefits, you will receive the following:
- Up to 2/3 of your regular wages per week
- Helps cover the cost of living, medical bills, and lost wages
- Your doctors and the court will determine how many weeks of benefits you are entitled to
You have to remember – insurance companies are reluctant to award anyone permanent benefits. They would rather either settle your case or argue that you are not permanently disabled. Having workers compensation lawyers by your side will give you a fighting chance. You don’t want to go up against the insurance company and their lawyer alone.
What Types of Injuries are Covered Under Your Workers Comp Claim?
Your workers’ comp attorney in Columbus is going to have to determine the extent of your injuries. He will do this with the help of your doctors. There are dozens of types of work-related accidents. This means there are dozens of types of work accident injuries. It’s important that you identify your injuries early on so your lawyer can get you full compensation. If you wait too long to get checked out, the insurance company is going to deny your claim.
Immediately, following your work accidents, you need to seek medical treatment. Your Human Resources manager should help you do this. You will have to be treated by the insurance company’s workers comp doctor. If you go to your own doctor, you may risk having your claim denied. It’s important that you follow company policy regarding work-related accidents. You don’t want to give the insurance company a reason to deny you coverage.
Some of the most common injuries from work-related accidents include:
One of the most common work injuries is a back injury. It can happen while you’re doing almost anything. Sometimes, it’s caused by repetitive motion or lifting. Perhaps you lifted something too heavy and pulled your back. A lot of work-related back injuries involve disc issues. You may suffer a herniated or bulging disc. These injuries are painful and often times require surgery. At a minimum, they will require extensive physical therapy.
If you are injured at work, you must report your injury to Human Resources right away. They should send you out for immediate treatment to one of the insurance company’s doctors. Their doctor will continue to treat you throughout your workers’ compensation claim period. He’ll determine whether or not you need surgery, physical therapy or chiropractic care. You may need all three. You may also be placed on a pain management program that prevents you from performing your job safely.
Make sure you follow your doctor’s instructions. If you don’t, you may compromise your claim. If you don’t go to your doctor appointments or don’t complete therapy, you could lose your workers’ compensation benefits. Let your attorney know about all your appointments and treatment instructions. He will probably need this information if there are any issues with your claim down the road. He’ll also need it if you have to file suit.
People don’t think about how easy it is to sustain an eye injury until after it happens. Eye injuries can be caused by chemicals, light, or instruments. If you get poked in the eye with something sharp or abrasive, it may scratch your cornea. This kind of injury usually requires surgery. This can result from something as simple as unloading a crate of supplies or walking into a sharp object.
Chemical burns are also common types of eye injuries. Depending on what type of work you do, your eyes may be exposed to dangerous chemicals and fumes. Our eyes are very sensitive. Even if you’re wearing the proper protective equipment, you can suffer chemical burns to your eyes. These, again, can require surgery or long-term treatment.
If you can’t see, you can’t work. It’s that simple. Thankfully, most eye injuries heal over time. However, you’re entitled to compensation for any work-related eye injuries you sustain. Your workers’ comp attorney in Columbus will make sure you get the compensation you deserve.
If you handle explosives or work in demolition work, you are at high risk of suffering from hearing damage. This is true for factory and warehouse workers as well. Anyone who is, is subjected to constant noise all day can sustain hearing damage. Although hearing damage isn’t as common as other work-related injuries, it can be just as serious.
Damage to your hearing is often permanent. It may not be reparable. It really depends on how early you catch the injury. Some hearing damage takes years or decades to build up. If this is the case, there’s not much a doctor can do to fix it. If you find that your hearing loss is permanent, you will have to apply for permanent disability after your temporary workers’ comp benefits expire. Your workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help you do this.
The biggest issue with occupational diseases is that, by the time you realize you have one, the disease may have progressed to a dangerous point. This is very true for diseases such as mesothelioma. Exposure to certain toxins causes different types of cancers. As much as cancer treatment has improved over the years, there is no disease more serious.
