If you’ve been seriously injured while on the job, you’re likely already aware that your employer doesn’t make providing for your family while you are recovering a simple task. In the state of Georgia, workers can file for workers’ compensation coverage after being injured in a workplace accident. These claims are supposed to allow workers to take the time off they need while still providing for their loved ones, but insurance companies don’t make the process of filing these claims very simple.
The claims themselves can be difficult to file, and most of the time, unfortunately, employer insurance companies deny every claim they can. Your workplace’s insurance company is not looking out for your injuries. Instead, they’re trying to save your employer as much money as possible. These companies will find any loophole they can to deny your claim and the coverage you need. They may wrongfully claim that your injury wasn’t work-related or that it wasn’t serious enough to keep you from doing your job.
If you’ve been denied workers’ compensation coverage or are looking to maximize your chances of succeeding with your claim, you need the help of an expert Atlanta work injury lawyer. A workers’ compensation attorney can fight against your employer’s insurance company and any loopholes they feel may exist, allowing you to provide for your loved ones and take time off work to recover.
First, let’s go over everything you need to know about how work injury claims are processed in the state of Georgia:
Workers’ Compensation Coverage in Georgia
When seeking workers’ compensation in the state of Georgia, many workers are concerned with the impact the claim will have on their relationship with their employer. The short answer to that concern is that your claim should have no impact whatsoever. Employers cannot legally fire you for filing a work injury claim. The law is clear that they cannot retaliate against you in any way. If they do, you will have the right to take legal action against your employer.
In Georgia, workers’ compensation provides coverage for the following:
- Lost wages
- Medical treatment
- Permanent partial disability funds
Your exact coverage amount will vary based on your occupation and employer. In Georgia, if a worker is injured at work, the employer/insurer is required to pay medical and rehabilitation expenses within the limits of the law.
In some cases, the employer will also be required to pay a part of the worker’s lost wages. Work injuries and conditions that were caused by working should be reported in writing whenever possible. A worker may lose the right to receive compensation if an accident is not reported within 30 days. Employers must supply free of charge, upon request, forms for reporting accidents and will also furnish, free of charge, information and documentation about workers’ compensation and any open cases.
The Process of Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
The term “injury” as defined by workers’ compensation laws encompasses a wide area. Under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the term “injury” includes sudden acts such as falls or equipment accidents, but also physical conditions that are more gradual. Heart attacks, strokes, infections, and certain diseases may be compensable as well as cases where it can be proven that employment caused the condition or caused a pre-existing condition to become worse or cause disability.
Additionally, Georgia legislation created a new category of injury known as the catastrophic injury. Catastrophic injuries include any of the following:
- Spinal cord injury with severe paralysis
- Amputation of an arm, foot, leg, or hand
- Severe brain injury
- Second or third degree burns over 25% of the body or third degree burns over 5% or more of the face or hands
- Total or industrial blindness; and
- Any other injury severe enough to prevent the employee from doing almost any work
When filing for workers’ compensation, your injuries may be defined as either catastrophic or non-catastrophic. This factor may help determine how much compensation you receive as well as whether your claim is accepted.
Georgia laws permit you to seek recovery after a work accident occurs to “make you whole again.” The central concept is that you should be compensated in a manner that, as best as the law can arrange, places you back in the same position as you were in before the accident.
As mentioned above, many employers and their insurance companies do everything they can to deny workers from the coverage they require. Our state’s laws may be implemented to help Georgia residents, but insurance companies are out to please their clients—not individual workers.
Reach Out to a Atlanta Work Injury Lawyer Today
If you’ve had a Georgia workers’ compensation claim denied or need assistance in getting the most coverage possible, you need help from an Atlanta work injury lawyer who understands the loopholes that exist and how to succeed against even the most ruthless of insurance companies. You’ve come to the right law firm.
Bey & Associates has an expert team of lawyers, investigators, and medical experts on staff to assist with case preparation, settlement, and trial/litigation. We understand how the insurance companies in our state—especially those around Atlanta—attempt to unfairly deny injured workers from the compensation they need to survive. We know how to win against these companies. Contact us to learn more.