You might have serious questions about what to do next if you or a loved one was injured at work in Atlanta. Is the employer responsible or someone else? Should I file a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury claim? When should I contact an Atlanta workplace accident injury lawyer?
State and federal laws have been established to protect the rights of employees injured in workplace accidents. It is essential to understand your rights if you were injured or a loved one was hurt or died in an accident.
Georgian state law entitles people injured on their job to medical treatment, hospital stays, travel expenses, disability benefits, physical therapy, prescriptions.
As a personal injury firm, we take Atlanta workplace accident injuries very seriously. We understand what is at stake after such accidents. Injury victims deserve high-quality, comprehensive treatment. They deserve the time they require to recover fully before returning to work. Further, injured workers shouldn’t have to worry about whether they can afford such things.
Were you injured at work, or did you lose a loved one in an accident? Contact our experienced attorney today and schedule a free, no-obligation case review. Call (770) 889-6010 for legal assistance.
What are common workplace accidents?
Many different accident types leading to various injuries occur every day in Atlanta. Most victims suffer minor injuries, but some are severe and can result in fatal workplace accidents. Construction and industrial accidents are some of the most common workplace injuries.
If you have sustained an injury at your workplace while doing different work, our Atlanta workplace accident injury lawyer at Singleton Law Firm, LLC can help you with your claim.
If you are involved in a car accident, you may read our blog post on How to Obtain Traffic Camera Footage in Georgia? It may help you with your case.
Facts about compensation law in Georgia
An employer in Georgia with three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance, which pays out medical bills and a percentage of wages when an employee is injured on the job or unable to work.
Worker’s spouse or children (in cases where there is no spouse present) qualify for compensation when the worker is killed in the workplace.
A third party may be at fault in some cases of workplace injuries, and this is usually a result of another party causing the hazard (a contractor in a factory, a maintenance contractor, and a sub-contractor on a construction site). Whatever the cause of the injury, we will meet with you and discuss your options.
First steps to take after a workplace injury
It would help if you informed your employer about your injury as soon as possible. Within 30 days, you must complete it, and there is a good chance that one of your supervisors or coworkers contacted the manager. After that, you should contact a compensation lawyer. According to the law, you are not required to provide a recorded statement to your employer or insurance company.
The purpose of workers’ compensation is for you to get back to full health and mobility. Before you are ready, you may be forced to return to work. Following an accident in the workplace that results in injury, timing is crucial.
- Immediately notify the supervisor or manager of the injury. First, verbal notice will need to be sent. Then it should be documented in an email or letter. You will need this to show that regardless of the way the employer handled the issue.
- Seeking medical care. A licensed medical professional will bolster the credibility of your words in this case. An onsite examination might be provided by an in-house medical team. If this is not the case for you, visit a hospital, clinic, or emergency room. In some cases, your employer may require that an approved doctor examine you. Ensure that you disclose all your symptoms with a healthcare professional and any injuries you may be showing to ensure that you have been properly diagnosed and treated.
- In the event of a workers’ compensation claim, contact an attorney for legal advice is recommended. You will be guided through the process by the personal injury attorneys. You will want to convey the points to your employer, and your physician will be included in this. Make sure your bases are covered.
How can you know if your employer has workers’ compensation insurance?
Depending on the company’s structure, it might not be an option at all.
Having workers’ compensation coverage for employers who have over three employees is a legal requirement in Georgia.
Even if a small business, insurance will be needed if they have three or more employees.
The actual contractor can be held liable for workers’ compensation if you work for a subcontractor with workers’ compensation coverage.
What are the common causes of workplace accidents?
Workplace accidents occur for several different reasons, and anyone can suffer injuries as a result. However, there are many similarities between some of the most common workplace accidents. According to the statistics from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the leading causes of workplace accidents are:
- Slip and fall accidents – Slip and fall accidents at work often cause serious injuries.
- Violent attacks – Workers often sustain severe injuries due to violent attacks, including assault at the workplace.
- Overexertion – Working so hard physically or straining can lead to serious workplace accidents. Pulling, lifting, twisting, and pushing are common reasons why workers sustain injuries. Construction accidents.
- Exertion and bodily reactions include workplace injuries caused by crawling, kneeling, bending, standing, or stepping.
- Struck by an object – Equipment, machinery, and other moving objects sometimes hit workers, causing injuries.
- Falls from a height – Roofs, scaffolding, and other high workplaces can be very dangerous, especially when workers fall.
What are common workplace accident injuries?
Workplace accident injuries vary widely and distinctively, depending on the work environment and type of work. Construction sites are one of the most dangerous places to work, which does not surprise many. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Back injuries
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Knee injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Ankle injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Leg injuries
- Arm injuries
- Shoulder injuries
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Repetitive motion injuries
Filing a claim for workers compensation for injury
It is important to act as soon as possible after a workplace accident if you want to make certain that your benefits rights are protected. If you delay for any reason, you may forfeit your rights to compensation.
Immediately reporting an injury is your responsibility when you are injured. Within thirty days after the accident, you must notify your employer.
The law requires your employer to file a First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease Form once the accident has been reported. Civil penalties can be imposed if they fail to do this. If they refuse to report the injury, you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible – or the time will quickly expire without you even realizing it.
