Our Macon Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You Get All The Benefits You Deserve

Our Macon Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You Get Benefits If You Suffered A Work-Related Injury Or Illness

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that pays medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits for workers who suffer injuries on the job. All Georgia employers with three or more employees are required to participate, and every employee should be automatically covered as soon as they start working.

The system is designed to provide benefits if workplace-related injuries or illnesses leave you unable to do your job. Workers’ comp may also pay benefits to dependents of workers who die as a result of job-related injuries. Sometimes, though, these benefits are unfairly denied by employers or their insurance companies. If you’re in this position, our attorneys can help you get the benefits you deserve.

If you’re facing hurdles in your attempt to get benefits, a workers’ comp lawyer at the Mann Law Firm will aggressively fight for your rights. Call us today at (478) 742-3381.

How A Workers’ Comp Lawyer In Macon, GA, Can Help You Get Benefits

Workers’ comp premiums are paid by employers, and premiums go up when benefits are paid out, so companies generally want to avoid claims. It’s not unusual to receive a claim denial or to recover compensation that’s insufficient to meet your needs. In addition, the rules and procedures related to workers’ comp claims in Georgia are complicated, and mistakes can result in claim denials.

The Macon workers’ compensation lawyers at the Mann Law Firm can make sure you know what to say and do after suffering a workplace injury. We can help you get benefits or fight claim denials by:

  • Making sure all forms are filled out correctly and all procedures followed in a timely manner
  • Investigating your case, interviewing witnesses, and gathering evidence to help prove your claim
  • Obtaining all relevant work and medical records
  • Negotiating with insurance companies for a fair settlement
  • Representing you at any hearings
  • Preparing your case and arguing on your behalf if a claim goes to trial.

Why You Should Choose A Workers’ Compensation Attorney From The Mann Law Firm

David Mann, our lead workers’ compensation lawyer, prides himself on showing up for his clients personally. If you hire him to help with your case, you can be sure he’ll give your case the attention it deserves, rather than handing it off to someone else to deal with.

David has a broad background in the legal field, having previously represented insurance companies in injury cases. Nowadays, he works exclusively with personal injury plaintiffs, but his prior experience means he knows how to fight tough cases and come out with the results clients need. He knows how insurance company lawyers operate, because he used to work as one.

Our Workers’ Comp Attorney Explains Types of Workers’ Comp Claims, Benefits, and Qualifications

If the work you do causes you to fall ill or become injured, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, no matter who was at fault for your injury. In exchange for having this protection, you forfeit the right to file a lawsuit against your company for damages under most circumstances.

Eligibility Requirements

You must be an employee of the company

Not every worker is an “employee” when it comes to workers’ comp coverage. Independent contractors, such as freelancers and consultants, are not usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. This can give rise to controversy in cases where workers are officially classified as contractors but resemble employees in the way they work.

Even if you signed a 1099 tax form, indicating that you’re an independent contractor, you could still qualify for workers’ compensation. These disputes can be murky, however, meaning they’re more likely to end up in court. If you’re in this position, the assistance of a specialized lawyer will be even more important for you.

Your employer must have workers’ comp insurance

In Georgia, the requirement is that all businesses with three or more workers, including regular part-time workers, must carry workers’ compensation insurance. Of course, not all employers follow the law. You can verify your employer’s coverage online at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation website.

You must have an injury or illness related to your job

Generally, if you suffered an injury or illness because of activities you carried out for the benefit of your employer, your condition will be regarded as work-related. For instance, your injury is obviously work-related if you strain your back while putting boxes on a truck in a warehouse. In some cases, however, it may not be as easy to say whether a given illness or injury happened because of work. If you were hurt while taking a break or were injured at a company-sponsored party, your employer may try to argue that your job was not the cause of your condition.

You must meet the deadlines of your state for reporting your illness or injury and filing a claim

Working with our Macon workers’ compensation attorney will ensure that you meet all filing deadlines. There are special rules in this area for some types of employees, including domestic employees, agricultural and farm employees, seasonal or casual workers, and workers who have been placed with a company by a temp agency.

Temporary or Permanent Disability Benefits?

Temporary Total Disability

With temporary total disability benefits, you may receive up to 66% of the average weekly salary you had at the time of your injury or illness. Unless your condition is catastrophic, you will not get benefits more than 400 weeks after the date it began.

Temporary Partial Disability

This is for disability sufferers who can go back to work, but only in employment involving less strenuous tasks, and less income, than before the onset of their condition. Under this arrangement, you may be eligible to receive up to 66% of the difference between your average wage before the onset of your disability and your average wage afterwards. Benefits may be available for up to 350 weeks after the date of your injury.

Permanent Disability

If your doctor determines that your injury is permanent and likely to keep you from returning to work for 12 months or more, you may receive temporary total disability benefits for as long as you are disabled. If you are able to work, but only at a job that pays you less, you can receive benefits according to an assigned disability rating.

You should note that illnesses and injuries are never as simple as these categories suggest. You might find them confusing, which is completely understandable. An experienced Macon workers’ compensation attorney will help you find out what type of injury you have and which path to take to get the payment you’re entitled to.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What if the employer doesn’t have coverage? 

In Georgia, if your company has three or more employees but does not have workers’ comp insurance, you may file a civil lawsuit against the company if you sustain a work-related illness or injury.

