Workers Compensation Lawyer Decatur, GA
Employees work to make a living. For the employer-employee system to work fairly, workers must benefit financially from their investment of time and energy in their jobs. However, if they suffer a work-related injury, their efforts can do the opposite, costing them medical bills and lost wages. In severe cases, working could result in serious disability, leaving the injured employee without any means of support.
Workers' compensation ensures employees never suffer financially because they have worked. Regardless of fault or how the injury occurred, workers must receive full payment for their medical and rehabilitative costs and any wages lost due to the injury.
While this sounds wonderful in theory, insurers and employers deny many legitimate claims. In addition, settlement offers often contain traps that limit compensation, sticking the worker with part of the expense.
Brooks Injury Law prides itself on working tirelessly for its clients' best interests. Our legal team prepares cases expertly and negotiates hard to win our clients everything they deserve. No Brooks Injury Law client receives less than total compensation.
What is Workers' Compensation?
Workers' compensation is the system of laws nationwide that govern how an accident on the job is handled. Your employer has (hopefully) paid for workers' compensation insurance to assist injured workers, but the rules of workers' comp are very different from any other type of accident.
The insurance is designed to help cover your lost wages and medical bills while you are out of work due to an injury that was sustained on the job.
Not every accident attorney has the expertise to handle workers' compensation claims. In addition, not every workers' comp attorney has the expertise to know when you have a claim against an outside company in addition to your workers' compensation claim.
That's why it is so important to find a firm like Brooks Injury Law, that can handle both workers' compensation and "third party" claims, so you get every penny you are entitled to under the law.
Is it Worth Getting a Workers' Compensation Lawyer?
In all cases, it's advisable to consult a workers' compensation attorney to understand your rights, obligations, and impact on your career. For a small claim that goes uncontested, you won't need to hire a lawyer to represent you for litigation. Instead, you gain the necessary knowledge through consultation, advice, and counsel.
On the other hand, if you have a large claim, receive a denial, or suffer retaliation, you must hire a Decatur workers' compensation attorney as soon as possible. Your Decatur workers' compensation lawyer ensures that you avoid any pitfalls that compromise your case.
In addition, they establish the correct legal position given the circumstances, use the strengths of your case to negotiate with employers and insurers, and win in court against unreasonable defendants.
Why Choose Brooks Injury Law For Your Workers Compensation Claim?
Brooks Injury Law staffs itself with tenacious litigators whose laser focus is on maximizing settlements and awards for clients. Insurance companies increase profits when they deny claims or reduce settlements. Often, they need push back from a tough Decatur workers' compensation lawyer. Brooks Injury Law provides the push needed for our clients to win.
Types Of Workers' Compensation Claim & Coverage
Workers' compensation insurance covers any work-related injury—the type of injury, how it occurred, and where are irrelevant. For instance, a worker who cuts his finger on a factory machine is covered. Likewise, an office staffer who develops a back injury from long hours of computer work is covered. In addition, workers engaging in company business off-premises, such as remote employees or delivery drivers, are covered.
Also, contractors and other non-traditionally classified workers have workers' compensation rights.
How Much Is My Workers Compensation Case Worth?
The value of a workers' compensation claim varies widely from a few low-cost medical bills to millions of dollars in cases of disabling injuries or death. Since workers' compensation claims cover medical expenses and lost wages, you can estimate a value if you know enough about the injury to approximate the treatment costs and time out of work.
Workers' compensation excludes non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. In addition, the law bars workers from filing a personal injury lawsuit against their employer.
However, suppose a third party also has culpability. In that case, you may be able to collect workers' compensation and file a personal injury suit against the third party for pain and suffering and other damages.
For instance, if a delivery driver suffers an injury because of another motorist's negligence, he may receive workers' compensation from the employer and pursue the at-fault motorist for damages in a separate action.
Workers' compensation coverage benefits include many types of compensatory damages:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls
Decatur Workers' Compensation Facts
FAQs About Workers Compensation In Decatur, GA
What If I've Been Hurt In My Job?