Certain workers are more prone to occupational diseases. These may include builders, inspectors, and exterminators. If you do this kind of work, you need to seek medical treatment immediately. Even if you’re not sure you are sick, you should get checked out. This is especially true if you suspect you’ve been exposed to an occupational illness or disease. This is especially true in the nursing and medical fields where you are exposed to illnesses and disease on a daily basis.
If you or a loved one are suffering from an occupational disease, retain the services of an experienced workers comp attorney in Columbus today. You have a long, hard road ahead of you. The last thing you want to do is deal with insurance companies and lawyers. Let your workers’ cop attorney handle all of this for you.
If you suffer a serious blow to head while at work, you may be stricken with a traumatic brain injury. This is one of the more serious types of occupational injuries. Signs of a traumatic brain injury (TBI) include:
- Memory loss
- Vision impairment
Brain injuries are very serious. You don’t want to rely on a general practitioner. Make sure your attorney requests that you see a specialist. If your workers’ comp insurance won’t approve a specialist, your workers’ comp attorney in Columbus will fight to get it approved. You can’t take the risk of having your injuries get worse. If you’ve suffered a TBI, you’re probably going to be out of work for a long time. It’s important that your workers’ comp claim cover these things.
Hip injuries are more common at work than you may think. Also, hip injuries are usually the result of repetitive twisting or turning. It can also be caused by constant reaching and stretching while on the job. Some of the more common types of hip injuries include:
- Hip fractures
- Dislocated hip
- Labral Tears
- Muscle and tendon strains
Hip injuries may require surgery or physical therapy. Your workers’ compensation attorney will make sure you get the benefits you deserve to cover your hip injuries.
We don’t really think of knee injuries when we think of work-related injuries. However, there are jobs where employees are on their knees a good part of the day. This includes workers in the sports fields, electricians, mechanics, and delivery people. Some knee injuries are more serious than others. The most common types of knee injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Tendon Tears
- ACL injuries
- Meniscal Tears
Unfortunately, most knee injuries require surgery. The recovery time for knee injuries can take weeks or months. Do not go back to work until your injury is fully healed. All you will do is re-injure it and end out of work permanently.
Some of the less severe neck injuries involve neck strains or sprains. These types of injuries resolve themselves quickly and shouldn’t require you to miss a lot of time from work. Your sick time or vacation time should cover the recovery period. Other types of neck injuries, however, require surgery or long-term care. These more serious injuries include:
- Herniated or compressed disc
- Muscle or tissue damage
- Broken neck
- Neck and spinal fracture
If you suffer one of these more serious injuries, you should expect to be out of work for several months or longer.
Repetitive Stress Injury (Carpal Tunnel):
Carpal tunnel is caused by repeated use of the tendon that connects the wrist to your hand. It is very common with secretaries, casino dealers, and electricians. Due to the nature of their work, they are very prone to contract carpal tunnel disease.
The only real treatment for carpal tunnel is surgery. Given that carpal tunnel is almost always the result of a work-related accident or illness, workers comp insurance companies typically cover them without. However, your Columbus workers’ comp attorney will make sure you receive the care you need. He will also make sure you don’t return to work until you are completely healed.
Contact a Workers Comp Attorney in Columbus, Georgia Today
If you’ve been injured at work, you are going to need to contact a Columbus workers’ comp attorney. Since there is a deadline for when you need to submit your workers’ comp claim, don’t put this off. As soon as you have received medical treatment, either contact a lawyer or have your family contact a lawyer.
If you don’t handle your workers’ comp case the right way, you risk having your claim denied. Whether it’s because of improperly filed paperwork or a legitimate issue, insurance companies deny claims all the time. Although you can appeal, it is much easier to have it done the right way the first time.
Contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Columbus today to schedule your free initial consultation. You pay nothing and it gives your attorney a chance to review your case. He can let you know what the next steps are. He can also give you an idea of what your case may be worth. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your claim.