Workers’ compensation provides lost wages and medical care to workers injured on the job. You can earn up to 2/3 of your average weekly wage and get all of your medical care covered if you are hurt on the job. If you get hurt on the job, you cannot sue an employer but instead have to file a work injury claim. There are very strict time limitations to file your claim and you must provide notice to your employer of your job injury. The best way to protect your legal rights is to call an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as you can after an injury.
Your workman’s comp claim should entitle you to receive weekly income if you cannot work or are on light duty. Your medical bills should also be paid by your employer. You will be entitled to the weekly pay and medical care even if your employer was negligent or responsible for harming you or if the accident was your fault. Workman’s Comp is a no fault system. If you have had a work injury, you should immediately notify your employer and make sure that they have made a claim. It is best to get this in writing.
Unfortunately, sometimes workman’s comp claims are denied or injured workers do not get the benefits they deserve. If this happens to you or a loved one, you need to get legal help. Parsons & Associates, P.C. represents clients throughout Atlanta, Savannah and surrounding areas. Call (770) 422-9000 today to speak with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta or 912-303-5850 to speak with a Savannah workers’ compensation lawyer to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about:
- What rights do workers have after a Georgia work injury?
- What types of cases can an Atlanta work injury lawyer help with?
- Why should I trust Parsons & Associates, P.C. with my work injury claim?
What Rights Do Workers Have After a Georgia Work Injury?
Do not go to the doctor that the insurance company chooses for you. You must insist on seeing the Panel of Physicians and immediately call me to avoid going to the “company doctor”. You have the right to receive appropriate medical care from a doctor that specializes in the condition that you are suffering from. You do not have to see a company “doc in a box” if you have carpal tunnel syndrome, a ruptured disc in your spine or a torn rotator cuff.
You also have the right to receive your lost wages. In Georgia workman’s comp claims, you can get 2/3 of your average wages up to $675 per week according to Georgia law. If you worked overtime or had a per diem allowance, this can also help you receive a higher average weekly wage if you are hurt on the job.
You may receive workman’s comp even if it your job injury was your fault as long as you report your injury and can show that your injury was related to your job. Benefits are available for many types of workplace injuries including:
- Overexertion/ overuse injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis.
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).
- Back injuries, herniated disc or spondylosis.
- Death on the job.
- Heart attack or stroke on the job.
- Illnesses such as asbestosis, mesothelioma, COPD or black lung disease due to exposure to workplace chemicals or toxins.
- Accidents in parking lots or traveling on the job.
If you were hurt on the job and you need help with your workman’s comp case, please call us today to speak with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer. We can help injured workers in Atlanta, Savannah, Brunswick, Columbus, Macon and surrounding areas.
How Can an Attorney Help With My Claim?
Parsons & Associates, P.C. can help with many different issues that arise when making a work injury claim including:
- Assisting with settlement including providing a free settlement evaluation and analysis.
- Initial injury reports.
- Choosing your own doctor.
- Fighting for you in court to prove your case.
- Refusing an unsuitable light duty job.
- Filing forms, motions, pleadings and documents with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
- Appealing denied injury claims.
- Attending settlement mediations.
- Disputes over covered medical treatment.
- Situations where your employer/insurer is trying to force you to return to work or trying to stop benefits prematurely.
- Situations where you have been fired in retaliation for a workers’ comp claim or otherwise illegally dismissed after a work injury.
Insurance companies have legal departments looking out for their interests. You need an Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer or a Savannah workers’ comp lawyer to advise you of your rights, represent you in mediation or hearings, and deal with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
Why Do You Need a Workman’s Comp Lawyer to Settle Your Case?
As an injured worker, it’s important to keep in mind that most workers’ compensation claims are resolved by reaching a settlement agreement with a workers’ compensation insurance company. Given that workers’ comp is a no-fault system and your case is likely to settle, you may be wondering exactly why you need to retain an attorney to represent you.
The Insurance Company Wants to Settle Your Case for as Little as Possible
To understand why it’s advisable to retain a lawyer, it’s helpful to consider how insurance companies make money. Every month, they collect premiums from their customers and pay out as little as possible on every claim injured workers’ make. While it may seem unfair, it’s in their best interest to find a way to minimize your settlement offer or deny your claim outright. Some of the ways that an insurance company may try to avoid paying you the benefits to which you are entitled under the law include:
- Attempting to characterize your injuries as non-work-related
- Minimizing the severity of your injuries
- Making a low settlement offer before you have had a chance to talk to an attorney
- Pressuring you to provide a recorded statement during which they ask you confusing questions designed to get you to say something that would justify lowering your settlement or denying your claim
- Disputing whether your medical care is necessary
These are just a few of the ways in which your employers’ workers’ compensation insurer may try to settle your case for less than you deserve.
Fortunately, an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help
As an injury victim, the most effective thing you can do to even the playing field is to retain a workers’ comp lawyer in Atlanta as soon as you can. A lawyer that has experience representing injured workers will be able to protect your rights and ensure that your case is resolved as favorably as possible. Some of the specific ways that a workers’ compensation attorney can help you include:
- Evaluating your case and determining whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
- Developing medical evidence by obtaining records, deposing medical experts, or obtaining an independent medical examination (IME)
- Investigating your employer’s record of workplace safety
- Determining how much your workers’ compensation case is worth
- Fighting for the largest possible settlement from the workers’ compensation insurance company
- If you receive an initial denial, appealing your case to an administrative law judge.
Importantly, attorneys understand the tactics insurance companies use to get claimants to settle for less than they deserve. Workers’ compensation insurers are aware of this fact and may make a more reasonable initial offer simply because you are represented by a lawyer. In addition, when you are represented, the other side knows that there is much greater chance that your case could end up in litigation, incentivizing them to treat you fairly from the outset of your claim.
You May Have a Third-Party Claim
Yet another reason that it’s always a good idea to consult with a lawyer after suffering a workplace injury is that you may have a third-party personal injury claim. If you do, it could result in significantly more compensation than you could get through workers’ compensation, so it’s always a good idea to explore the possibility with an attorney.
As a worker, you may have heard that worker’s compensation is the “exclusive remedy” for people who are injured in workplace accidents. While it certainly true that you cannot sue your employer for most workplace accidents, you may be able to sue a third party like an equipment manufacturer or another driver. For example, if you sustained injuries at work because of a defective drill, you may have a personal injury claim against the drill manufacturer. Likewise, if you drive for your job and another, non-employee driver hit you, you may be able file a personal injury claim against the other driver.
If you can file a personal injury claim, you should. While workers’ compensation only covers lost income and medical expenses, a personal injury claim allows you to recover compensation for all of your accident-related damages, including your pain and suffering. An attorney can help determine whether you can file workers’ comp, a personal injury claim, or both.
Call Us Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Atlanta
Parsons & Associates, P.C. has over 25 years of experience and has helped clients injured at work to recover more than $30 million in benefits. Call or contact us today to schedule a free consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta learn more about how our firm can provide personalized one-on-one assistance after your work injury.
J. Michael Parsons
At one time, attorney J. Michael Parsons was a lawyer who defended employers and insurance companies. But he grew disillusioned working for large corporations. He decided to launch his own law practice devoted to achieving fair compensation for injured workers.