You Have A Pre-Existing Condition- If you have any serious underlying health condition, it may be used as an excuse to deny your compensation benefits. Insurance companies and employers may claim your pre-existing condition is what caused your current ailment, and that your injury is not related to a workplace accident. Call us at (470) 268-5802 We have a team of workers’ comp attorneys who have completed additional training in workers’ compensation law.
Depending on your scenario, you may need an experienced lawyer by your side to make sure you receive the compensation that you deserve. Call Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC, at (470) 268-5802 to set up a FREE, No-Obligation Case Review/Consultation with a member of our experienced workers’ compensation legal team.
Workers’ compensation serves two main purposes: to ensure employees can secure benefits after workplace injuries and prevent lawsuits against employers when a worker is injured. Please don’t hesitate to call us at (470) 268-5802 We have a team of workers’ comp attorneys who have completed additional training in workers’ compensation law.
Workers Compensation Lawyers Near Me
No one expects to get hurt on the job, but accidents in the workplace happen. Accidents can be common at work – a back injury from lifting heavy boxes, a broken arm from a fall off a ladder, or carpal tunnel syndrome as a result of years of typing are all common examples. Suffering an injury at work can lead to temporary or permanent disability, further complicating a victim’s professional life. The last thing you want after a work accident is to struggle to get compensation for your losses. Workers compensation lawyers near me can help workers who are injured on the job recover compensation for these injuries, including medical bills and lost wages.
After suffering an injury in the workplace one of the first questions you may have is, “When should I hire a workers’ comp attorney?” You may also wonder if hiring an attorney is necessary, what assistance they can provide and how much it will all cost. With so much uncertainty on top of an injury, filing a workers’ compensation claim may seem overwhelming.
Determining When and Why You Need to Hire A Workers’ Comp Attorney
The workers’ compensation system is designed to provide wage loss benefits, medical costs coverage, and other benefits for employees who have been injured in the workplace. Workers’ compensation serves two main purposes: to ensure employees can secure benefits after workplace injuries and prevent lawsuits against employers when a worker is injured.
Since the workers’ compensation system is in place to help injured workers, many injured employees assume they don’t need a workers’ compensation attorney. After all, why hire a workers’ comp lawyer if there is already a system in place to protect you in the event of an accident, injury, or work-related condition?
Workers’ compensation is funded either by an employer or, more commonly, an insurance company. Insurance companies and employers may not want to pay out the full amount of compensation possible in every case. To do so shrinks profits and makes shareholders unhappy.
In addition, there are often situations with a lack of clarity surrounding what caused a workplace injury. There may also be accusations that an injury occurred outside of the workplace or was caused by a pre-existing condition rather than a workplace incident. In these and other situations, a workers’ compensation attorney can protect your rights and work to ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Why You Should Hire A Workers’ Comp Lawyer
In an ideal workers’ compensation case, your injury is relatively minor and straightforward, and there is no question you will get benefits. But not every workplace accident occurs in an ideal situation.
Depending on your scenario, you may need an experienced lawyer by your side to make sure you receive the compensation that you deserve. You will want to consider hiring a worker’s comp attorney if any of the following apply to you:
You Have A Pre-Existing Condition
If you have any serious underlying health condition, it may be used as an excuse to deny your compensation benefits. Insurance companies and employers may claim your pre-existing condition is what caused your current ailment, and that your injury is not related to a workplace accident. But a pre-existing condition does not disqualify you from receiving benefits.
Experienced workers compensation lawyers near me know how to deal with insurance companies and employers trying to find an excuse, claiming a pre-existing condition so that they can deny or reject claims. They know how best to defend workplace injury victims against such a claim.
Your Benefits Are Denied or Delayed
Eighty percent of employees whose workers’ compensation benefits have been denied fail to appeal to further pursue benefits. Even if you have been denied or you find your benefits are delayed, you can appeal or turn to other legal remedies.
A workers’ compensation attorney can guide you through the process and can secure the medical documents and other pieces of evidence that may be needed to prove your case.
