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.
If you are one of the many people who have suffered from an injury in the workplace, you are entitled to receive workers’ comp benefits. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program, meant to pay medical, rehabilitation and income benefits for workers who are injured on the job, and Georgia employers who have three or more employees are required to participate. The system is designed to provide benefits if workplace-related injuries or illnesses leave you unable to do your job and also afford benefits to dependents of workers who die as a result of job-related injuries. Sometimes, though, these benefits are denied unfairly by employers or their insurance companies. Our attorneys can help you get the benefits you deserve.
When employers and their insurers put up hurdles to getting benefits, the workers’ comp lawyers at the Mann Law Firm will aggressively fight for your rights. Call us today at (478) 742-3381.
HOW A MACON WORKERS’ COMP LAWYER CAN HELP YOU GET BENEFITS
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE AND INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE OUT FOR PROFIT AND WANT TO PAY OUT AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, BUT OUR MACON WORKERS’ COMP LAWYERS KNOW HOW TO COMBAT THEIR TACTICS.
Workers’ comp premiums are paid by employers, and premiums go up when benefits are paid out, so they want to avoid paying out claims. As a result, it’s not unusual to have your claim denied or to be awarded less compensation than you deserve. In addition, Georgia rules and procedures for getting workers’ comp are complicated, and making a mistake can also result in a claim denial.
The Macon workers’ compensation lawyers at the Mann Law Firm are aware of these problems and can help you get benefits from the start by making sure you know what to say and do after you are injured. 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.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYERS HELP YOU GET PAID WHILE NOT WORKING
IF YOU CANNOT WORK, WORKERS’ COMP CAN HELP YOU SURVIVE.
A work injury can cause a major disruption in your life. Your health is affected, but so are your career, finances, and well-being. All states, including Georgia, have a workers’ compensation system that can compensate you for some of the losses you incur and get you working again as soon as possible. This page explains the types and amounts of benefits available, so you can get paid while you are not able to work.
OUR WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEY EXPLAINS TYPES OF WORKERS’ COMP CLAIMS, BENEFITS, AND QUALIFICATIONS
If you are hurt or became ill because of the work you do, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. As long as you are an eligible employee, you may receive compensation 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, with a few very limited exceptions.
THERE ARE FOUR ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO RECEIVE THESE BENEFITS:
You have to be an employee of the company.
- Not every worker is an “employee” when it comes to being covered by workers’ comp. Specifically, independent contractors, such as freelancers and consultants, are not usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But many employees, such as drivers for Uber, will claim they are being misclassified as freelancers or independent contractors when the firm that hired them should have called them employees.
- It is common for employers to misclassify workers as independent contractors or freelancers so they do not have to pay workers’ compensation premiums.
- Note: Even if you signed a 1099 tax form and said you are an independent contractor, you still could qualify for workers’ compensation. But this sort of dispute often ends up in court, and you will need a workers’ compensation lawyer working with you.
Your employer must have workers’ comp insurance.
- Most companies are required to have workers’ comp coverage, but not all do. The laws on this vary by state. Generally, the responsibility of the employer is to give coverage based on the number of workers it has, which type of business it is, and the sort of work that is being done by employees. Most states do require any employer with at least one worker to have coverage, but other states have a minimum of two to five workers.
- In Georgia, the requirement is that all businesses with three or more workers, including regular part-time workers, must carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, not all employers follow the law.
- You can verify your employer’s coverage online at the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation website.
- Some states have other requirements in the agriculture and construction fields.
- Many companies buy insurance even if they are not required to. Usually, state laws allow these employers to opt into the system. In this situation, the employee can get benefits for injuries incurred on the job, but they are not eligible to file a lawsuit against their employer. Ask our workers’ comp lawyer about this if you have questions.
You must have an injury or illness related to your job.
- Generally, if you were performing work that benefitted your employer and you got injured or ill because of the work, then it is defined 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. This situation can become more muddled, such as if you were hurt when you took a break or were injured at a company-sponsored party.
- If you are unsure whether or not your injury qualifies you to receive workers’ comp benefits, or if you feel you are being denied benefits unfairly, contact our workers’ compensation attorney for help.
You must meet the deadlines of your state for reporting your illness or injury and filing a claim.
- It is important to work with our Macon workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that you meet all filing deadlines.
- There are special rules 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.
TYPES OF DISABILITY OUR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYER IN MACON, GA, CAN HELP YOU RECEIVE
OUR WORKERS’ COMP LAWYERS CAN HELP YOU GET TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT DISABILITY BENEFITS
Workers who suffer an illness or injury that prevents them from working on a temporary basis can obtain one of two types of temporary disability benefits.