It is also possible to file a claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. However, the time limit for this is one year from the date of the accident.
Why is time important when dealing with the claims process?
It is vital to file the claim as soon as possible. There is one mistake many people make when filing their workman’s compensation claims. This never ends well. Perhaps you feel that you have the money to stay protected after the accident. Maybe you aren’t ready to start the process of getting fair compensation by filing the claim.
Keep in mind that you do not have the luxury of time if you want to handle workplace injuries properly. Act fast because the window of opportunity can close at any moment and cannot be reopened again. Whatever qualified attorney you speak with, they will likely advise you to act fast. Within thirty days of an injury, it is too late to do anything about the claim if you didn’t report it as soon as possible.
Workers’ compensation benefits
An Employee Handbook provided by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation outlines the compensation benefits a worker injured at work is entitled to. Some of those benefits include:
- Medical Benefits – Workers injured on the job have the right to reasonable medical benefits, including hospital visits, doctor’s visits, rehabilitation, surgeries, medications, and more. The workers’ compensation insurance provider will provide you with a list of doctors from which you can choose. You do not have the freedom to choose your own doctor.
- Income Benefits – If you are unable to work due to injury, you may recover income benefits. These benefits are available if you have missed seven or more days of work. If you take off more than 21 days, you will be compensated for the first seven days. In catastrophic events, benefits can be paid when you haven’t been able to work again. In non-catastrophic events, benefits can last for up to 400 weeks.
- Death Benefits – Accidents sometimes result in death. Your dependents can receive death benefits, and this includes funeral and burial expenses and lost wages.
As long as you qualify for income benefits, you’ll receive two-thirds of your weekly wage.
How to appeal a denied worker’s compensation claim
Taking legal action is your right if the insurance carrier responsible for covering your workers’ compensation claims denies your claim. If you want to protect your interests, you should work with a compensation lawyer who can handle the appeal process.
When your claim is denied, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation will notify you, and it will explain the reasons for the denial. A hearing before this board can be requested if this occurs.
There will be an opportunity for you to present your evidence supporting your claim. A judge will decide on your workers’ compensation claim based on the evidence you present to them. The pieces of evidence that you are allowed to present include your testimony, advice, or medical assistance from an expert (medical professional), witness testimony, and any other evidence that might help your argument.
A judge’s decision may not be in your favor, but the claim is still alive. An appeal can be filed with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation insurance’s Appellate Division. Applicants have 20 days from the day they notice that the claim has been denied to file the appeal.
What happens if you suffer from preexisting injury?
People worry that their pre-existing conditions and injuries will prevent them from filing their claims successfully. An employee with back pain before an accident may worry that they won’t receive all the compensation they are entitled to since the employer might claim the illness already existed before the accident.
Georgia protects people of this type. If the accident aggravates or exacerbates pre-existing injuries, you are most likely eligible for workers’ comp benefits. The law is rarely going to protect anyone in a compensation claim if it excludes preexisting conditions because nearly everyone in the world already has them at one point or another.
How can Atlanta workplace accident injury lawyer help with the claim process?
According to Georgia compensation laws, you do not need to provide your insurance company with a recorded statement. Do not just rely on your employer or state investigators to handle your workplace accident and file a workers’ compensation claim for you.
The insurance companies know that there are employees who commit workers’ compensation fraud. In this case, the employees will make fake claims or exaggerated claims to try and obtain a payout from the insurance company.
You must ensure you have someone on your side looking out for your best interests. In Atlanta and Georgia, workplace accident victims can trust our experienced, reputable, and dedicated Atlanta workplace accident injury lawyer at Singleton Law Firm LLC. to handle their claims.
Several types of workers’ compensation coverage are available in Georgia, including income replacement, medical treatment, and partial or permanent disability funds.
Workplace accident investigations can be confusing and time-consuming, especially if you have never been injured before. You have to prepare well to navigate the often difficult and painstaking process of gathering evidence. Some lawyers and investigators avoid such complicated and critical cases. Our experienced workplace accident injury attorneys in Atlanta thrive on them because they know how to analyze and evaluate accident reports, consult with experts and investigators and find the facts from the evidence gathered to build a strong case on your behalf.
Is an independent contractor covered by workers’ comp?
There is typically no workers’ compensation coverage for independent contractors in Georgia. Employers can now easily classify their employees as independent contractors, so they don’t have to pay workers’ compensation coverage. State law does not require employers to purchase compensation coverage for independent contractors.
Connect with an Atlanta workplace accident injury lawyer
You did not do anything wrong, and you deserve compensation for your injuries. It would help if you did not have to suffer because you were injured at work. When possible, a workers compensation lawyer can obtain safety reports, funeral expenses, medical expenses, medical reports, and witness accounts to strengthen your case.
Contact Singleton Law Firm LLC. today and find out how an Atlanta workplace accident injury lawyer can help you file a successful workers’ compensation claim. Feel free to visit the Singleton Law Firm Atlanta office, or we can meet you in your home, hospital room, or wherever convenient.
We work tirelessly for injured workers throughout Atlanta, and we are ready to work for you. Call us today at (770) 889 6010 or contact us online to schedule a free case review with our worker compensation attorney.