Your Employer Denies the Injury Occurred in the Workplace
Issues may arise if your employer refuses to acknowledge your injury occurred in the workplace or is due to your work duties. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can clearly establish the link between your injury and your work. Without the establishment of this link, you may be denied benefits that you rightfully deserve.
You Have Been Seriously Injured and Cannot Work for An Extended period
If your injury is permanent or long-term, your medical costs and treatment needs might be considerable. In these cases, it is more likely your employer or its insurance company will fight to reduce your benefits, so they don’t have to pay substantial costs.
When you have a permanent or serious injury and cannot work, you shouldn’t have to worry about finances. A workers’ comp lawyer can work to secure the long-term benefits that you deserve.
Your Benefits Do Not Cover All of Your Medical Bills and Lost Wages
In some cases, you may have concerns about the way your wage loss benefits are calculated. Incorrect calculations could leave you with less wage loss benefits than you should be getting, which may be an issue if all of your medical bills are not covered, you are expected to pay a deductible or some of your costs.
A workers’ compensation attorney can ensure you get the benefits you need to pay for quality medical care.
You Face Retaliation in The Workplace Because You Have Been Injured
If you file a workers’ compensation claim and your employer seems to be retaliating against you, you should speak to workers compensation lawyers near me immediately. This retaliation could take many forms, including terminating your employment, demoting you, reducing your hours, harassing you, or engaging in other retaliatory behavior.
In Georgia, employees have the right to collect workers’ compensation benefits. When an employer retaliates against a worker for exercising their rights and filing a workers’ compensation claim, that employer violates public policy.
Hiring an attorney can help you report the wrongs invoked through employer retaliation after a workplace injury.
You May Have A Claim Against A Third Party
Part of the workers’ compensation program is designed to shield employers from civil claims. However, some cases may still warrant civil claims. If a defective piece of machinery caused your injuries, you may have a claim against the manufacturer of that machinery.
Civil claims may result in larger settlements because you can pursue non-economic as well as economic damages. An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help you determine the best way to proceed in these cases.
Your Employer Claims You’re Not Covered by Workers’ Compensation
A small number of workers do not qualify for workers’ compensation. Under Georgia law, employees in the following fields may not be covered by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act:
- Railroad workers
- Federal workers
- Casual employees
- Agricultural laborers
- Domestic workers
- Volunteer workers
- Employees with personal religious exemption
Georgia law provides more specifications that may cover some employees in the above fields with other compensation laws. If your employer claims you work as an independent contractor and otherwise do not qualify for workers’ compensation — even though you perform the job duties of a full-time employee — contact a workers’ comp attorney.
An attorney can look at your employment agreement and field of work to determine whether you qualify for workers’ comp benefits.
You and Your Employer Disagree About Your Ability to Work
Your employer or their insurance company may claim you can return to work with modified work duties so they can reduce or suspend your benefits.
If you disagree or think you cannot return to work because of the severity of your injury, our workers’ comp attorney can review your situation and present evidence of your serious medical condition.
When you choose workers compensation lawyers near me that are experienced, they can work to ensure you’re not left without a job and benefits.
Your Employer Has Not Paid for Workers’ Compensation Insurance
By law, Georgia employers are required to pay for workers’ compensation coverage for all qualified workers. This is the case even in small and non-profit organizations. Employers may fulfill this insurance requirement through self-insurance or by going through an insurance company.
If your employer has allowed the insurance to lapse or has never secured insurance for you as required by law, you should consult with an attorney to find out what options exist for you.
You’re Being Accused of Fraud
Workers’ compensation fraud occurs when an employee intentionally receives wages while also receiving total or partial disability benefits that exceed the permitted amount for their situation.
While workers’ compensation fraud is a real concern, you should not be denied benefits if you’re legitimately injured. If your employer or their insurance company alleges you aren’t really injured or you’re trying to defraud the system, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney to defend you against such an allegation.
