Snellville Workers’ Compensation Attorney for on the Job Injury Cases
Every day we go to work just counting the days til the weekend. The last thing on our mind is getting an injury. We do our job carefully, follow all the safety rules – we can’t imagine that our day will end up with us in the emergency room. But, accidents happen. People get injuries at work every day. We assume that our employer will take care of us. We have no reason to think we’ll be denied workers comp. However, it happens all the time, and that is the reason that you may need a workers compensation attorney.
If hurt at work, you should be covered under workers comp. Most full-time employees in this country have an entitlement to protection under workers comp insurance. So, when we find out that they denied our claim, there is confusion. We can’t believe our company would hang us out to dry. There are many reasons why our workers’ comp claim may be denied. Maybe we did not file our paperwork properly. Or maybe our employer doesn’t think our accident took place on the job. They may even think you’re faking your injuries. This is because this kind of stuff happens. Insurance companies have been burnt before. Sadly, a few bad apples can mess up the system for everybody.
There are a few things you need to do if you’re hurt at work. First, report your accident to your manager or Human Resources. It is human resources’ responsibility to contact the workers’ compensation insurance company to report your injury. They should also coordinate your medical treatment. If handled properly, you should receive your workers’ comp benefits.
Delays in Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits
There are times when there’s a delay in receiving your benefits. This isn’t all that rare. If the delay is short, just wait it out. It doesn’t make sense to call a lawyer if the delay is only a week or two. However, if the delay stretches out beyond a couple weeks, or if your claim is denied, you should contact a workers’ comp attorney.
Your Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Snellville, Georgia Can Handle the Insurance Company
It’s your employer’s job to make sure all your paperwork is processed. They may contact you for additional information. Or maybe they have some questions for you. It’s your responsibility to stay in touch with your employer. If you don’t return their phone calls or ignore their emails, you are only hurting yourself. There’s also the chance that your HR manager misplaces your paperwork. If this happens, you may want to reach out to a workers’ comp lawyer.
Workers comp attorneys are often told that their clients’ benefits are pending. This is a typical response when you haven’t received your benefits. Your lawyer will put the pressure on your employer to get your claim processed. Every day you wait for your benefits is a day you can’t pay your bills. Your lawyer understands this. He’ll do what it takes to get the ball rolling.
If you find out your claim is denied, you may panic. Don’t start calling and screaming at your HR manager. They don’t make the decisions – they only process your claim. It’s never a good idea to shoot the messenger. Let your lawyer deal with your employer. Georgia has rules about how workers comp claims are approved. A personal injury lawyer will work with the insurance company to get your claim paid. If they can’t, they’ll have no choice but to file suit on your behalf. Don’t worry though. Workers comp attorneys in Snellville have decades of experience handling cases just like yours.
Workers’ Comp Lawyers in Snellville Know the Workers Compensation Law in Georgia
We said earlier that most full-time employees are entitled to workers comp benefits. However, there are some groups of employees who are exempt from claiming workers comp benefits. It depends on what kind of work you do. If your employment falls into one of these categories, you will not be entitled to compensation. There’s nothing your workers’ compensation attorney can do to help you.
The following employees are not entitled to workers compensation in Georgia:
- Employees of companies with three or fewer employees – Companies of this size aren’t required to carry workers compensation insurance. If their employees get hurt, they must file for disability. They may also have a claim for negligence. If you fall into this group, you may want to call an experienced workers comp lawyer.
- Agricultural workers – Georgia excludes farmworkers from workers comp benefits. Your workers’ compensation attorney can’t do anything to change this. If you are an agricultural worker, you will not be entitled to workers comp benefits.
- Maids – Domestic servants do not qualify for workers compensation. If you are a maid or nanny, you probably won’t qualify for workers comp benefits.
- Railroad employees – Railroad employees make up a special group. Because they aren’t required to contribute to workers comp insurance, they don’t receive workers comp benefits.
- Federal government employees – Federal employees are paid by the government and not by the state. Therefore, they aren’t covered under their state’s workers compensation insurance. If you’re a federal employee, check with your HR manager to see what your options are.
- Independent contractors –Independent contractors are not considered employees. They have to track their income for tax purposes and technically work for themselves. Independent contractors understand this. There’s nothing a workers’ comp attorney can do to change this.
Will Your Workers’ Comp Attorney in Snellville Get You the Compensation You Deserve?
