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A serious work-related injury can throw you off track financially for months, even years, especially if you don’t make a full recovery. Workers that get temporarily or permanently disabled have the most difficult time returning to a normal life. Without a workers’ compensation attorney to represent them, they may never receive the full benefits they deserve. Many workers experience a deficit in benefits because their employer’s insurance provider downplays their injuries.

Before you go through the Georgia workers’ compensation process, speak to a Georgia law firm. Workers’ compensation lawyers do their best to make sure you receive the full amount of benefits you deserve. Doing this protects you from handling the high cost of medical expenses alone while struggling with injuries. Additionally, any lost wages can be compensated for, especially if your injuries resulted in a permanent disability. Contact our Georgia workers’ compensation law firm in Athens, GA today. Call Hansford Law Firm now for a free consultation.

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What percentage does a workers’ comp attorney get in Georgia?

In Georgia, attorneys that charge more than $100 for workers’ compensation cases must be approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia. Additionally, the board makes sure that the attorney’s fee doesn’t go over more than 400 weeks of the injured workers’ weekly benefits. The attorney’s fees can’t exceed more than 25% of the employee’s workers’ comp.

Settlements in Worker’s Compensation Cases in Georgia 

In general, to receive workers’ comp in Georgia, your employer would provide a non-liability or liability settlement.

Non-Liability Settlement

In a non-liability settlement, your employer doesn’t admit liability for workplace accidents. However, they still provide an amount to cover the cost of your injury. In this case, the insurance company may argue how much you are owed for your workplace injury. With legal assistance, you can determine how much the Athens workers’ compensation for your work-related injury should be.

Liability Settlement 

If your employer provides a liability settlement, then this means that your company accepts liability for your work-related accident. There will be no argument regarding your workers’ compensation claim because your employer accepts liability.

The Settlement Process

Workers’ compensation claims undergo a multi-step process before they are approved by your employer’s insurer and the State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia. 

Initial Review And Request For Documentation 

After you report your injury to your employer and they submit your claim to their insurer, the insurance company will initiate an investigation. They will try to find out if the cause of the work injury is substantial or discover the reason it happened. After their review of your medical records, your wages, and other information, they’ll respond to your employer with an approval or denial.

The Settlement Agreement

Your employer will reach out to you with a settlement agreement. You can choose to either receive period weekly payments or a lump sum. Both you and your employer sign the settlement agreement to resolve your workers’ comp claim. 

Review By Workers’ Compensation Attorney

Your attorney can review your settlement agreement to see if the compensation matches the severity of your workplace injuries. If the settlement is too low, they can help you by adjusting your settlement agreement.

Additional Documents

The insurer will request additional information and documentation for the settlement to go through. For example, they may want a covenant not to appeal form, confidentiality agreement, Medicare or Social Security information, and more. 

State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia 

Your employer’s insurer will send all of this information to the board to finalize the settlement. At any time, you can decide to cancel the agreement before it is approved. 

Finalized Agreement 

After the board approves the settlement agreement, the first Athens workers’ compensation check is issued.

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How long does it take to settle a workers comp case in Georgia?

After you begin filing your case in Athens, Georgia, it can take between a week and two years before your case is settled. On average, you can expect your claim to be settled between 30 and 60 days. Factors that influence how long it takes include the following:

Prompt Notification 

You must do your best to let your employer know when you experienced the workplace injury. There is only a limited amount of time before your chance to file a claim expires. Before you file the claim, you can speak to your attorney to review the information so that it is error-free and clearly shows the severity of your injury.

Medical Care 

Employers typically assign a doctor to treat their injured employees. You shouldn’t delay receiving medical care because they could be more serious than you realize. Medical bills are also useful in your workers’ comp claim.

Follow Doctor’s Orders 

If you don’t follow your doctor’s recommendations, this can delay your workers’ compensation as well. You can also run the risk of getting denied compensation benefits.

Insurance Company Disputes

You can also get a denied claim if the insurance company disputes your injuries. This happens if the cause of the injury is unknown, there is no proof it was a workplace injury, you were involved in illegal activity, intoxication was involved, or there are other issues. Other reasons could be that you didn’t provide enough information supporting your workplace injury. 

Injury Rating

The insurance company may also dispute your injury rating. This rating refers to how badly you were injured on a severity scale. Athens workers’ compensation is provided in an amount that is based on how badly you were harmed and the duration of time off you need.

Maximum Medical Improvement Dispute 

The time it takes for you to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) can also be disputed by the insurance company. An Athens workers’ compensation attorney can help prevent this. They’ll use evidence from your doctor’s statement and medical bills to negotiate a a fair settlement.

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Can you sue your employer for negligence in GA?

Because you are filing a workers’ comp claim and not a personal injury claim, you will not be required to sue for negligence in Athens, GA. Additionally, Georgia is one of the few states that doesn’t require your attorney to prove that negligence occurred. Workers’ comp is provided to employees regardless of who is at fault. You won’t be required to sue your employer. Instead, what you will be required to do is work with an Athens workers’ compensation attorney to prepare your claim for review. 

You would only need to sue someone for a workplace injury for the following reasons:

Unsafe Conditions

If your employer forced you to be in a dangerous and unreasonable situation while at work, then you can sue in Athens, GA. For example, it is negligence if you work in unsafe work conditions that go against state regulations. Your attorney will use the evidence they discovered regarding your personal injury to prove the employer was negligent. You can then file a settlement claim or lawsuit to obtain additional compensation. 

There Was A Third Party Involved

When you get injured by someone other than your employer, you would also have to file a lawsuit or settlement claim. A third party that isn’t employed by your company won’t be able to provide workers’ compensation benefits to you. You can instead work with an attorney to investigate your case to help you obtain compensation for your personal injury.

Work With Our Athens Workers’ Compensation Lawyers 

If you were denied or received reduced workers’ compensation, you might continue to struggle financially and never experience a full recovery. Your workers’ compensation lawyer can help you through the appeal process to ensure you receive the appropriate amount of compensation. They will also review your case before you apply. Doing this will make sure you aren’t leaving out any important information. Contact Hansford Law Firm now for a free consultation.

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At the Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, we proudly represent clients from all over Georgia and throughout Alabama.

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