- Your Employer Disagrees with Or Disputes A Decision Made by The State Workers’ Compensation Division
If your employer and insurer are trying to avoid honoring a decision made by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation or by a judge, you may not receive your due benefits. Consider hiring a workers’ comp lawyer to represent you as you navigate the necessary legal process to receive your workers’ compensation benefits.
- You Do Not Understand the Workers’ Compensation Process
Workers’ compensation can be a fairly daunting process if you are unfamiliar with it. You may have questions about ways to fill out forms, your rights, what you can and can’t say, your settlement, and more. Even in ideal cases, qualified and experienced workers compensation lawyers near me can help you with all of these concerns.
- After Receiving Benefits for Some Time, Your Employer or Its Insurance Company Requests an IME or Other Evaluation
Even if you have been approved for benefits, your employer or its insurance company may try to get you reevaluated to see whether your injury has become less severe. This is known as an independent medical examination (IME), and it may be performed by a company doctor to show that your injury no longer exists or is not as severe.
Often, an IME is a precursor to terminating, reducing, or eliminating your benefits. If you’re being asked to submit to additional tests or a labor market survey, get legal advice from a good, experienced, and reputable workers’ comp attorney to ensure your benefits aren’t reduced or cut off unfairly.
- You Don’t Understand What Could Hurt Your Claim
Several small things can hurt your claim. If you post innocuous pictures on social media, they can be used against you. If you show yourself at a special event on your social media, insurance companies can use this to claim you are not as injured as you reported.
A workers’ compensation attorney can advise you of the seemingly minor incidents that could hurt your claim and can coach you on how to strengthen your claim instead. In many cases, these are issues injured workers don’t even think about.
- The First Doctor You See Has Cleared You for Work Quickly or Did Not Refer You to A Specialist
Sometimes, if you see an employer-approved physician, they will clear you for work quickly — even if you don’t agree you can return to work. They also may not refer you to a specialist, even if you request it. If you’re released to go back to work and decide not to return, you could lose your claim for workers’ compensation.
Your return to work and workers’ compensation claim should support your healing while also complying with relevant laws. An experienced attorney can help you get a second opinion or reach a more suitable agreement.
Schedule A Free Case Evaluation With Us Today
No matter where you work, there are inherent dangers. Whether you suffer a slip and fall accident in the office lobby, a car accident while driving a company vehicle, or a scaffolding incident at a construction site, you have the right to seek compensation if you are injured on the job. Thousands of Georgia employees are hospitalized because of workplace accidents every year.
When you or a family member gets injured on the job, we know how difficult it can be to get your life back on track. From mounting medical bills, loss of income due to missed work and caring for your family, the stress can pile up quickly.
At Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC, we are here to help you seek workers’ compensation that can help ease your financial and emotional burden. Our highly qualified and experienced workers compensation lawyers near me will treat you with compassion and respect and explain your legal options.
Workers Compensation Lawyers Near Me
We have a team of workers’ comp attorneys who have completed additional training in workers’ compensation law and are State Board-Certified specialists in workers’ compensation law by the State Bar of Georgia.
Remember, choosing an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who understands Georgia workers’ compensation law can make a difference in the outcome of your claim.
Please don’t hesitate to call us at (470) 268-5802 or contact us online to set up a FREE, No-Obligation Case Review/Consultation with a member of our experienced workers’ compensation legal team.
Workers Compensation Lawyers Near Me
The good news is that the vast majority of Atlanta Workers Compensation Lawyers will represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means that it will cost you nothing upfront to hire a worker’s comp lawyer to handle your workplace injury claim. Call us now at (470) 268-5802 to ask all of your most pressing questions about your worker’s comp claim.
If an employee gets injured in the workplace, he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, even if they were at fault for the accident. Call us now at (470) 268-5802 to ask all of your most pressing questions about your worker’s comp claim and how we can help you recover and get back to work.
