Did you know that as many as 2.8 million workers in the U.S. private sector get injured in the workplace each year? This is according to the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) report. Luckily, the laws in Georgia do not require a worker to prove that the employer was at fault in the accident.
The only requirement in Atlanta is to show that you got injured while working, and you become entitled to the compensation that comes with the specific condition. But many people have missed out on it because of avoidable mistakes. An Atlanta personal injury lawyer can guide you on following the proper steps and get your workers’ compensation in full.
Which Doctor Should I Visit After a Workplace Injury?
Medical attention should be the first thing you seek as soon as you get injured. It is advisable to visit one of your employer’s approved doctors. But if the accident happens in the evening or over the weekend, do not hesitate to visit a family doctor or the nearest hospital. The insurance company is going to cover emergency medical services like those.
Your supervisor, the HR department, or your employer should provide the list of approved doctors. Remember that failure to visit one of the approved doctors even after a list has been provided can be used as a reason to deny you full compensation.
It is important to keep your employer updated on any doctor’s restrictions. The doctor’s recommendations should be in writing, and you should keep a copy for yourself too. If the doctor excuses you from work indefinitely, remember to ask your employer when you can call in and comply with those requirements. You should also notify the insurance company if you are unable to work.
To Whom Should I Report a Workplace Injury?
Reporting your injury to a fellow employee isn’t a good idea. You need to inform a manager or a supervisor in the shortest time possible. Exceeding one month without reporting can affect your chances of receiving your workers’ compensation in full. Note that a notification put in writing is better than a verbal one.
Consider requesting your employer or supervisor for a copy of the report they filed with the insurance company. If there is no written report, you should make a report and keep it in your files. You can always confirm whether your company filed your report by requesting the insurer and the adjuster’s contacts and calling them directly.
Make sure that you fill any forms provided by the insurance company for a workers’ compensation claim. This should be done soonest possible, before the required period lapses and locks you out.
Where Can I File a Workplace Claim?
Getting compensation begins with completing the Form WC-14, and filing it with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys can get you the forms and make sure that you fill them appropriately. Subsequently, you will need to send similar copies to your employer and their insurance company. Don’t forget to keep a copy for yourself.
If your claim is denied, you can begin the appeal process at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Ensure that you file the petition as soon as possible because the window is usually limited. Thereafter, mediation could be recommended. If the issue is not agreed upon in mediation, it proceeds to be handled by a judge.
Notably, you can appeal the judge’s decision if the judge fails to rule in your favor. The appeal process is usually complicated for a layperson. But with the help of experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys, you can easily hack it. Your legal aid can do the work of gathering compelling evidence and present a persuasive case. And the good thing is that they won’t ask you to pay until you win the compensation.
What Happens if I’m Unable to Work?
If you cannot work for more than seven days, you are entitled to weekly benefits for lost wages. You should receive the money by the 21st day from the first day you missed work. In case of a delay, consider reaching out to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and request a hearing.
If you cannot work for a long time, you might be entitled to temporary or permanent disability benefits. And if the injury restricts the kind of work you can do, thus reducing your earnings – you could receive partial disability benefits. Don’t forget to keep careful records of all the days you miss work, and the doctors’ reports as well.
At What Point Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
It is wise to call Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys as soon as you get an on-the-job injury. While workers’ compensation laws were designed to protect you and cover your damages, insurers and employers don’t always operate with the same spirit. They might try convincing you to go back to work before you are fully recovered, deny you the benefits you deserve or try to deny a legitimate claim.
A personal injury lawyer conversant with Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws is key in helping injury victims get everything they deserve. The attorney can help you communicate with the insurance company and your employer and discuss your needs with them. They can also present documentation that proves to the insurance adjuster the amount of compensation you deserve. And if the case gets to court, the lawyer will represent you accordingly.
Trustworthy Attorneys Taking Workplace Accidents Seriously
At The Angell Law Firm, we know too well that the financial effects of a workplace injury last long after the wounds have healed. The days you miss work, a deprived working ability, and the medical costs can take a toll on you and your finances.
Contact The Angell Law Firm Today
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It is only fair that you recover everything you lost, and a personal injury lawyer in Atlanta can help. Call us at (770) 217-4954 to safeguard your compensation interests today.
Bryce is considered a highly esteemed trial lawyer and a passionate client advocate amongst his peers in the Atlanta legal community. Never afraid to go the extra mile for his clients, Bryce Angell works tirelessly to ensure that each client’s personal injury case gets the attention that it deserves.