Understand Your Rights as a Worker in the State of Georgia

Mar 24, 2020

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Navigating Worker’s Comp in the State of Georgia

This special type of business insurance pays for medical costs and some lost wages for workers who have to take time off to recover.

Workers’ comp is often more complicated than injured workers expect. There are some consequences, like increased premiums, for businesses that have to file workers’ comp claims. There are even instances where an employer may discourage an injured worker from filing a claim or penalize a worker who does make use of the workers’ comp they are legally entitled to receive.

In those situations, it’s often in a worker’s best interest to seek assistance from a workers’ comp attorney experienced with fighting for the rights of people who have suffered a workplace injury.

Steps to Take When You’ve Been Injured on the Job

It’s often helpful for employees of a business to familiarize themselves with the approved workers’ comp doctors list that should be posted for all workers to view. This “Traditional Panel of Physicians” should include six doctors as options for treatment, including at least one orthopedic doctor and a minority physician when possible.

Information regarding the workers’ comp insurer and the managed core organization (WC/MCO) that provides coverage for workplace injury medical services should also be posted for workers.

  1. It’s important to report any on-the-job injury as soon as possible – waiting longer than 30 days may jeopardize your eligibility for workers’ comp benefits
  2. Seek treatment as soon as possible from one of the approved doctors – there are situations where you may be able to substitute one of the physicians on the list for a doctor of your choosing
  3. File a claim through the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation with Form WC-14 – also, send a copy of this form to your employer and their workers’ comp insurer
  4. Ask your employer for a copy of the injury report they filed with their workers’ comp insurer for your records
  5. Get any work restrictions for your injuries in writing from your physician and provide a copy of it to your employer – make sure to keep a copy for your records
  6. Contact your employer’s workers’ comp insurance provider to verify your employer filed a claim on your behalf – if this information isn’t readily available or posted, you can contact the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation for assistance
  7. Consider contacting a workers’ comp attorney if your injuries are serious, will cause you to miss a significant amount of work, your employer is being difficult about coverage, or you suffer from a pre-existing condition that may jeopardize your claim

What Are the Benefits of a Successful Workers’ Comp Claim?

A successful workers’ compensation claim provides several potential benefits designed to assist injured workers during their recovery period. These are:

  • Medical costs coverage: All related medical expenses are covered, including doctor visits, medication, physical therapy, surgeries, and any necessary medical equipment.
  • Income benefits: Partial wage replacement for the time taken off work due to injury.
  • Rehabilitation benefits: Coverage for rehabilitation programs, especially for workers who cannot return to their previous jobs due to their injury.
  • Death benefits: In unfortunate instances of a worker’s death, benefits extend to the worker’s dependents.

Ultimately, when a worker is injured on the job in Georgia, they have the right to seek compensation for their injury. Employees must understand their rights and take proactive steps towards filing a workers’ comp claim if necessary. With the right resources and guidance, it’s possible to get the help you need after an accident at work.

Do I Need to Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney?

Not every workplace injury will require the services of a workers’ compensation attorney, especially if the injury is minor or you won’t miss more than a day or two of work. If you end up needing to be excused from a week or more of work, but your employer is being supportive and is properly expediting your workers’ comp claim, you may not require the help of a workers’ comp attorney.

You should consider securing the services of an attorney if your employer is making excuses as to why you don’t have a legitimate workplace injury claim. If they start trying to tell you that your injury doesn’t qualify for coverage, or they question whether your injury happened while at work or home, contacting a workers’ comp lawyer may be in your best interest.

Some employers are great with their workers and will go above and beyond to make sure they’re taken care of. Unfortunately, not every workplace is so idyllic, and it’s not entirely unheard of for an employer to bend or break the rules to avoid having a claim filed against their workers’ comp insurance.

If you’re worried about having your workers’ comp claim honored, or you have a pre-existing condition that may complicate your claim, it’s often safest to contact an attorney for a free consultation. Keep in mind that most workers’ comp attorneys will represent you for no money upfront and will only accept payment if they are successful in your case.

The Role of Your Workers’ Comp Attorney

Your Workers’ Comp attorney plays a crucial role in ensuring your rights are protected, and you receive the benefits you are entitled to under Georgia employment laws. The attorney serves as your advocate, navigating the complex legalities and processes involved in securing workers’ compensation while you focus on recovery.

Understanding Legal Terms

Your attorney helps you understand the complex legal terms and jargon associated with workers’ comp cases. They clarify the meaning and implications of these terms, making it easier for you to comprehend the case and its progress.

Negotiating a Fair Settlement

Your attorney negotiates with the insurer on your behalf to secure a fair settlement. They understand the full value of your claim, including medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages, and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.

Representing you at Hearings and Trials

If your case goes to court, your attorney represents you, compellingly presents the facts and advocates your rights. They also handle all paperwork, evidentiary issues, and all other legal concerns that arise during the trial.

Get the Workers’ Comp Assistance You Deserve 

The Dressie Law Firm is committed to helping residents of Atlanta and throughout Georgia receive the compensation they deserve after an injury, including workers who are injured on the job.

Filing a workers’ comp claim can be complicated, and you have to rely on your employer for help during the process. If your employer doesn’t treat you the way you deserve, you could quickly find yourself in a position where you aren’t receiving the money you need to pay medical costs or make ends meet.

Before that happens, consider contacting our attorneys for a free consultation by calling 678-909-1639. We’ll provide our honest assessment of your claim and help you understand your options.