You may also be eligible for either temporary or permanent disability benefits to cover lost wages or compromised earning potential if you missed a considerable amount of work because of your injury. Call us now at (470) 268-5802 We are ready and more than happy to work this journey together until you get your compensation.
Atlanta Workers Compensation Lawyers
If you were hurt in a workplace injury, and you are thinking about hiring a workers’ compensation attorney to help you seek your rightful compensation, then you probably have some questions about the process on how to go about it. There are many Atlanta workers compensation lawyers out there, and therefore, making the right choice can be challenging.
Remember, your decision about who will represent you and handle your workers’ comp claim is one of the most important decisions in the process of seeking the compensation that you deserve.
If you take your worker’s comp claim seriously and understand the stakes involved depending on the severity of your injury, then it is in your best interest to partner with an experienced workplace injury attorney who is just as dedicated to seeking justice and compensation as you are.
Suppose you are just at the beginning stage of the claim-filing process. In that case, it is more than likely that you have many pressing questions about the kinds of benefits you stand to receive, how to handle the insurance company and claims adjuster, and your employer. And if you were seriously injured, you will have many more questions about your future employment opportunities and the road to recovery.
No matter the kinds of questions you have, seeking the help of an experienced and reputable workers’ compensation attorney is the first step to getting the answers you need. A worker’s compensation lawyer’s job is to look out for your best interests and help you make the right decisions along the way.
To make sure that you find the right attorney for your case/claim, we have put together a list of some of the essential questions you should ask your potential workers’ comp lawyer before hiring him/her to represent you.
15 Crucial Questions to Ask a Workers’ Comp Lawyer Before Hiring
Like therapy or a good mechanic, it is normal to shop around for the right attorney. Most attorneys offer a free consultation and case evaluation so you can sit down to discuss your case and find out as much as you can about his or her legal practice (for instance, specialization), experience, and expertise.
By asking the following questions, you will have a good understanding of whether the lawyer you want to hire has the relevant experience and expertise to represent you and handle your claim.
What Amount of Benefits Do I Qualify For?
Particularly during your free case consultation, evaluation, and review, one of the most important questions is about the benefits and compensation you stand to receive.
Suppose you were injured in the workplace. In that case, you are at minimum entitled to compensation to cover any medical treatments or rehabilitation that are required for you to recover, get well and return to work.
You may also be eligible for either temporary or permanent disability benefits to cover lost wages or compromised earning potential if you missed a considerable amount of work because of your injury.
If you have a valid worker’s comp claim, then the attorney will be able to give you a good idea of the potential outcomes for your case in terms of what kinds of benefits you may expect to receive.
Does It Matter If the Accident Was My Fault?
Unlike personal injury claims, such as a car accident, fault is seldom an essential factor in workers comp claims in Georgia — it doesn’t matter whose fault the accident was.
If an employee gets injured in the workplace, he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, even if they were at fault for the accident.
This is a sensitive topic because any time an accident occurs, victims naturally wonder whether they could be liable in some way. Knowledgeable and experienced Atlanta workers compensation lawyers will be able to give you more details and clarity about the role of fault in your worker’s comp case.
What is Your Success Rate Settling Workers’ Compensation Cases?
You don’t need to spend an eternity grilling a potential attorney about their past successes and failures. But you want to get a real sense of their success rate over their career so far.
A savvy attorney will already anticipate this question. So, when you ask, it is a good sign if they share a ballpark percentage for their success rate.
While there is no right or wrong answer, there is little doubt that a higher success rate is a better indicator of performance and capability than a lower success rate.
If you notice the attorney acting evasive, or you think they may be embellishing their accomplishments, these are red flags to keep in mind as you continue and ask the rest of your questions.
What Does It Cost to Hire a Workers’ Comp Attorney?
The topic of the cost will inevitably come up during your conversations sooner or later.
The good news is that the vast majority of Atlanta Workers Compensation Lawyers will represent you on a contingency fee basis. This means that it will cost you nothing upfront to hire a worker’s comp lawyer to handle your workplace injury claim.
