Cartersville Workers' Comp Attorney
Guiding You Through Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workplace accidents are common. Luckily, the State of Georgia requires workers’ compensation insurance for most employees who get injured on the job.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance for individuals hurt at work. If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Disability benefits
Workers’ compensation also provides death benefits to family members of employees who die as the result of a work-related accident.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage
Under Georgia law, any business with three (3) or more employees, including part-time employees, is required to have workers’ compensation insurance.
If you are an independent contractor, you may still qualify for workers’ compensation. Our Georgia workers’ compensation attorney can help determine if you are eligible.
What To Do If You’ve Been Hurt at Work
If you have been injured while at work, you should:
- Seek immediate medical attention if needed
- Tell your manager or supervisor as soon as possible
- Go to an approved doctor
- Begin treatment if needed
- Keep a record of everything
- Contact an attorney with any questions or concerns
Following these steps will help your workers’ compensation case.
Workplace injuries happen every day. According to the National Safety Council(NSC), the top three (3) reasons for workplace injuries include:
- Overexertion from heavy lifting or repetitive motions
- Accidents involving objects and equipment – being struck by, caught in, or crushed by equipment, objects, and materials
- Slips, trips, and falls
The most common types of injuries in the workplace are:
- Sprains, strains, or tears
- Soreness or pain
- Cuts, lacerations, or punctures
While accidents can happen in any industry, the industries with the most common workplace accidents include:
- First responders (police, firefighters)
- Shipping and transportation
- Manufacturing and production
- Installation, maintenance, and repair
Workplace accidents can happen to any employee for any reason, and workers’ comp covers all occupational illnesses and injuries, big and small.
Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
You should strongly consider hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to help guide you through the claims process. The workers’ compensation system adheres to strict rules regarding your rights as an injured employee, but you must follow instructions perfectly to receive the benefits you are entitled to. A workers’ compensation attorney is well versed in these rules and instructions, making them a necessary ally – especially when insurers and employers do not always have your best interests in mind.
The Pritchard Injury Firm, led by Zach Pritchard, is ready to help you with your workers’ compensation claim. We have years of valuable experience working alongside our clients to reach quick resolutions and favorable outcomes in their cases. Navigating the workers’ compensation process can be confusing, but you don’t have to do it alone.
Process of a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Because workers’ compensation is a unique type of insurance, the process for filing a claim is somewhat different than it would be with your regular insurance company. The typical process of filing a workers’ compensation claim unfolds as follows:
Report the Injury
Let your supervisor know that you’ve been injured on the job as soon as possible. Once you notify them, your supervisor should fill out an accident report. If you wait longer than a month to report your injury, you may lose your right to receive full workers’ compensation benefits.
Get a List of Approved Doctors
Your employer should provide you with a list of approved doctors from whom you can seek medical treatment. To obtain workers’ compensation benefits, you must receive treatment from one of the approved doctors.
Obtain Medical Treatment
Once you visit a doctor from the approved list, you need to follow their instructions carefully. Attend all appointments, follow through with treatment, and respect any work restrictions the doctor imposes.
Complete the Required Form
To file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, you must fill out a WC-14 form. You will then submit the form to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and provide copies to your employer and their insurance company.
Talk to an Attorney
While you have the right to represent yourself in your workers’ compensation claim, you should talk to an experienced attorney if you have any questions or concerns. Having our Georgia workers’ compensation attorney on your side will help you adhere to all requirements and make the strongest possible claim for benefits.
After Filing Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
After you file your works’ compensation claim, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation will review it and notify you about the benefits you will receive. If you do not receive any benefits, you may request a hearing before the Board. During this hearing, an administrative law judge will review your case and determine which benefits, if any, you should receive.
How Much Income Can You Receive?
For accidents that occur after July 1, 2019, you will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but no more than $675 a week.
You can get these temporary total disability benefits for up to 400 weeks. Your benefits may be reduced if you are allowed to return to work with restrictions or you are suspended after returning to work with no restrictions.
If your injuries were catastrophic, you might be eligible for lifetime disability benefits
Can You Sue Your Employer?
In most cases, you will not be able to sue your employer for your injuries if you are eligible for workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system designed to protect both employees and employers. Regardless of who is at-fault for your accident, you are entitled to benefits. In exchange, workers in Georgia are barred from suing their employers for work-related injuries.
If a third party—someone other than your employer—is responsible for the accident that led to your injuries, you may be able to sue. Examples of negligent third parties include drivers in workplace car accidents and property owners on construction sites. Whether you are pursuing a workers’ comp claim or a third-party negligence suit, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.