Workers’ Comp Injury Lawyer in Moultrie Georgia
When we decide on a career, we think about things like salary and benefits. We even try to find a job that we’re passionate about. But in this economy, some of us have to take whatever job will feed our family. We don’t really think about whether we’ll get hurt at our job. We get up and go to work every day so we can pay our bills. Our main concern is taking care of our family. So, when we get hurt on the job, our first concern is still taking care of our family.
Like most states, Georgia provides workers comp insurance. The point of this insurance is to make sure we can still take care of families while we’re recovering from a work injury or illness. In order to qualify for workers comp, you must be hurt on the job. When this happens and workers comp refuses to pay, it’s frustrating. You did nothing wrong and it seems like you’re being punished.
Whether we like it or not, not every employer pays their workers’ comp claims. Workers comp insurance companies deny some claims. If they paid every claim, they’d go out of business. They must have a legitimate reason for denying a claim. But sometimes, it feels as if they’ve targeted you. When this happens, it’s hurtful. It’s very frustrating. All you can do is trust in your workers’ comp lawyer. He’ll communicate with the insurance company and find out what happened.
Workers’ Compensation Hearing
Georgia has certain procedures for how workers comp claims are handled. If your claim is approved, great! You’ll start receiving your benefits a few weeks later. If your claim is denied, however, you have your work cut out for you. The first thing you should do is contact a Moultrie workers comp attorney. Tell him your story. Let him know what happened. The second thing you must do is request that an appeals’ hearing. The court won’t do this just because your claim was denied. If you don’t request this hearing, your claim will be barred.
The court will determine a few things at your workers’ compensation hearing:
- Do your injuries prevent you from doing your job?
- Did you have any pre-existing conditions?
- Did you submit the correct earnings information?
- Were you actually hurt?
- Were you hurt while performing your job and not while doing something else?
You will get to provide the court with information related to your claim. Both sides will get a chance to tell their side of the story. You workers comp attorney will use this opportunity to prove that your claim should be approved. The court will review all the evidence and make a determination. You’ll usually find out within a week whether your claim has been approved.
Workers’ Comp Denials
You probably won’t have any idea your claim is denied until you get a denial letter. Your human resources manager may call and let you know as well. She should tell you why your claim was denied. As soon as you learn your claim wasn’t approved, you need to contact your Moultrie workers’ comp attorney. There are many reasons why your claim may be denied, including:
- Your attendance records are incorrect or incomplete
- Your paperwork has not been completed properly
- You didn’t include your medical records
Hopefully, your claim was denied for one of these technical reasons. These are easy to overcome. It’s the more substantive reasons that cause trouble for you. Some of these reasons are:
- 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
It’s going to be a lot harder if your claim is denied for any of these reasons.
What are Workers’ Comp Benefits in Georgia?
Even if you qualify for workers comp, you may not know what this means. Every state is different when it comes to workers comp benefits. In Georgia, you are entitled to the following benefits under workers compensation:
- Medical benefits –You’re entitled to medical coverage due to your injury. This only applies to care related to your work injury or illness. It isn’t intended to cover your general medical care.
- Wage Replacement Benefits – You won’t be able to work while you recover from your injury. You need some way to pay your bills in the meantime. You will receive money to compensate you for the wages you can’t earn. There are two types: temporary total disability benefits (TTD) and temporary partial disability benefits (TPD)
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits – If they determine that you’ve suffered a permanent injury due to your accident, you will be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits.
You have certain rights under Georgia workers compensation law. Make sure you have an experienced worker’s comp attorney by your side.
Moultrie Workers’ Comp Death Benefits
We don’t like to think about it, but some people die from their work accident or illness. When this happens, you’re entitled to workers comp death benefits. In Georgia, family members are allowed to collect death benefits. In order to collect death benefits, you must show:
- The death was caused by the employee’s work-related accident. For a work illness case, the person must’ve died from their illness.
- Benefits are limited to the employee’s immediate family and dependents
Workers comp death benefits include 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
You will continue to receive workers comp death benefits until your loved one would have retired. However, most attorneys will settle your death benefits case rather than make you collect benefits for years. It’s easier on the family and the insurance company. Nobody wants to drag it out. It’s a harsh reminder to everyone that there was a tragic loss. The employer doesn’t want this any more than you do.
Are you Entitled to Permanent Disability Benefits in Georgia?
You may be entitled to permanent disability benefits in Georgia. It depends on how serious your injuries are. It also depends on whether you’re permanently disabled. If the court thinks you can still work, you won’t get permanent disability benefits. They may believe you can work in a different industry than where you worked before. Your attorney will have to prove that you can no longer use a certain part of your body.
You don’t get PPD until you’ve exhausted your temporary benefits. If you get permanent disability benefits, you’ll 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
Keep in mind, your attorney and the workers’ comp insurance attorney will not agree on this. They will debate what percentage of disabled you are. The insurance company will say it’s a very low number, like 5%. Your lawyer will argue that it’s closer to 100%. They will have to meet somewhere in the middle in order to settle your case.
The hardest part of a worker’s comp case is proving permanent partial disability. Very rarely do the two sides agree. And, while they’re disputing the issue, you’re sitting home wondering what your future holds. This uncertainty can be very frustrating. Just trust that your Moultrie workers comp attorney will work hard to get your claim settled. It’s best for all parties involved.
What Types of Injuries are Covered Under Your Workers’ Comp Claim?
