Accidents happen at anytime and anywhere. You could suffer injuries in an accident at your home, while traveling or at your workplace. Your accident can result in serious injuries or even death. After an injury, an accident victim may worry about the high medical bills and lost wages. In Georgia, if you’re involved in an accident at the workplace you may not have to worry about these. Employees in Mableton, GA are entitled to workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation ensures your medical bills are paid and you get paid if you take time off work to recover. Workers’ comp, as it is commonly known, also pays for medical treatment for an occupational disease. To know how to get compensation after an injury, you should talk to a Mableton workers’ compensation lawyer with our experienced legal team today.
Key Things A Mableton Workers’ Compensation Attorney Will Tell You about Workers’ Comp
- In Mableton, GA, every employer with more than 3 employees should have workers’ compensation. This insurance cover is for employees if they receive injuries at work or their job causes illness. An employer who doesn’t have workers’ compensation can face serious fines or citations.
- Employers who engage, agricultural workers, domestic workers or casual labor are not required to have this type of insurance. Workers’ injured while working for such employers would have to file a personal injury lawsuit for compensation. The lawsuit would compel the employer to pay for their injuries. If their lawsuit is not successful, they would have to pay for the treatment of their injuries out of pocket.
- Workers’ comp covers both full-time and part-time employees. It also covers any minors who might be working for a company. For example, if a minor working part-time at a construction site gets injured, they would get benefits. Workers’ comp benefits include:
- Payment of all medical costs incurred to treat the injury. This includes doctors’ visits, medications, surgeries, and rehabilitation. However, treatment is only paid for if the injured person sees a doctor accepted by the workers’ compensation insurance provider.
- Payment of wages lost during recovery. This cannot exceed $575 per week in the state of Georgia.
- Compensation for partial or total disability.
- Death and funeral benefits for the family if injuries result in death.
- Workers’ comp is paid regardless of who was at fault. If you received injuries due to your employer’s negligence, you won’t have to prove this to get workers’ comp. It also doesn’t matter if you were the one who caused your injury. You will still be paid. Because you don’t have to prove anything, you won’t have to go to court for your compensation. This is good because court cases can take long and they are tiring.
- Workers’ compensation can, however, be denied in a situation where gross negligence caused an injury. If you were, for example, drunk while handling a machine, you may be denied workers’ compensation.
- When you accept workers’ compensation, you are barred from bringing any lawsuit against your employer. Even if they were negligent and caused your injury, you cannot hold them liable if you are on workers’ comp. You can, however, file a personal injury claim against a third party that caused you harm. This can be property owners, co-workers, or product manufacturers.
- To get workers’ compensation, you must ensure you comply with certain deadlines and regulations. If you fail to do so, you may lose out on your right to compensation. To ensure you follow the proper channels with your claim, get the help of a Mableton workers’ compensation lawyer.
A Workers’ Comp Attorney in Mableton on How to File a Claim for Workers’ Compensation
The actions you take after a workplace injury will determine if you get compensation. A Mableton workers’ compensation lawyer will tell you the following steps are involved in workers’ compensation claims.
Report Your Injury
When you get injured, you should immediately notify your employer of your injury or illness. If you delay in doing this, it may severely damage your chances of getting compensation. You can either report the injury or illness personally or do so through your supervisor. You have a maximum of 30 days to report but we advise against taking that long.
Once you notify your employer, they should fill out a first report of injury or occupational disease form. If they don’t do this, get in touch with a Mableton workers’ compensation attorney immediately. Their delay might cause you to be time-barred for making your claim.
Get Medical Treatment for Your Injuries
Your employer should inform staff about the doctors whom you can seek treatment from in case of a work injury. Ensure you go to doctor approved by the employer or the insurance company. Failure to do so could see your workers’ compensation claim denied. If it is not denied, you could have to undergo another examination from one of the approved doctors. When you see a doctor, they should be able to give an initial medical report within 24 hours.
After these steps, an insurance company will assess your injuries and determine what compensation to offer. As already stated, your compensation should include medical bills, lost wages and more.
Why You Should Hire a Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Mableton
Most workers’ compensation claims are straightforward and can be settled quickly. However, insurance companies at times deny legitimate claims, refuse to pay for certain medical procedures or offer low settlements. To avoid dealing with insurance companies which are always looking to get out of paying claims, get an attorney. A Mableton workers’ compensation attorney will ensure all the necessary paperwork is done on time and correctly. After this, they will follow up on your claim with the insurance company. If the insurance company makes a low offer, the attorney will make a counteroffer. This will continue until you get a fair settlement.
