It can be a major inconvenience if you are injured at work and unable to perform typical work activities. Additionally, you will be unable to receive regular wages if you are at home recovering. Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to make it easier to stay afloat while healing from workplace injuries. However, it can be challenging in some cases to receive your benefits. A workers’ compensation claim can be denied or reduced below what you are entitled. Savannah workers’ compensation lawyers can help you receive fair compensation by ensuring no important information is omitted from your application. Before you begin your workers’ compensation claim, have an attorney review it. If you were already declined, it is not too late to receive benefits for your workplace injuries. Savannah workers’ compensation lawyers can guide you through the appeal process. Speak to a Savannah workers’ compensation lawyer at Hansford Law Firm now to receive a free consultation.
Documenting The Workplace Injury
When you experience a workplace injury, you will need to take pictures of what occurred and show where it happened. If any coworkers were there, you can include them in your claim as eyewitnesses. These pictures will help reveal the nature of your injury and provide proof to your employer’s insurance company.
Reporting To Your Employer
You have only 30 days to alert your employer and inform them of your injury. They can then begin the process of filing your workers’ compensation claim. The report will describe the type of workplace injuries you experienced. You are not required to submit your claim if you want to speak to Savannah workers’ compensation lawyers first.
Get Medical Help
Your employer will send you to a hospital and a certified doctor of their choice. The doctor will perform an exam and possibly request imaging scans to understand your injuries. They will give an opinion on how long it will take you to reach MMI and how long you can expect to stay home and remain on benefits. After your initial visit, you can select another certified doctor to continue your prescribed treatments. You must continue to comply with doctor’s orders after your examinations. Otherwise, you could be denied your workplace accident benefits.
Speak To Your Attorney
You can consult with your attorney regarding a workplace injury and allow them to help you file a claim. After an investigation, they can provide beneficial advice regarding the amount you should receive in benefits. Additionally, Savannah workers’ compensation attorneys will protect you from making mistakes on your workplace injury claim.
Insurance Company Investigates Claim
Once your employer submits an insurance claim, the insurance company will launch an investigation. Based on how the accident occurred and the severity of your injuries, you may be rewarded with workers’ compensation benefits. The insurance company may request additional information and documentation to support your claim.
Insurance Company Responds With Reward Or Denial
After several weeks of processing and investigation, your employer’s insurance company will send a statement about your reward. You can choose between lump sum or weekly payment options until you reach MMI. If you are declined benefits, you can file an appeal.
Georgia State Board Of Workers’ Compensation Reviews And Approves Claim
Before you receive your workers’ compensation payments, the Georgia State Board Of Workers’ Compensation must review the claim. Without their approval, you will be unable to receive any benefits. Until they approve your claim, you can decline at any time. This gives you another opportunity to speak to an attorney if you believe your benefits are unfair in any way.
Workers’ Comp FAQ
Many injured workers are often confused about the long workers’ compensation process. To clarify how it works, you can speak to a workers’ comp lawyer to guide you.
What percentage does a workers’ compensation attorney get in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, attorneys do not charge an upfront fee for injured workers. Once you receive your workers’ compensation benefits, you would then pay the attorney. Workers’ compensation attorneys can request up to 25% of your award. Additionally, your attorney cannot receive more than 400 weeks of benefits. If your injuries were catastrophic, which would result in a far higher compensation. The attorney may receive additional compensation.
How long does it take to get a workers’ compensation settlement check in GA?
The time it takes to receive your workers’ compensation benefits can range from 30 to 60 days. However, the time can vary and increase up to one year depending on the circumstances. This is based on how the accident occurred and whether it can be proven.
Can you sue your employer for negligence in GA?
Generally speaking, you will be unable to sue your employer for negligence in most circumstances. You are not required to prove your employer was negligent in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Georgia is a no-fault state, which means you can receive workplace injury benefits regardless of who caused your injuries. Additionally, workers’ compensation was created to receive settlements without requiring lawsuits. The only reasons you would sue for a workplace injury include the following:
A Third-Party Was Involved
You can file a lawsuit against another party that was involved in your workplace injury. If the other party is not affiliated with your employer and you were harmed due to their negligence, you would be owed damages. For example, if you are working in a factory and a machine malfunctioned due to a manufacturer’s defect, the manufacturer can be held responsible for the damages.