Instead, the lawyer will receive a percentage of the financial compensation you are awarded from a negotiated settlement or for a winning verdict in a court trial.
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
In every state, there is a statute of limitations. This regulation is the window of time following the date your accident took place. In the state of Georgia, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of your accident, and you have 30 days to give notice of your injury to your employer.
This means you must file a workers’ compensation claim within one year of the date of your accident if you are to qualify for compensation for your accident-related injuries and losses. In some states, it may be two years, and some even longer than that.
Depending on your state, a workplace injury attorney will be able to provide further guidance and recommendations for filing your worker’s compensation claim within the appropriate timeline.
Do You Have Experience Taking Cases to Court?
In most cases, workers’ comp claims will be resolved out of court with a mutually agreed settlement. But if the settlement value offer is not reasonable in your estimation, then filing a lawsuit may be the next logical step toward seeking rightful compensation.
If there is even a chance of trying your case in a court of law, then you want to be sure that your lawyer has ample experience trying cases in court. They by no means must be a reputable and dedicated trial attorney, but they should have adequate experience and confidence trying cases in court.
Remember, not all Atlanta workers compensation lawyers try cases in court.
Will I Work Directly with You Throughout the Case?
Once you get some answers about pricing, the benefits you might qualify for, and how long you can expect the process to take, you will want to ask your lawyer, who will be your main point of contact throughout the process.
Depending on the firm’s size and the number of key personnel working there, you may not always be paired directly with the managing attorney.
Even if the attorney is doing the bulk of the work towards your case, there is a chance you may be working directly with a subordinate, such as a paralegal or an associate.
You want to clarify your main point of contact before you get started working together in a professional capacity. Settling workers comp cases can take weeks, months, potentially longer, and you owe it to yourself to ask who will be guiding you through the process most directly. That way, when you have questions or concerns, you will know what to expect and who to turn to with your questions and concerns.
Have You Represented Clients with Similar Injuries as Mine?
In addition to asking for clarity about your lawyer’s experience and expertise specializing in workers’ comp claims, it is helpful to ask if they have experience representing clients with similar injuries to yours.
If it turns out they have, then it stands to reason that they are capable and qualified to represent yours as well. In other words, you want to make sure this isn’t your lawyer’s first rodeo. If they have represented clients like you, your experience will likely be more productive.
How Long Until I See the Money?
The single most important question on your mind is sure to be about financial compensation and how long it will take to get your money.
Unfortunately, there is no way to say with certainty how long the process will take from start to finish. An experienced attorney should give you a rough timeline based on the details of your case.
As you provide more detailed documentation about the nature of your worker’s comp case, the attorney will be able to anticipate the next steps, including an estimate of the time to see it through.
The more complex the case and the more details that need to be scrutinized and considered, the longer it may take to receive financial benefits and compensation. It also depends on whether your claim is approved or denied. A workers’ comp attorney will have answers to all of these questions.
What Should I Tell My Doctor?
Injured workers must seek medical attention to determine the severity and extent of injuries resulting from the accident. If you ask a potential attorney what details to communicate to your doctor during your initial consultation, there is only one right answer: the truth.
Some Atlanta workers compensation lawyers may try to persuade you to alter your case’s details in an attempt to bend the truth in your favor. Doing so not only goes against workers’ compensation law but attempting to change the information that makes it onto your medical records regarding your medical bills or medical expenses or the degree of your impairment can compromise the validity of your claim.
You should be forthcoming and honest with all medical providers who treat you about what happened down to the very last detail. That being said, when you are talking with your doctor, speak only to the facts. Avoid small talk. And do not allow them to misconstrue or misunderstand the details of your accident and injury.
Ultimately, the results of your medical evaluation will be used in your formal medical record. This record may be used as evidence to help or hurt your case.
Can I Sue My Employer? How About a Third Party?
If you are entitled to workers’ compensation, you are most likely prohibited from suing your employer, except for certain limited circumstances.