When you get a workers’ comp attorney in Mableton, you know that someone is out there fighting for you. Should your claim be denied, skilled workers’ comp attorneys in Mableton, GA will appeal the decision. Insurance companies deny claims for various reasons. Sometimes, they suspect fraud. An accident victim may have given false information or exaggerated their injuries. If an insurer suspects this, they cannot accept a claim.
An insurance company may also refuse to pay because it is not in their best interest to do so. Insurance companies are in business to make profits. Paying claims affects their bottom line and you can trust that they’ll look for ways not to pay compensation. Your employer may also work to deny your claim because it will increase their premiums.
Whatever reason they give for denying your claim, your attorney will look at them to determine if they are valid. If they are workers’ compensation lawyers in Mableton will investigate. They will gather enough evidence to justify your claim and appeal the decision.
Having a workers’ comp lawyer in Mableton offers you the best chances of getting damages for your injuries. You can ask for compensation by yourself but you may make a mistake with the paperwork. This can cause you to lose your right to compensation.
How a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Will Calculate Benefits Owed in Mableton, GA
For medical benefits, the attorney will use the bills to determine what they should ask for as compensation. In situations where future medical treatment will be necessary, the attorney may ask a medical expert to estimate medical costs.
When it comes to income benefits paid to an injured party, there are three ways to calculate this. First, the Mableton workers’ compensation lawyer would have to know the accident victim’s average weekly pay. This they can know by:
- Calculating the employees’ wages for the last 13 weeks before an injury. If they earned $13,000 in the weeks prior to injury, their average weekly income would be $1,000.
- Using the earnings of an employer in a similar post. This applies if the employee had not been on the job for 13 weeks prior to an injury.
- Using the employee’s hourly rate to figure out their average weekly wages. This will be used if the employee had not worked for 13 weeks and no employee is in a similar post. For example, if they were earning $10 an hour working 40-hour weeks, their weekly wage would be $400.
With the weekly wage calculated, a Mableton workers’ compensation attorney would be able to calculate their weekly compensation. Georgia compensation guidelines state the income benefits of an injured worker should be 2/3 their average weekly wage.
The employee earning $400 weekly would, therefore, get $266 as workers’ compensation. The employee earning $1000 would get $666 as weekly compensation. This, however, is not what they will be paid. Workers’ compensation law in Georgia has set a maximum limit on how much can be paid as weekly compensation. This is set at $575 and this is what anyone earning a higher weekly income will get.
This is one of the downsides of workers’ comp. You can get it without proving fault or going to court but compensation may not be commensurate with injuries sustained.
Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits in Mableton, GA
Sadly, in some instances, a work injury or occupational disease can lead to death. In such a situation, the employee’s next of kin may be entitled to workers’ comp death benefits. Spouses, children and other dependents are entitled to this type of compensation. These are the people who depended on the deceased financially. They will be paid a weekly income not exceeding $575. Burial expenses may also be claimed but cannot exceed $7,500.
A spouse can only claim workers’ compensation death benefits until they are 65-years-old or for 4,000 weeks. If they remarry or get into a relationship, they stop receiving these benefits. Children get benefits until they are 18 years old. However, if they go to college, they will receive benefits until they are 22. If the children are physically and mentally challenged, benefits will continue even after they’re 18. That is if they are unable to earn an income.
If a spouse or children, known as primary beneficiaries, don’t claim these benefits, secondary beneficiaries can do so. Secondary beneficiaries can include the worker’s mother, father, grandparents, grandchildren or a friend. To get compensated, they must show they received financial support from the deceased before they were injured or fell ill. The victim must have been providing support for three months prior to injury or illness.
Hear from a Mableton workers’ compensation lawyer on Whether You Can be Fired While on Workers’ Comp in Georgia
One of the reasons a lot of workers don’t claim workers’ comp is because they fear victimization from their employer. A Mableton workers’ compensation attorney will, however, tell you no employer should fire or punish you for asking for damages. If they do so, you can file a wrongful termination lawsuit against them.
However, being on workers’ compensation doesn’t stop your employer from firing you. No law in Mableton, GA requires an employer to protect your job while you’re injured. If you suffer injuries and the company is downsizing, you can still be on the chopping board. Your employer only has to prove they fired you because they were downsizing and not because of your claim.
If your employer fires you after a work injury, contact a Mableton workers’ compensation attorney. They will investigate to ensure your employer did not terminate you because you made a claim.
Schedule Your Consultation with a Mableton Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Contact Schneider Hammers now if you received injuries at work or you suffer from an occupational illness. We will offer you legal assistance with your workers’ compensation claim. To get the maximum workers’ compensation on time and without any problems, you will need a good injury lawyer. Let us help you with your claim. Get in touch with our office by calling (678)-846-6900 to set up your free initial consultation.