If your employer places you in a dangerous environment that puts your life at risk, you can sue. In this case, your employer is breaking state laws and is being grossly negligent towards employees. For example, if there is a gas leak in the facility and the employer wanted to save money by not having it repaired, this would be a form of negligence worthy of a lawsuit. However, your attorney would need to prove your employer was purposely negligent.
How much does workers’ compensation pay in Georgia?
Workers’ compensation is provided for part-time and full-time employees who were injured at work. Any individuals who are contractors, volunteers, sole proprietors, or other third parties not hired under the company as an employee would be ineligible for workers’ compensation. You would receive an award based on whether the injured body part is on the state schedule or not. Scheduled awards are distributed on a standard weekly amount. Unscheduled awards are based on the percentage of the area that was badly injured. Here are the types of worker compensation benefits you would be eligible for:
Temporary Partial Disability
If you are able to work while disabled but are required to take on a lesser role, you can receive temporary partial disability benefits. In Georgia, you can only receive these benefits for up to 350 weeks following an injury. In Georgia, this is calculated as two-thirds of your average weekly wage. This goes up to the maximum compensation rate of $483.00.
Temporary Total Disability
You receive temporary total disability when you are required to stay home to recover, and cannot fulfill any job roles due to the severity of your injuries. Temporary total disability is paid out as 66 ⅔% of your regular wages at the time of your injury. The statewide maximum reimbursement amount is $725 weekly.
Permanent Partial Disability
If your injury becomes a permanent part of your life, you would be eligible for additional benefits. Your doctor would review your status and determine if you have reached your MMI. They will determine if you are permanently partially disabled and recommend you for long-term benefits. You would receive benefits that continue past the 400-week maximum limit. If you work a different job and receive less pay than your previous pay, this can also be compensated for.
Permanent Total Disability
A total disability happens because of catastrophic injury and includes amputations, brain injuries, blindness, and deafness. When you experience a permanent total disability, you may be completely unable to return to work. Your workers’ compensation benefits would continue for your lifetime to help support you after a catastrophic injury.
In addition to weekly benefits that reimburse you for wage loss, you can also get mileage covered. Any trips to your doctor that require you to travel can be covered by your workers’ comp.
Injuries can result in expensive medical bills. For example, you may need several x-ray scans, surgeries, physical therapies, and other ongoing treatments. Any healthcare treatments that were caused by your workplace injury can be covered by your workers’ comp benefits.
Surviving spouses, dependents, and other eligible family members can receive death benefits. If a loved one has passed away, you would be eligible to receive compensation on behalf of them. Dependents can receive all of the weekly paid benefits up to a maximum of $575 until they are no longer dependents. Spouses can continue to receive benefits up to a maximum of $270,000.
After you have suffered serious injuries and are unable to perform your normal job duties, you can receive free vocational rehabilitation. You would be retrained in a new field to help you find a new career. Other benefits include counseling to help you through the process and job placement services.
Funeral expenses cost thousands of dollars on average. Surviving family members who are left with the funeral bills can be covered up to $7,500.
What If I Was Already Declined?
Being burdened by expensive medical bills and a drop in income during your recovery can be devastating. If you were declined benefits, you may be confused about the next steps you should take. Because your injuries prevent you from working to your full capacity, you may be wondering how you will be able to remain financially stable. Do not be discouraged. A Savannah workers’ compensation attorney can investigate how you were injured, build evidence for your case, and help prove you deserve benefits for your injuries. They will review your previous claim to discover why you were declined. It is possible you omitted important information on your application which resulted in your denial. They will ensure no errors are on your workers’ compensation claim.
Your attorney will guide you through the appeal process .First, you must file an appeal with the state board. They will assign a pre-mediation meeting between you, your employer, and their insurer. If no one at the meeting can resolve the claim, you will be assigned a hearing. Your attorney will represent you at the hearing. They can highlight how your injuries occurred and their negative effect on your life. The judge will then decide how much you should receive in an award. Fortunately, resubmitted claims tend to receive higher rewards. Your attorney will fight for your right to receive the maximum amount of compensation you deserve.
How Do I Find Out More About My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You can learn more by speaking to a workers’ compensation attorney before you submit your claim. This will protect you from making common errors that prevent you from receiving full benefits. Additionally, an attorney can explain the process and prepare you for what to expect. Find out more by speaking to one of our experienced attorneys today. Contact Hansford Law Firm in Savannah, Georgia for a free consultation.
At the Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, we proudly represent clients from all over Georgia and throughout Alabama.