When you file a worker’s comp claim, you are initiating a formal process that is already in place with your employer for situations involving workplace accidents and injury.
Suppose there were any complications involving a third party not affiliated with your employer. In that case, an attorney should guide on how to file a lawsuit if need be.
What Issues or Difficulties Do You See with My Case?
There are bound to be unexpected issues, difficulties, and shortcomings that arise in any case. Experienced Atlanta workers compensation lawyers may be able to point out any problems regarding your case’s details in advance.
As you explain the narrative of your workplace accident and injury, the attorney should be able to anticipate any problem areas or details that might make your claim an uphill battle. This isn’t always the case, but when speaking with an attorney, you want to make sure that they are honest about how your case might unfold.
If your attorney tells you that your case will be smooth sailing and have no problems whatsoever, that should be a red flag. Nothing in law is ever easy or straightforward. The legal system in America is very complex, and no two cases are ever truly alike.
An attorney who has had a long career of successes and has plenty of experience managing cases like yours will be able to reflect on past challenges and difficulties and be honest if he sees any such possible challenges with your case.
Do You Have Any References?
If you have asked your prospective attorney about his past successes and success rate but are still not yet convinced, ask to see some recent testimonials or references from past clients.
Just as you would want to see proof of past results, you might also want to see previous clients’ experiences working with this law firm and attorney. Many law firms make available client testimonials publicly on their firm website. If they don’t, it can’t hurt to ask for these references.
When seeking legal representation for your worker’s comp claim, you want to select a professional who people enjoy working with. Navigating the legal system is frequently stressful, so choosing a partner who is empathetic and considerate can make all the difference.
When asking about references and testimonials about prospective Atlanta workers compensation lawyers, you should also make a point of asking to speak to a past client to learn more about their experience.
When Should I Go Back to Work?
If your workplace injury has caused you to miss several days of work, maybe more, or you are on temporary disability benefits and do not know when you will be well enough to return to your previous position, then it’s natural to wonder when you can expect to go back to work.
There are many considerations to think about when discussing your return to work. If your injury has resulted in partial disability and your employer attempts to change your position’s parameters or try to work in a different role within the company. Or possibly even ask you to work outside your doctor-ordered restrictions.
A worker’s compensation attorney may intervene and help you make the right decision that aligns with your ideal path to recovery and your future work employment opportunities. An attorney will help you work through conflicting restrictions or unreasonable requests from your employer should they come up.
Your lawyer should always have your best interests in mind and help you re-enter the workforce when you’re ready and able.
How Will I Know When to Settle My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
There is no right or wrong time to settle. However, your attorney should have the previous relevant knowledge and experience necessary to help estimate a reasonable settlement amount and provide guidance if there is an opportunity to push for a better offer.
Additionally, your workplace injury attorney will be able to help you decide which type of settlement is the best option for you, whether that is a lump sum settlement, a structured settlement, or a compromise and release payment.
Get Legal Advice and Representation from Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC Today
If you are looking to partner with a potential worker’s comp lawyer, do yourself a favor and ask them some of the questions you just read about in this article. If you were injured in a workplace injury, ask if they specialize in your particular injury type.
Ask if they work on a contingency basis or some other fee structure. Ask your attorney about the timeline, benefits, and amount of compensation you stand to receive after filing your worker’s comp claim.
Bobe & Snell Law Office LLC is a well-established and reputable law firm with over 25 years of experience serving injured workers in Atlanta, Alpharetta, and surrounding areas. We have a team of highly knowledgeable, experienced, dedicated, reliable, compassionate, and professional Atlanta workers compensation lawyers that can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Atlanta Workers Compensation Lawyers
Contact us today to ask all of your most pressing questions about your worker’s comp claim and how we can help you recover and get back to work. We are ready and more than happy to work this journey together until you get your compensation. Call us now at (470) 268-5802 or contact us online to schedule your FREE, no-obligation consultation/case evaluation.
Atlanta Workers Compensation Lawyers