If you were injured on the job, you should file for workers’ comp benefits. You may not be able to work full-time – or even not be able to work at all — and your salary might decrease as a result. Add to that the fact that you will have medical bills to pay and your finances might get tight.  That is why you should apply for workers’ comp benefits through your employer.  However, your employer and their insurance company might fight to pay some or all of these benefits.  So, you may be asking yourself, how do I maximize my workers’ comp settlement?


One of the most common questions we hear is, “How do you negotiate a workers’ comp settlement to get the most possible benefits?” As with any other insurance company, workers’ comp insurance companies are in business to make a profit, which means they will not want to pay a claim – or they will try to pay as little as possible. Filing a claim correctly and taking other actions can help you maximize your workers’ comp settlement.


There are several important steps in the process of filing a workers’ comp claim, and following these steps correctly will strengthen your case.

Seek Medical Attention and Document Your Injuries

After suffering an injury at work, make sure you seek immediate medical attention. Never wait to see if something will heal on its own. The workers’ comp insurance company could use this against you by saying that you couldn’t have been hurt since you waited to get medical attention. This gives the insurance company a reason to deny your claim or to argue that you were not injured at work.

Tell Your Employer About Your Injury

Always tell your employer about your injury as soon as possible. If you wait too long, your employer and/or the workers’ comp insurance company might not believe that you were injured. Your employer will most likely have a report to fill out. If not, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a Report of Injury form that you can use. Complete the form as thoroughly as possible as this is the insurance company’s notification that you suffered an injury.

You must report your injury to your employer. You cannot be fired or harassed because you reported an injury. If your employer harasses you, fires you, or otherwise causes retribution because of your injury or because you reported an injury, seek the help of a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.

File Your Workers’ Comp Claim Immediately

As soon as you tell your employer about your injury, you must file a workers’ compensation claim. You could receive compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. If you wait longer than 30 days in Georgia, you could lose access to your benefits. Your attorney can help you fill out the Report of Injury and alert you to deadlines during the claim process. Filing these forms correctly are an important part of the process and can help you maximize your workers’ comp settlement.

Choose Your Doctor

In most cases, workers’ compensation insurance companies have authorized doctors that they work with. If your doctor is not on the insurance company’s authorized list, you might have to choose another doctor. You should also keep in mind that the doctor works for the insurance company – even if it is your doctor. This may mean the doctor has a conflict of interest. For example, a doctor might deny certain tests or might say that you can go back to work before you are fully recovered so that he or she can continue getting regular compensation from the workers’ compensation insurance company.

A Full Description of Your Injuries Can Help Maximize Your Workers’ Comp Settlement

When you go to the doctor, be sure to explain how you were injured on the job. Be very thorough. Do not make any excuses for your injury – the doctor could tell the insurance company, which could, in turn, cause the insurance company to decrease your compensation or deny your claim.

If you have a pre-existing condition, make sure your doctor knows that it in no way prevented you from working and that it did not cause your injury. Always be very specific when speaking to your doctor, and do not inadvertently give him something the insurance company can use against you.

The Independent Medical Examination

The insurance company will most likely ask you to go to a doctor for an independent medical examination (IME). The insurance company can ask for an IME at any time and as many times as it deems necessary. However, in most cases, the insurance company asks for an IME when you reach maximum medical improvement – the point at which you will not further recover, even if you get additional treatment.

The insurance company uses this as a second opinion if the workers’ comp board determines that you qualify for permanent benefits. You must complete the IME to continue getting paid.

How Long Do Most Workers’ Comp Settlements Take?

We are asked this question rather often from our clients.  The answer is that there is no definite answer. There are a lot of factors that come into play when one files for workers’ comp benefits.  Some of those factors include:

  • How severe your injuries are
  • Whether your employer fights your claims in front of the workers’ comp. board
  • How long your insurance company delays in answering your claim
  • Whether the workers’ comp board has a backlog of claims.

As you can see, there are numerous factors that arise when attempting to determine the length of time it will take to start getting your settlement benefits. It is important, however, not to rush the process. That is one of the main factors which answers the question of how can I maximize my workers’ comp. settlement? That said, we have seen that it could take anywhere from 3-12 months for a claim to be settled.

How Are Workers’ Comp Settlements Calculated in Georgia?

There are many factors that go into how workers’ comp. settlements calculated. Some of those factors include:

  • How much you were earning before you were injured on the job
  • What type of disability you have
  • Whether you will be able to go back to work and in what capacity
  • The aggregate amount of your current medical bills
  • How old you were at the time of your injuries
  • How much your future medical bills will cost.

When you are interested in maximizing your workers’ comp settlement, you may want to know the highest amount possible. In a workers’ comp settlement, you get two-thirds of your weekly salary while you are on workers’ compensation. The highest amount you can get would be $675 per week if the accident happened after July 1, 2019. If your injuries force you to take a lower-paying job, you can recover compensation for reduced earning capacity. The highest amount you can get in that situation is $450 per week for 300 weeks.

After a settlement has been agreed upon by you and the insurance company, the payment of the settlement will be discussed. The choices of how you will be paid are in a lump sum or within a structured settlement, in which the settlement amount is paid out over a specified period of time. If you have serious injuries and will not be able to work again, workers’ comp settlements are usually paid out in a lump sum.

Only if the workers’ compensation doctors determine that you have catastrophic injuries will you be able to collect permanent benefits, which would be the highest settlement amount possible, given the payments may be for an indeterminate amount of time.


If you suffered injuries on the job, contact our workers’ compensation attorney at Mann Law Firm by calling (478) 742-3381 to schedule a free case evaluation. To ensure you maximize your workers’ comp case, you should work with an attorney who can help you file your initial claim and guide you through the process.

Attorney David Mann

Attorney David MannBefore leading his own firm, Mann served for several years as in-house defense counsel for a large insurance company, which gives him unique insight into how insurance companies work. He uses this critical knowledge as an advantage for his clients. He is a tough negotiator and litigator, and he is exceptionally strategic in building cases on behalf of personal injury victims.[ Attorney Bio ]


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