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 only accepted medically. Savannah workers’ compensation lawyers can help you receive fair compensation by ensuring proper filings of your claim. 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. Our 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 typically have only 30 days to alert your employer and inform them of your injury. They should then begin the process of filing your workers’ compensation claim. The report should describe the type of workplace injuries you experienced. Always request a copy of the initial incident report to review with one of our Savannah workers’ compensation lawyers.
Get Medical Help
Your employer should send you to a hospital or medical provider from their posted panels of physicians. The doctor will perform an exam and possibly request imaging scans to diagnose your injuries. It is important to always set a work status update to provide your employer. You must continue to comply with your treating doctor’s orders after your examinations. Otherwise, you could be denied your workplace accident benefits.
Speak To Your Attorney
You should consult with your attorney regarding any workplace injury and allow them to help you with your claim. After an investigation, they can provide legal advice regarding the amount you should receive in benefits. Additionally, Savannah workers’ compensation attorneys will protect you from making costly mistakes as to the handling of 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 entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The insurance company may request additional information and documentation to support your claim. This is why it is critical to consult with one of our Savannah workers’ compensation attorneys.
Insurance Company Responds With Acceptance Or Denial
After processing and investigation, your employer’s insurance company will accept or deny your claim. If you are declined benefits, you can file an appeal.
Workers’ Comp FAQ
Many injured workers are often confused about the length of time any delays in the workers’ compensation process. To clarify how it works, you should 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 to injured workers. Workers’ compensation attorneys typically request up to 25% of any award or settlement.
How long does it take to get a workers’ compensation settlement check in GA?
The time it takes to receive your workers’ compensation settlement check can greatly vary depending on the circumstances. The State Board generally takes 2-3 weeks to approve a settlement. The Employer/Insurer have up to 20 days to issue the settlement check after Board approval.
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. 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 insurance is provided for part-time and full-time employees who were injured at work. Any individuals who are independent contractors, volunteers, sole proprietors, or other third parties not hired under the company as an employee would be ineligible for workers’ compensation. Here are the types of workers’ compensation benefits you may be eligible for:
Temporary Partial Disability
If you are able to work while disabled but are required to take on less hours, 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 taken completely out of work by an authorized treating physician or placed on working restrictions which the employer can not accomodate.Temporary total disability is paid out as 66 ⅔% of your average weekly wages at the time of your injury. The Georgia 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 impairment status and determine a permanent impairment rating for each injured body part.
A catastrophic injury includes amputations, brain injuries, blindness, deafness, or other serious injuries which prevent you from ever returning to work. When you experience a catastrophic injury, you may be completely unable to return to work. Workers’ compensation benefits will 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’ compensation insurance.
Injuries can result in expensive medical bills. For example, you may need x-rays, MRIs, injections, surgeries, physical therapy, and/or other ongoing treatments. Any healthcare treatments resulting from your workplace injury can be covered by workers’ comp insurance.
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 $725 until they are no longer dependents. Spouses can continue to receive benefits up to a maximum of $290,000.
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. Our Savannah workers’ compensation attorneys 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. Our attorneys will guide you through the appeal process.
How Do I Find Out More About My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
You can learn more by speaking to a workers’ compensation attorney at any time during your claim. Consulting with our attorneys will protect you from making common errors that prevent you from receiving full benefits. Additionally, our attorneys 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.