- Temporary total disability: Available if your doctor determines you are unable to work. You may receive up to 2/3 of the average weekly salary you had at the time of your injury or illness. Unless the injury is catastrophic, you will not get benefits beyond 400 weeks from the date of injury.
- Temporary partial disability: Available if you can go back to work, but only in employment that involves less strenuous duty and less income than what you had before. You may be eligible to receive up to 2/3 of the difference between your average wage each week before and after your injury. Benefits will cease 350 weeks after the date of injury.
Permanent Disability Benefits
If your doctor determines that your injury is permanent, and it will keep you from going back to work for 12 months or more, you may receive temporary total disability 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. The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation neatly categorizes injuries into these boxes, but injuries themselves 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.
OUR MACON WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEYS ANSWER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
THE FOLLOWING ARE ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS OUR CLIENTS OFTEN ASK
WHAT ARE GEORGIA STATE LAWS REGARDING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
WHAT IF THE EMPLOYER DOESN’T HAVE COVERAGE?
HOW DO I FILE A CLAIM FOR WORKERS’ COMP?
WHAT MEDICAL TREATMENT WILL BE PAID?
HOW LONG CAN I RECEIVE BENEFITS?
WHAT BENEFITS WILL MY DEPENDENTS RECEIVE IF I DIE AS THE RESULT OF AN ON-THE-JOB ACCIDENT?
OUR MACON WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEY CAN HELP SECURE ADDED INJURY PAYMENTS
IN SOME CASES, OUR ATTORNEYS CAN HELP YOU GO BEYOND WORKERS’ COMP AND RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR YOUR MONETARY LOSSES AND PAIN AND SUFFERING.
Unlike a personal injury lawsuit, where 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 qualify for, file for, and accept workers’ compensation, you are not allowed to sue your employer even if their negligence caused the accident. However, there are certain situations where you can file a lawsuit for the injuries you suffered.
In Georgia, these include the following:
- Your employer doesn’t have workers’ comp coverage.
- Your employer lies about your injuries’ being work-related and you can prove they are.
- 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
While workers’ compensation can provide benefits for your medical care and lost wages, a personal injury lawsuit can provide additional benefits. In a successful lawsuit, our workers’ comp lawyers can win an award, called damages, for both compensatory damages and punitive damages.
- 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 difficult to quantify, such as past and future pain and suffering.
If a workplace injury results in death, damages for survivors may include potential lifetime earnings of the deceased and loss of companionship.
- Punitive damages are awarded only rarely. According to O.C.G.A., 51-12-5.1, punitive damages are to punish a defendant in cases where there is “willful misconduct, malice, fraud, wantonness, oppression, or … conscious indifference to consequences.”
In a lawsuit, the amount of your damage awards can vary greatly, depending on circumstances such as the severity and permanence of your injuries and the negligence, insurance coverage, and available assets of the defendants. Our Macon workers’ compensation attorneys will fight for the best settlement possible.
CONTACT OUR MACON WORKERS’ COMP LAWYER TODAY
If you have been injured on the job or have lost a loved one in a workplace accident anywhere in the Middle Georgia area, an experienced Macon workers’ compensation lawyer from the Mann Law Firm can help you obtain the workers’ comp benefits that you need and deserve. Contact us today at (478) 742-3381 to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation about your case.
OUR WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEYS NOTE TYPICAL WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS AND INJURIES
There are a wide range of accidents that can be covered by workers’ compensation. The following are typical of those that result in benefits.
Typical workplace accidents and injuries for which workers’ compensation benefits are paid:
- 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.
WORK INJURY STATISTICS
It is estimated by the National Safety Council that:
Total days of work lost in 2019 were 105,000,000
- due to injuries in 2019 —— 70,000,000
- due to injuries in prior years ——— 35,000,000
- in future years from 2019 injuries — 55,000,000
The costs of work injuries in 2019 were:
- per worker —— $1,100
- per death—— $1,220,000
- per medically consulted injury —– $42,000
The most common types of injuries that prevent employees from working are sprains, tears and strains; soreness and pain in the back or neck; and cuts, lacerations and punctures.
The top three workplace injury events are overexertion; contact with objects and equipment; and slips, trips and falls.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AFTER AN INJURY AT WORK
THE PROCESS OF FILING A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM BEGINS WITH THE WORKER’S INFORMING THE EMPLOYER OF THE INCIDENT THAT CAUSED THE INJURY.