Most work-related injuries are covered under workers compensation insurance. If your injury is so minor that you don’t miss any time from work, you probably won’t qualify for benefits. Your medical care should still be covered though. You must miss at least a week before you qualify for workers comp. You must also use all vacation time and sick time before your benefits kick in.
Your workers’ comp lawyer will fight to get your benefits for the following types of injuries:
- Injuries sustained from falls or workplace accidents
- Illnesses caused by your employment
- Gradual injuries that build up over time at the same job
- Catastrophic injuries
Catastrophic injuries are new under Georgia workers comp law. It was only recently added by the Georgia legislature. Catastrophic injuries include:
- Spinal cord injury with severe paralysis
- Severe brain injury
- Second or third-degree burns
- Any other injury that will prevent the employee from doing most jobs.
Your Snellville workers comp lawyer will prove that you were injured. In order to collect under workers comp in Georgia, you have to prove your injuries.
When Do You Not Have Entitlement to Workers’ Comp Attorney in Snellville, GA?
You may not qualify for workers comp under Georgia law. There are certain situations where your claim will be barred. Most of these make common sense. Your workers’ comp lawyer in Snellville can only do so much if you are denied your claim based on any of the following:
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Use of illegal drugs
- Refusal to use personal protective equipment or safety devices
- Failure to give the employer notice of the injury
- Refusal to take alcohol or drug screening following the accident
- Refusal or failure to complete medical treatment
If any of these apply to your case, you won’t receive workers compensation benefits.
If you’re denied benefits for any other reason, your workers’ compensation attorney will file an appeal on your behalf.
Workers’ Compensation Attorneys in Snellville Will File Your Appeal
If your claim is denied, you need to find out why. Your workers’ compensation attorney can reach out to the insurance company and find out what happened. If you don’t file your appeal in time, you may be barred from doing so. There is a lot at stake. You want to rely on an experienced professional to handle your appeal.
The first step is finding out why your claim was denied. Then, your workers’ comp lawyer in Snellville, GA will file your appeal. To do this, he’ll file a “Notice of Claim” form. This form has to be filed within one (1) year from the date of your accident. The form has to be completed and mailed to the address on the bottom of the form.
Once your appeal is received, it’ll be assigned to an administrative law judge. By this point, you really want to have a workers’ compensation attorney. You really aren’t qualified to handle this on their own.
The next thing that’ll happen is you’ll be scheduled for mediation. Mediation provides your workers comp lawyer in Snellville a chance to talk directly to the insurance company. Most cases settle at this stage. The court likes to see cases settle. When they see attorneys refuse to settle, they experience frustration. Workers compensation trials clog up the court system. It is better for all parties to work hard to settle the claim.
If your lawyer is unable to settle your claim, your case will be scheduled for trial. Trials can be time consuming and expensive. Nobody likes a trial. You are much better off settling your claim.
What Workers’ Comp Benefits You Have Entitlement to in Georgia?
If your workers compensation claim gets approval, you’ll start to receive workers comp benefits. In Georgia, you have an entitlement to the following benefits:
- Medical benefits – You have an entitlement to have your medical care covered under workers comp in Georgia. You do not have to pay co-pays or fees. Your prescriptions have coverage 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 lawyer in Snellville 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.
Your workers comp lawyer in Snellville, GA will communicate with your doctors to determine what your percentage of disability is. The insurance company is always going to say this number is low. Your attorney will argue it’s high. The two will meet somewhere in the middle. But your attorney will fight to get you as much compensation as possible.
Workers compensation attorneys will make sure you don’t go back to work before you’re ready. A lot of employers try to force you back to work early. This is a bad idea all around. If you go back to work too early, you may get an injury again. You may even end up permanently disabled.
Contact a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Snellville, Georgia Today
If injured at work, you have an entitlement to workers comp. If your claim is denied, you should contact a workers’ comp attorney in Snellville immediately. You should not wait too long. The insurance company may claim that your injuries were from something other than the accident. It’s important that you retain an attorney right away. Your lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company to try to get approval for your claim. But there are deadlines you must meet.
If you miss a deadline or don’t file your claim properly, your claim could be denied. It’s important that you go to all of your doctor’s appointments. Stay in touch with your workers comp lawyer. Let him know if you receive any information from your employer or your doctors.
Contact a workers’ compensation attorney in Snellville today to schedule your free initial consultation. You’ll have a chance to ask any questions you might have. Your workers comp lawyer will tell you how he thinks you should proceed with your case. The consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your claim.