Atlanta Workers' Compensation Attorney
Workers' Comp FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Our workers compensation lawyer in Atlanta has answered common questions related to workers compensation and claim settlements in Georgia.
  • Q:What is Workers' Compensation?

    A:Most employers will not actually educate their employees about the nuances of workers’ compensation. To put it into basic terms, workers’ compensation is a form of accident insurance purchased by employers – when mandated by the State – that helps injured employees pay for medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and some of their lost wages. The goal of workers’ compensation is assisting the recovery of an injured worker so he or she can come back to work sooner than later.

  • Q:What Should I Do if Involved in a Work Accident?

    A:If you are injured in an on the job accident, you should notify your supervisor and co-workers immediately. You should request a copy the panel of physicians and seek medical care from a doctor on the panel if in fact the employer has a posted panel. It is also important that you ensure your rights and best interests are effectively represented during this time. You should retain the counsel of an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer. The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC represent clients across Georgia and Alabama. You can call on us today for trusted counsel.

  • Q:Can I See Any Doctor I Want?

    A:Your employer must maintain a posted panel of available doctors. This should be located in a visible area, such as a breakroom, time clock, or other designated area. In order to qualify to have your medical expenses covered by workers’ compensation, you are required to go to one of the panel doctors. However, if your employer does not have a panel, you will most likely be able to select from any doctor you wish. It is always best to check with your employer to confirm so that your bills are covered. You should not be expected to pay for any authorized medical treatment related to your workers’ compensation claim and work-related injury. The cost for these treatments should be covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If you seek unauthorized treatment, however, you will be expected to cover those costs through your own insurance or finances.

  • Q:Who Will Take Care of My Medical Bills?

    A:If you are injured on the job, the workers' compensation insurance company representing your employer is required to pay for all medical treatment related to your work injuries. You should not be required to pay any money towards your medical expenses, as they should all be covered by workers’ compensation. That includes bills and deductibles. You may also be reimbursed for any transportation expenses related to your doctor’s appointments or other healthcare providers.

  • Q:Do I Have a Time Limit on When I Can File?

    A:Yes. In Georgia, you have only 30 days to officially report your injury. If you do not report it within this timeframe, you may damage your case and be denied the chance to obtain workers’ compensation benefits. The quicker you act following a workplace accident, the better.

  • Q:How Long Will it Take Before My Case is Selected?

    A:Unfortunately every case is different. The insurance company has up to 21 days to investigate your case. If an insurance company refused to pay your claim, it could take much longer to get the benefits you need. That is why our team here at the firm fights to get you the best settlement possible for your workers’ compensation claim. We work quickly and effectively to ensure your case is resolved in a timely manner.

  • Q:Why Hire Your Law Firm?

    A:Our team understands the pain you are experiencing. We have experience handling thousands of workers' compensation cases, securing million-dollar case results over the years. Our founding attorney has been given a 10.0 Superb Avvo rating and selected to the Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ list. He understands that your situation has affected many aspects of your life and the lives of people near to you. Mr. Hansford knows the urgency of your situation and is ready to begin working for you today! Call us now.

  • Q:What if I live Outside of Atlanta or Conyers?

    A:Our firm has represented clients all over the state of Georgia and Alabama. We are happy to represent clients outside of the Atlanta area, including Athens, Columbus, Macon, Marietta, Savannah, Dalton, Augusta, and beyond. Visit our locations today to learn more!

  • Q:Are employers required to carry workers' compensation insurance in Georgia?

    A:In Georgia, any company that regularly employs three or more full-time or part-time employees is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

  • Q:What benefits am I entitled to receive? 

    A:Pursuant to the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act, anyone who has been injured in a workplace accident and is unable to work is eligible for certain benefits, which includes payment of two-thirds of your weekly income (up to a maximum of $575/week – this amount is subject to change due to inflation) for up to 400 weeks. In cases involving certain catastrophic injuries, the injured employee may be entitled to receive benefits for the rest of his or her life. Employers are also required to pay any and all reasonable medical expenses resulting from the injury.

  • Q:If I have to travel far for my authorized treatments, will I be reimbursed?

    A:Necessary travel to reach authorized physicians and treatment centers could become quite costly. As part of an approved workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to reimbursement for travel expenses. You will need to provide evidence of your travel costs – such as receipts for gas, your home address, and the shortest distance from your home to your treatment center – to be reimbursed. Your employer’s insurance carrier may set a cap on how much coverage you can obtain for travel expenses alone.