While you shouldn’t be subjected to intense scrutiny or be required to do an excessive amount of paperwork, here are a few important things to remember after being hurt at work:
- Report all workplace accidents and injuries right away when they happen on the job.
- You must tell your employer if you have been hurt at work. This must be done within 30 days of the date of injury or when you first became aware of the work-related injury or illness.
- You also have the responsibility to inform your doctor about your injury and how it occurred on the job.
- You must accept reasonable medical treatments if ordered by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
- Submit to drug testing after a workplace accident if the employer or workers’ compensation insurance company requires it.
- Make only honest and true statements and claims to receive workers’ comp. You can be convicted of a misdemeanor if you make false or misleading statements to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
- Report change in status to the provider of workers’ comp or your company.
4 THINGS TO DO IF YOU HAVE BEEN INJURED ON THE JOB
- Report the injury to your supervisor.
- Ask to see the panel of physicians from your employer’s insurance company.
- Select a physician from the panel.
- If the doctor recommends physical restrictions at work, advise your supervisor about them.
If you have questions about the process or feel you may not be treated fairly, talk to a workers’ comp lawyer on our team. Our experience and knowledge will ensure that your rights and benefits are protected.
EMPLOYER RESPONSIBILITIES SURROUNDING A WORKPLACE INJURY
EMPLOYERS HAVE SEVERAL RESPONSIBILITIES UNDER THE WORKERS’ COMP SYSTEM.
Most employers with three or more employees must have coverage. If they do not, employees may be able to file a lawsuit against the company in civil court.
Employers also are required to:
- Post information 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 also should be stated.
- Provide the injured employee with a workers’ compensation claim form within 24 hours of getting notice of the injury or illness.
- Provide each employee with written material about employees’ rights to receive workers’ comp.
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WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PROCESS IN ACTION – CALL OUR MACON WORKERS’ COMP LAWYERS TO GET STARTED
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE PROTECTS WORKERS FROM FINANCIAL RUIN AFTER AN ON-THE-JOB INJURY. OUR MACON WORKERS’ COMP ATTORNEYS EXPLAIN HOW THE PROCESS WORKS.
BEGIN BY MAKING A CLAIM
In Georgia, telling your employer about your injury is the first step to starting a workers’ comp claim. You must give prompt notice of the work-related injury in writing or orally. If you do not tell your employer about the injury within 30 days, you could forfeit the right to collect workers’ comp benefits. You also must file Form WC-14 with the State Board and send a copy of the form to your employer and its workers’ comp insurance provider.
After you have reported the injury, your company must tell its insurance company. The workers’ comp provider will review the claim and determine whether you are eligible for benefits. It may review medical records, work experience, wages and education, and could order a medical evaluation to assess your physical condition. If you are approved for benefits, the insurance provider must promptly pay benefits to you.
IF YOUR CLAIM IS DENIED, YOU CAN APPEAL
To start this process, you need to ask for a hearing with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Unless your case is very simple, it is highly recommended that you hire a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney to handle the appeal. The insurance company will have good attorneys, and you could be at a serious disadvantage without proper legal counsel. That’s why it’s important to reach out to a workers’ comp lawyer who has significant experience helping injured workers.
A DENIAL IS NOT THE END OF THE ROAD
Like many government programs, workers’ compensation does not always work as expected.
And, as the program has been adjusted through the years, its rules and regulations have grown more complicated. Injured workers who are denied workers’ compensation benefits, or who are dissatisfied with the benefits they have been allocated, may request a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
This hearing is before an Administrative Law Judge, who determines what benefits, if any, the worker should receive. “Your employer may be represented at the hearing by a lawyer,” the Board of Workers’ Compensation says in its FAQs about the workers’ comp program. “You may need help from a lawyer in order to present your claim properly.” Indeed, an experienced Macon workers’ compensation lawyer like those at the Mann Law Firm can help you if you face problems applying for, or appealing denial of, workers’ comp benefits.
GET HELP FROM A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAWYER IN MACON
People who are trying to recover from workplace injuries or families who are coping with the loss of a breadwinner should receive the benefits they deserve and not be further burdened by government bureaucracy. But aggressive legal help is often required to realize this goal. A workers’ compensation lawyer in Macon from the Mann Law Firm will work to protect both you and your dependents while you recover and to secure the proper amount of workers’ compensation benefits for your accident.
We will also fight to ensure your job is safe while you’re on leave. Give us a call at (478) 742-3381 for a free case evaluation to get started.