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.