In order to prove your injuries, your lawyer will rely on medical experts. He’ll hire his own doctors to examine you. He’ll want an opinion other than that of the doctors paid by the workers’ comp insurance company. Of course, they’ll say your percentage is low. His experts will review your medical records. Your workers’ comp attorney must evaluate your injuries early on. He needs to make a claim for permanent benefits. If you wait too long to do this, you’ll have a hard time proving your injuries are work-related.
This is why you must receive medical care right away. If you refuse treatment, you’ll be denied workers comp. The same is true if you miss appointments. It is your responsibility to follow the instructions of the workers’ comp company. Don’t just go to your primary physician. You have to go to a doctor approved by workers comp. If workers comp is going to pay for the doctor, they do have a say in who treats you. Don’t give the insurance company a reason to deny you coverage.
Some of the most common injuries from work-related accidents include:
Some of the most common injuries are back injuries. Whether you suffer disc issues or nerve damage, you may need surgery. Back injuries take a long time to recover. You’ll probably need physical therapy and chiropractic care. You have to keep up with your treatment. If you miss appointments, your claim can be denied. If you don’t get the treatment required, you risk losing your benefits.
Most people don’t think of eye injuries when they think about workers comp. However, you can get an eye injury at work in any field. It doesn’t matter if you’re a teacher, construction worker or scientist, everyone is susceptible to eye injuries. Most eye injuries require time to heal. If there isn’t a surgery to correct the issue, you just have to wait it out. Since we need to see in order to work, you could be out of time for a while.
Most people who suffer hearing damage do so over time. Aside from explosions, there aren’t that many immediate causes for hearing damage. If you work in a noisy environment, over the years you can develop hearing damage. This injury is common for people who work in loud factory environments or places like construction sites. Sadly, by the time you discover you’ve suffered hearing damage, there isn’t a lot you can do to fix it.
Every few years, a different occupation disease seems to pop up. Years ago, it was asbestosis. Today, it’s mesothelioma. A lot of occupational diseases involve cancer or breathing problems. They develop from working around toxic chemicals for a long time. Like we see with hearing damage, by the time you realize you’re sick, there’s not a lot you can do. Most people who suffer from asbestosis or mesothelioma suffer for quite some time. Most end up passing away from the disease. If this is the case, their families should be entitled to workers comp death benefits.
The most serious type of brain injury is a traumatic brain injury (TBI.) They are usually caused by a serious blow to the head. This could be the result of a fall. It can also be caused if you work around heavy equipment. The symptoms of a TBI include:
- Memory loss
- Vision impairment
If not properly treated, TBI can be fatal. At a minimum, they can be life-changing. It’s important that you see a specialist for your brain injuries. If workers comp won’t approve you seeing a specialist, you need to let your attorney know. He can talk to the workers’ comp lawyers and demand that you receive the necessary treatment.
Hip injuries are more common than you think. They’re usually caused by repetitive twisting and turning. They’re also be caused by constant reaching and stretching while on the job. Some of the most common types of hip injuries include:
- Hip fractures
- Dislocated hip
- Labral Tears
- Muscle and tendon strains
Aside from back injuries, knee injuries may be the most common type of work-related injuries. Anyone who does physical labor is liable to develop knee injuries. Some jobs require employees to be 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
Many knee injuries require surgery. It may take quite some time to recover from a knee injury. You will be on workers comp until you are ready to go back to work. Don’t go back to work too soon. If the insurance company is putting pressure on you to return to work before you’re ready, let your lawyer know. He will demand that they keep you out until you’re truly ready to go back.
Even minor neck injuries can be problematic. Some of the less serious neck injuries are neck strains and sprains. These injuries resolve themselves quickly and shouldn’t require you to miss too much time from work. Your sick time or vacation time will usually cover the recovery period. More serious 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):
We’ve all heard of carpal tunnel. It is really common with people who work with their hands. Common jobs that suffer from carpal tunnel are secretaries, toll collectors, and car dealers. Because there really aren’t many causes of carpal tunnel, most workers comp companies will agree that it is work-related. They also know that surgery is the only treatment for carpal tunnel. They may require that you get both wrists done at once. Your attorney will make sure this doesn’t happen. There’s no way you can go about your day to day business if this happens. You’re better off getting the wrists done separately. If this means you’re out of work longer than they’d like, too bad.
Contact a Moultrie Workers Comp Attorney, Georgia Today
If you get injured at work, you really should contact a Moultrie workers comp attorney. Do this right away because you only have a certain amount of time to file a worker’s comp claim. It’s important that you receive medical treatment. If you refuse treatment, you’ll probably jeopardize your workers’ comp benefits. Cooperate with human resources. Make sure you give them all the information they need. Refer them to your workers’ comp attorney so you can focus on your recovery.
Keep in mind, it’s really important that your claim is filed properly. If you don’t submit the proper paperwork, you can delay your benefits. It may even cause your claim to be denied. If this happens, you’ll have to file an appeal. This means it will take longer to receive your benefits.
Be honest and upfront when you meet with your workers’ comp attorney. If you think you were partly at fault, tell him. It’s better he knows up front rather than be blindsided later. If you weren’t wearing the protective equipment at work, let him know. If you were on break at the time of your accident, tell him. You can bet the workers’ comp company will have this information. Make sure your Moultrie workers comp attorney has it too.
Contact a Moultrie workers comp attorney today to schedule your free initial consultation. This will give you a chance to meet with an experienced workers comp attorney. Ask him any questions you may have. He’ll review your case and give you an idea of what it may be worth. You can bet the workers’ comp company will have attorneys working for them. You need to have one working for you as well.