How do I file a claim for workers’ comp? 

In Georgia, you must file a Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Send a copy of this form to your employer and its insurance company.

What medical treatment will be paid for? 

Workers’ comp will pay for all authorized doctor bills, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescriptions, and reasonable travel expenses if the injury or illness was caused by an accident on the job. You may also be entitled to medical and vocational rehabilitation to help you return to work.

For how long can I receive benefits? 

If your accident occurred on or after July 1, 1992, you may receive benefits for up to 400 weeks. If your injury is catastrophic, you may be entitled to lifetime benefits. If it is determined that you can return to work with limitations or restrictions, you may receive reduced benefits, and if you are released to return to work with no limitations or restrictions, your benefits payments will cease.

What benefits will my dependents receive if I die as the result of an on-the-job accident? 

For deaths on or after July 1, 2019, dependents will receive two-thirds of the average weekly wage of the deceased person up to a maximum amount. Surviving spouses, children, and stepchildren may qualify for these payments. Widowed spouses with no children can receive up to $270,000, unless they remarry or cohabit with a new partner.

Can I receive workers’ compensation benefits if my injury was my own fault? 

You can usually claim workers’ compensation benefits even if there is evidence that your accident was caused by your own mistake. However, there are limits to this. If what happened was the result of intentional misconduct, or if the influence of alcohol or drugs had a role to play, you may be disqualified from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Every case is different, so you’ll have to consult with an attorney to learn for sure what rules are likely to apply in your situation.

Can I receive workers’ comp if my work aggravates a pre-existing injury? 

Workers’ compensation benefits may still be available if you have a pre-existing condition that is aggravated or worsened by your job. The key consideration is whether your workplace conditions substantially contributed to the aggravation of your pre-existing condition. It’s important to note that you will not be entitled to workers’ comp benefits in respect of any pre-existing symptoms, just those that arose or became worse due to work. It can be difficult to prove that your work activities aggravated a pre-existing condition, which is why the assistance of a specialized workers’ compensation lawyer is so important.

Our Macon Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help Secure Added Injury Payments

Unlike a personal injury lawsuit, in which you must prove that another party was negligent and at fault before you can get compensation for your injuries, worker’s comp is a no-fault program. If you accept workers’ compensation, you are not allowed to sue your employer even if their negligence caused the accident. However, there are certain situations in which you can file a lawsuit following a workplace accident, including:

  • Your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp coverage.
  • Your employer lies about your injuries’ being work-related.
  • Your employer is denying benefits you deserve or asking you to return to work earlier than you should.
  • There is a third party involved. If you are injured at work and the injury was caused by a third party, such as an outside contractor who ran you over with a vehicle, you can file a lawsuit against that third party.
  • If you were fired from a job because you filed for or received workers’ compensation benefits.

What Our Lawyers Can Help You Win in a Personal Injury Lawsuit Related to Your Work Injury

The damages you may be entitled to if you succeed in a workers’ comp lawsuit fall into two broad categories: compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory damages include both general and special damages.

  • Special damages are for monetary losses that have a specific dollar value, such as medical and rehabilitative expenses, lost work income, and property damage.
  • General damages are for losses that are more difficult to quantify in precise monetary terms, such as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.

If a workplace injury results in death, damages for survivors may include potential lifetime earnings of the deceased and loss of consortium.

Punitive damages are awarded only rarely. According to O.C.G.A., 51-12-5.1, these awards exist to punish a defendant in cases where there is “willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or… conscious indifference to consequences.”

Our Workers’ Comp Attorneys Note Typical Workplace Accidents And Injuries

Typical workplace accidents and injuries for which workers’ compensation benefits are paid include:

  • Muscle, tendon, ligament strains or tears from excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying or throwing
  • Injuries caused by bending, climbing, reaching, standing, sitting, slipping or tripping without falling
  • Slipping and falling to the floor or ground or from one level to a lower level
  • Being struck by an object, such as a tool or piece of equipment or material falling from above
  • Being smashed against an object, such as a worker being pushed into a door or wall or piece of machinery
  • Being crushed by getting caught in, under or between pieces of machinery, equipment or objects
  • Exposure to extreme temperatures (i.e., burns or deep freezes)
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Injuries on construction jobs.

Employer Responsibilities Surrounding a Workplace Injury

As well as carrying workers’ comp insurance, employers must also:

  • Post information related to workers’ comp in a convenient location that employees frequent during regular working hours. The notices should provide the name of the firm’s workers’ compensation carrier and state that workers who are injured have a right to receive medical treatment and benefits. Details about workers’ compensation benefits should also be made clear.
  • Provide injured employees with workers’ compensation claim forms within 24 hours of receiving notice of the injury or illness.
  • Provide each employee with written material about employees’ rights to receive workers’ comp.

What Happens If Your Claim Is Denied?

In the event of a claim denial, you can lodge an appeal by requesting a hearing with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. These hearings take place before administrative law judges, who determine what benefits, if any, you should receive. We always strongly recommend hiring a workers’ compensation attorney in Macon, GA, to handle the appeal, even in seemingly straightforward cases.

Get Help From A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer In Macon

Aggressive legal help is often necessary to secure workers’ compensation in Georgia. If you’ve found yourself in a dispute related to workers’ comp benefits, we can help.

Call us at (478) 742-3381 for a free case evaluation to get started.

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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