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We are all accustomed to hearing about juries awarding people thousands of dollars in lawsuits involving severe injuries. In the world of workers’ compensation claims, however, an administrative law judge can only award benefits that have not been paid. That’s only one way workers’ compensation cases differ from regular cases, and an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorney is the best person to help you get all the benefits you need and deserve.

Avoiding Losses: Tactics Used by Insurers

There are many ways that insurance carriers can cause a claimant to lose money. They might argue that the injury wasn’t sustained while on the job. They might say the worker is not following the doctor’s orders and deliberately wants to stay off from work, so they deny paying lost wages. An employer may fill out the forms wrong or leave them incomplete. They can send you back too soon before you are fully recovered – which sometimes causes a second injury. They can take an employee out of consideration for a raise or promotion. Although it’s illegal, they may even fire their employee. They can delay or simply refuse to pay the workers’ comp benefits, citing a lack of evidence. 

Attorneys skilled in workers’ compensation negotiations understand the best arguments for getting you the payments you deserve. If benefits have stopped and your bills are going unpaid, an attorney will be less emotional about negotiating a resolution. They know from experience the best way to help.

Settling Workers’ Comp Benefit Conflicts Outside of Court

Workers’ compensation hearings are unique, unlike trials you may see on TV or in the movies. Special judges, called Administrative Law judges, preside over hearings – and often have the experience that enables them to understand the nuances and complexities of workers’ compensation. In general, there are three ways to resolve disputes regarding workers’ compensation claims:

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation 
  • Appeals

Mediation is often used. It includes quicker resolutions, reduced legal costs, and maintaining healthy professional relationships. The rules of the State Board of Worker’s Compensation in Georgia offer an Alternative Dispute Resolutions Division aimed at resolving claim disputes through mediation or arbitration, thus avoiding a traditional hearing. If all parties agree to the terms, mediation can resolve any disputes, but a regular hearing can be scheduled later if that doesn’t happen. 

It’s important to understand that a mediator, called a “neutral” in the dispute, will listen to all the evidence and suggest a resolution, but they cannot force either party to do anything. They try to focus both parties on looking forward, deciding the best outcome for the future, not dwelling on rancor or past recriminations. 

You Don’t Need to Fight for Your Benefits Alone

Negotiating with the employer and/or the insurance carrier can be complicated and drawn out, and the best way to get a good result is to let an attorney handle that. Parsons Law Group welcomes the opportunity to discuss your situation and help you find the best outcome for you and your family. Contact us today for a consultation.