Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you get hurt on the job in Atlanta, Georgia worker’s compensation insurance should pay for all of your medical expenses. If you miss more than a week of work because of your injury, workers’ comp pays a portion of your wages while you are out. Other benefits are payable as well, including for permanent disability or workplace fatalities.
Workers’ compensation is available for any on-the-job injury, without regard to fault. You don’t have to prove that your employer or a co-worker was responsible for causing the accident or injury, and it doesn’t matter if your negligence caused the accident, for the most part. If you work for a company with three or more employees, including part-time employees, you are covered by that company’s workers’ compensation policy from day one on the job.
Paying workers’ comp claims make your boss’ insurance premiums go up and lowers the profits the insurance company makes, so don’t be surprised if your company or their insurance carrier makes it difficult for you to get your benefits. If it’s taking too long to get your benefits, if your claim is denied, or if your benefits are cut off before you are able to return to work, then it’s time to get an attorney. The Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at the Durham Law Group can help you get the benefits you need and deserve when you’ve been injured on the job. Call our office for a free consultation if you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident in Atlanta.
What You Should Know About Workers’ Compensation Claims and Benefits in Atlanta
Workers’ compensation pays all medical expenses stemming from a work-related accident or illness (occupational disease). Medical benefits should cover all doctor and hospital visits, physical therapy, and any medications your doctor prescribes. You can also receive mileage reimbursement for travel to and from the doctor or pharmacy. In some cases, medical benefits include payments for medical and vocational rehabilitation as well.
Workers’ comp also pays wage loss benefits when your doctor places you on “no work” status. Wage replacement benefits equal two-thirds of your regular weekly wage, up to a maximum of $675 a week. These benefits last as long as you are out of work to a maximum of 400 weeks, although lifetime benefits are available for catastrophic injuries. If you can return to work but are still disabled, you can receive permanent partial disability (PPD) payments based on your PPD rating. These benefits can be as much as $450 per week for 350 weeks.
When an injury on the job results in death, the employee’s dependents (spouse, children, stepchildren) can receive wage loss benefits, subject to certain maximum amounts. For instance, a widowed spouse with no children can receive up to $270,000, although benefits can be terminated if the widow remarries or cohabits with a romantic partner.
How Durham Law Group Can Help After an Injury on the Job in Atlanta
Claiming workers’ compensation benefits should be a simple, straightforward process, but it doesn’t always work that way. Employers and their workers’ comp insurance carriers might get in the way and try to keep you from getting your benefits. If it is taking too long to get benefits or your claim is denied, an experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney at Durham Law Group can help you get your claim approved. Common excuses insurance companies use to deny claims include:
- You did not file a timely and complete claim
- Your injury did not happen while you were on the job
- You caused the accident through your own reckless behavior (willful misconduct, violating a safety rule, drinking on the job)
- You intentionally tried to injure yourself or another
- You are not injured as bad as you say you are
- You are an independent contractor or otherwise not entitled to workers’ compensation
Even if your doctor says you are injured and cannot work, the insurance company might send you to an independent medical examination. The insurer is hoping the IME will contradict the doctor and give them an excuse to deny your claim or terminate your benefits before you are ready to go back to work. Your lawyer can advise you on your rights regarding an IME and dispute the findings if necessary.
You have up to a year to file a claim if you are not getting the benefits you deserve. An administrative law judge (ALJ) with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation will hold a hearing to decide whether you are entitled to benefits or not. You are entitled to be represented by an attorney at this hearing. Rest assured that your employer will have a lawyer; you should have one too. Your attorney can also represent you in further steps if your claim is denied by the ALJ, including appeals and reviews at the agency level or in court.
Get Help With Workers’ Compensation After an On the Job Injury in Atlanta
You must report a workplace accident, injury or illness within 30 days to preserve your right to benefits, so act quickly in notifying your supervisor and following company policy after an injury on the job. If you need help getting benefits, contact an experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney at Durham Law Group, P.C. Your consultation is free, and we only charge a fee after we are successful in getting benefits for you. Workers’ comp attorney’s fees are limited by Georgia law to a percentage of your award, so you don’t have to worry about being able to afford high-quality legal representation from experienced, dedicated and successful workers’ compensation attorneys. Call Durham Law Group today at 404-845-3434 for your free consultation about how we can help you get the benefits you are entitled to.