Georgia's workers' compensation law entitles you to payment for lost wages and medical bills when you suffer a work-related injury. The law mandates employers carry workers' compensation insurance. To receive compensation under a workers' compensation policy, you must follow these steps:
Report the injury to management right away. You must inform your supervisor or human resources. Telling a coworker is insufficient.
Regardless of the perceived severity of the injury, visit the doctor as soon as possible. Often, injuries are more serious than they first appear. You must see the workers; compensation plan doctor first, but you can seek a second opinion later.
Create a written record of the incident, injury symptoms, and treatment to aid your memory.
Photograph any visible injuries.
File the plan's procedure for filing a claim. Your human resources department can provide documents describing how to file the claim.
Consult with a workers' compensation attorney, especially if you have a large claim, receive a claim denial, or suffer retaliation for filing a claim.
What Are My Rights Under Georgia Workers' Compensation Laws?
Georgia workers' compensation law entitles injured parties to compensation for lost wages and medical expenses when injured on the job, regardless of fault or location. As long as the injury occurred in the line of duty, you are covered.
Workers' compensation does not provide compensation for pain, suffering, or other non-pecuniary damages.
Who Qualifies for Workers' Compensation in Georgia?
All employers with over three employees must carry workers' compensation insurance. The law entitles employees who suffer work-related injuries to compensation for lost wages and medical bills.
An injured worker qualifies as long as the injury is work-related, even if the incident occurred off-premises. For example, a remote salesperson injured while driving to a sales call qualifies for workers' compensation. However, an injury from an auto accident while commuting to work usually falls outside the purview of workers' compensation.
Workers also qualify regardless of fault. In a personal injury lawsuit, cases and damages are decided based on comparative negligence. To collect, plaintiffs must prove that the defendant was substantially at fault for the accident. For a workers' compensation claim, the fault is irrelevant.
For instance, if a worker accidentally places his hand inside a running machine, they are arguably at fault for the accident, provided the employer followed all safety regulations. However, workers receive the same compensation whether they are at fault, the company is at fault, or blame resides on both sides.
However, the insurer may deny the claim if the employee engaged in misconduct that caused the injury. For example, if a heavy machine operator came to work intoxicated and injured himself, the workers' compensation insurer will likely deny the claim.
Every employer prohibits employees from using heavy machinery while intoxicated, so misconduct is evident in this case. Because the misconduct (intoxication while operating heavy machinery) caused or contributed to the injury, the worker in this example likely faces disqualification from benefits.
Can I Sue My Employer for Denying Workers' Compensation?
Yes. If your employer denies a rightful claim, you can sue and win. However, time limits apply, and building a solid foundation for your case is key to winning and maximizing the award. Contact Brooks Injury Law's Decatur workers' compensation lawyers as soon as possible to ensure you meet all time limits and build the most robust case possible.
Is There a Time Limit to File My Case?
Yes. Injured workers must inform their employer of the injury within 30 days of its occurrence; additionally, a WC-14 Notice of Claim must be filed with the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation within one year.
How Long Will It Take To Resolve My Case?
Georgia law gives insurers 21 days to investigate and make a claims decision. If they contest the claim, a settlement can take several months to over a year, depending at which stage of the litigation process the insurance company agrees to a just settlement. Cases that go to trial and appeals can take several years, though most cases settle out of court.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Workers' Compensation Attorney In Decatur, GA?
Decatur workers' comp lawyers work on a contingency fee, so clients pay nothing out of pocket. Instead, they pay the attorney's fees through a portion of the settlement or award. Because there is no fee unless they collect, clients face no financial risk.
Georgia law limits Decatur workers' comp lawyers' fees to 25% of settlement or award. Workers comp lawyers fight claims denials and negotiate on behalf of their clients for larger compensation. In most cases, the reversal of a claim's denial or increased compensation more than pays for the legal fees.
Contact Decatur, GA Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
When you're injured on the job, you need a team of tough Decatur personal injury attorneys on your side. Call Brooks Injury Law to consult with the best.