  • Q:What if I have a preexisting injury? Can I still file a claim?

    A:Many people believe that if they have a preexisting injury, they won’t be able to file a successful workers’ compensation claim because their employer may simply blame their medical problems on a prior injury. This isn’t the case! In Georgia, a worker is still entitled to compensation for an injury which exacerbates a preexisting condition. For example, if you suffered a back injury in the past and you hurt it again during the course of your work duties, you still have a valid claim.

  • Q:What does "no-fault" mean?

    A:The Georgia workers’ compensation system operates on a no-fault basis, which means that an employee does not have to prove that their employer or a coworker was at fault for their injury in order to have a successful claim. Not only does this make it easier for the injured employee to recover, but it also means that even if the employee was partially at fault for their injury, they can still file a claim.

  • Q:Can workers' compensation cover sensory damage?

    A:Georgia allows workers’ compensation benefits to be rewarded to employees who suffer sensory damage, such as deafness and blindness, while performing work-related duties. In fact, hearing loss is the most common form of employee injury in the country, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Determining the amount of compensation deserved for hearing or sight loss may be complicated, and it is often advised that workers seek the counsel of a professional Georgia workers’ compensation attorney to ensure a fair sum is given.

  • Q:Can I choose my own doctor for my workers' comp claim in Georgia?

    A:Georgia allows employers and their insurance providers some control over the doctors and physicians that can be consulted for your workers’ compensation claim and related injuries. Your employer may choose to post a list of six physicians who are approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and tell you to choose one you would like to be your primary care physician during your claim. Your employer can also choose a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization (WCMCO) that has been Board certified. WCMCOs tend to allow you to choose from multiple care providers and physicians, and permit you to change to another physician in the organization without notifying your employer.

  • Q:I am getting Social Security Disability payments - can I also get workers' compensation?

    A:Yes. You are not automatically disqualified from Social Security Disability insurance (SSDI) benefits just because you also have been approved for workers’ compensation benefits, and vice versa. Federal regulations may reduce but not eliminate your SSDI benefits once you are approved for workers’ compensation, though.

  • Q:Can my employer get into legal trouble for not covering me with workers' compensation insurance?

    A:Yes. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia can impose harsh penalties against any employer that fails to provide workers’ comp coverage when legally necessary. Penalties may include a fine up to $5,000 per violation and a misdemeanor charge filed against a company executive or business owner, who will need to defend himself or herself in criminal court.

  • Q:Can I sue my employer for compensation for my injury?

    A:The workers’ compensation system is an exclusive remedy for employees against their employers and co-workers, which means that injured employees are barred from suing for personal injury if their employers have WC insurance. However, injured workers are allowed to make personal injury claims against third parties (i.e. someone other than an employer or coworker). For example, if an unsafe piece of equipment caused your injury, you may be able to sue the manufacturer for damages.

  • Q:Do I need to hire a workers' comp attorney?

    A:If you have sustained a serious injury in the workplace, it is absolutely a good idea to consult with an attorney for two reasons. The first reason is that there are several deadlines that you must meet in order to avoid losing your ability to collect money for your injury. Even missing one deadline can cost you your case. The second reason is that an attorney can help ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injury and that you aren’t denied benefits that you are entitled to.

  • Q:Will I be fired if I hire a Workers’ Compensation attorney?

    A:If you were injured on the job and you were fired after filing a workers compensation claim, you may be eligible for more workers compensation benefits than you realize. Unfortunately, in the state of Georgia there is no direct law to protect an employee from retaliatory termination for filing a workers compensation claim, but there may be a certain level of eligibility for benefits that you are owed.

  • Q:How is your firm different than other firms handling injury and disability?

    A:The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford is different from many other workers compensation firms for several reasons. Our 20+ years of experience has provided us with the wisdom and the insight needed to secure millions of dollars in successful results for our client. Additionally, our attorneys have received numerous awards and recognitions, including our founding attorney’s selection to the Super Lawyers® Rising Stars℠ list, and a 10.0 Superb Avvo rating.

  • Q:What to do if my case was denied?

    A:In the State of Georgia, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation will agree to review any disagreements regarding workers’ comp claims. There are several stages in this process including: filing the notice of the claim, mediation, workers’ compensation hearing, SBWC appellate review, and appealing to the courts. No matter how small your claim, it is important to seek out a workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm to assist you with your denied claim. This process can be complicated and overwhelming and our 20+ years of experience can help you seek the maximum compensation that you deserve during this difficult time.

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