Understanding Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation System
Have you experienced an accident at work which required medical attention or even a hospital stay? Work injuries can range from minor scrapes and lacerations to head and spine injuries, paralysis and even wrongful death. Each injury must be handled under the Georgia workers’ compensation laws.
Here are common questions we receive at our law firm regarding workers’ comp.
What Are Examples Of Types Of Workplace Accident Injuries?
Workplace injuries can vary greatly. If you work in an industrial job, you could be at risk for many different injuries, including chemical burns or infections. Hazardous duties can result in potentially catastrophic injuries such as the following:
- Head or traumatic brain injuries
- Spine injuries
- Back injuries, including herniated disks
- Shoulder injuries such as a torn rotator cuff or labrum
- Knee injuries
- Neck injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome
- Sprains and strains to the neck or back
- Broken bones
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
If you have been injured in a work accident, you must report the injury to your employer. If you have been injured while doing your job, you may be entitled to receive compensation for time out of work, along with a doctor’s care paid for by your employer. It does not matter if you work in a hazardous field of work like construction or you work in an office at a desk.
The law provides you with compensation for any injury you sustain while doing your job. If you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, contact The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, LLC, to discuss:
- Medical treatment
- Medical bills and expenses
- Rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Medication and assistive devices
- Weekly cash benefits to compensate for lost time due to disability from your work injury
- Potential lump sum cash settlement
I was provided medical care after I got hurt, but now I am not being allowed to see a doctor. I can’t afford to pay for this by myself! What are my options?
Chances are, you have legal options for additional medical evaluation(s) that could help you better understand your injuries and work capabilities. Workers Comp often fails to tell injured workers about these options. The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller can help you choose the next doctor to evaluate your work injury. Making the wrong doctor choice can really damage your case!
I was told if I reported my work injury, I will be fired! Is that true?
We get this question from injured employees every day! This is the #1 scare tactic employers use to keep the number of workers’ comp claims low. Terrorizing the employee into believing their job depends on covering up their own work injury is illegal. Firing an employee specifically because they got hurt on the job is illegal, too. Don’t put your employer ahead of you and your family and don’t be intimidated. You can get through this and you will, as long as you are armed with the right information.
I got hurt on the job, but I am being told my claim is denied. What do I do now?
Workers’ comp claims are routinely denied for a variety of reasons, some of which are not legitimate or legally valid. The only way to know if your claim denial can be successfully appealed is to have a free consultation with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer who can file for an appeal hearing. Anything short of this will do nothing to change the outcome of your work injury claim.
I am being provided medical care, but I can’t work due to my injury and I have no income right now! What can I do?
Georgia workers’ comp law provides for an income benefit in the amount of two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage to be paid to the injured employee under certain circumstances. Workers’ compensation insurance often tries to deny the injured worker this income benefit, even while paying for the medical care. The best thing to do initially is to bug workers’ comp constantly about income benefits. If you get denied or you simply don’t get an answer at all, contact The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller ASAP to see if your case meets the criteria for payment of income benefits.
I was hurt while working, but my boss told me to say it was not work-related. Can he do that?
Many companies reward management for keeping the number of employee injury claims down. But work injury claims are accidental by nature, so when they happen, we often hear stories of employers telling the injured employee to “claim it on your health insurance or disability policy” instead of workers’ comp. This saves the company money and may net the boss a big bonus. Don’t put your company ahead of you and your family; failing to file under workers’ comp can cost you tons of money and often does nothing to protect your employment in the long run. If you are not provided with medical care under workers’ comp soon after your accident, then you need legal representation.
My workers’ comp doctor told me I need surgery, but it has not been approved. What can I do about it?
Surgery makes your workers’ comp claim significantly more expensive. What does that mean to you? It means workers’ comp doesn’t want to pay for it and will use many types of tactics to get out of having to do so. Delay, denial, endless second opinions are all designed to put tremendous pressure on you. If your workers’ comp doctor says you need surgery, chances are you are entitled to it! Getting workers’ comp insurance to pay for it is another story. The Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller can get things moving for you through knowledge of the law and the players in the workers’ comp system.
I got a call from workers’ comp telling me to settle my workplace injury claim. How do I know I am getting a fair deal?
When it comes down to it, convincing you to settle your case for pennies on the dollar is how workers’ comp makes a profit every year. Learning how to evaluate the settlement value of a work injury claim takes years to master. In order to understand the value of your workers’ comp claim, hire an experienced workplace injury attorney to evaluate and negotiate your settlement. It costs you nothing out of your pocket, and you get the benefit of increased claim value because a case being handled by a skilled workers’ comp lawyer is worth more than one being handled by the injured person themselves.
What are the common reasons why workers’ compensation benefits claims are denied?
The denial letter you receive outlines the reasons why the state denied your claim. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Timeliness: You did not file your initial claim within the required time frame.
- No treatment: You must seek medical evaluation and treatment for injuries to be covered by workers’ compensation.
- Claim is in dispute: Your employer may dispute the claim, stating that your injuries were not work-related. You will need legal advice and guidance to determine what falls within or outside of the scope of work-related injuries.
- Insufficient evidence of work-related injury: Even if your employer does not dispute your claim, your injuries must meet the guidelines of the workers’ compensation bureau to be covered.
- Noncompensable injury: The specific type of injury must be covered under the state’s workers’ compensation guidelines. The state can still deny a claim for noncovered injuries, even if they occurred at work.
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you have the right to file an appeal with the workers’ compensation board in Georgia. The appeals process can be lengthy and complicated.
Should I start the appeal process myself?
You should speak to a lawyer to review your case before filing an appeal. Gather all the documentation and letters you received from the workers’ compensation bureau. List the names of doctors and medical facilities where you received treatment, including rehabilitation or therapy services and pharmacy medications. Bring this information to a lawyer who truly knows workers’ compensation law.
Contact A Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, if benefit payments are late or if medical treatment is not being approved, you must take prompt action.
T. Andrew Miller is an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer. Mr. Miller has years of experience protecting his clients’ rights in the courtroom and understands the strategy the insurance company will use to deny your claim. Contact our offices today to schedule a free initial consultation. Call 678-605-9109 or connect with us through our website.