Job-related accidents account for nearly 3 million employee injuries each year, leaving state workers’ compensation programs to provide over $60 billion in annual medical and lost wage benefits. Georgia employers often misinform employees about their workers’ compensation rights, including their entitlement to seek paid medical treatment and long-term benefits. If you were injured at work, whether suddenly or due to chronic overuse, look for the following before hiring a dedicated workers’ compensation defense lawyer.
These testimonials often highlight the professional relationships between attorneys and their clients. Injured workers need more than someone to file paperwork. They need an advocate to answer questions about their future, listen to their concerns, and advocate for their rights. Look or ask for former client testimonials, especially from clients in similar industries or with similar injuries.
Every state has different workers’ compensation systems and laws, including unique cases interpreting these labor and insurance regulations. For example, Georgia requires all public and private employers with more than three full-time employees to provide access to workers’ compensation benefits through private insurers. Navigating your rights requires lawyers familiar with local insurance laws and court systems, not out-of-state attorneys without authority to enforce your rights in Georgia. Look for lawyers who provide workers’ comp defense in your city and state.
Litigation & Mediation Experience
Sometimes injured employees may recover workers’ compensation while also suing liable third parties for their injuries. Maximizing your financial recovery rights requires attorneys with litigation experience. Further, the lawyer should be prepared to arbitrate claims when workers’ compensation insurers:
- Arbitrarily cut off benefits
- Make lowball settlement offers
- Deny claims outright
- Bombard injured claimants with unreasonable medical requests
Defending WC claimants from these common insurance tactics often means appealing to higher authorities, engaging in alternative dispute resolution with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, and taking your case to court.
Always ask potential counsel about his/her success in similar cases. Experienced attorneys should readily provide this information, and you may confidentially speak with multiple law firms about their success. For example, claimants suffering from disabling neck injuries due to chronic use should ask potential counsel whether they’ve successfully recovered long-term compensation in similar cases.
At Gearhart Law Group, our dedicated Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers can answer these questions and more without any upfront costs. Contact us to schedule your free consultation by calling (404) 445-8370 or reaching out online.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation FAQs
Is there a limit to workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia?
Eligible claimants may recover two-thirds (66%) of their average weekly salary up to $675, including standard overtime and bonuses, for up to 400 weeks (about 7.5 years). Claimants with long-term disabilities should discuss their settlement and additional recovery options with a Georgia workers’ compensation defense lawyer.
Can I still get workers’ compensation if the injuries were my fault?
Yes, Georgia has a no-fault workers’ compensation insurance system. You’re entitled to lost wages and medical benefits as long as you didn’t intentionally cause the injuries to commit insurance fraud.
How long do I have to apply for workers’ compensation?
You must generally report your injury to your employer within 30 days of discovering the potentially disabling condition and apply for worker’s compensation benefits within one year. There are exceptions to these rules, and you should always discuss your rights with an attorney regardless of the timing.