When an injury in the workplace occurs, injured employees may be unsure of what to do next. Fortunately, workers’ compensation is available to most workers who are injured on-the-job to help them get back on their feet and maintain their way of life financially until they are healthy enough to return to work. However, seeking workers’ compensation benefits is not necessarily a straightforward process, especially if your employer’s insurance company rejects your claim.
If you or a loved one have been denied workers’ compensation benefits, consider seeking professional help from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. An experienced Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer could be your strongest ally when it comes to proving the facts of your condition and seeking the benefits you need.
Any employer in Georgia that employs at least three workers, including part-time employees, is required by state law to retain workers’ compensation insurance. As such, any injury that occurs during the performance of normal job duties may make an employee eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, including injuries due to repetitive motion on the job like carpal tunnel syndrome. However, injuries stemming from drug or alcohol use, horseplay, or other intentional misconduct while on the job would not make a worker eligible for benefits.
The first step any injured employee should take following a workplace accident is to report their injury immediately to their supervisor, as failure to do so within one month may significantly damper their ability to receive benefits. Additionally, the injured employee must complete Form WC-14 and file it with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. The worker’s employer should be sent a copy of this form, as should the provider of the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance.
A seasoned Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer could help ensure that all forms and documentation are filed promptly and correctly.
Any worker who misses more than seven days of work due to a job-related injury may be eligible to receive the greater of two-thirds of their average weekly income or $575 per week. This benefit may be provided for up to 400 weeks, depending on the length of the worker’s recovery period.
For long-term injuries and disabilities, permanent partial disability payments, or permanent total disability payments may be available. In addition, certain benefits may be provided for occupational training and other needs if a worker suffers a long-term loss of earning capacity due to their injury.
It should be noted that injured employees in Georgia cannot file a civil lawsuit for damages against their employer, as the workers’ compensation system is meant to be a standardized substitute for this process. Accordingly, workers’ compensation claims cannot seek damages or benefits for non-economic losses like pain and suffering. A skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Marietta could work with an individual employee to identify which benefits they may be eligible for in their case.
There are many specific requirements that come with seeking workers’ compensation that a worker may be unfamiliar with, and failing to follow the proper procedures could lead to an injured employee losing out on much-needed benefits. Also, insurance companies often reject claims in order to maximize their own profits. Without experienced legal representation, there may be no effective means of contesting a claim denial.
Fortunately, there is professional legal help available. Reach out to a Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer today.