A workplace injury can be an extremely stressful situation that threatens your health and future earning potential. In addition, it requires navigating a workers’ compensation process that can be complex. Finding a trusted and experienced workers’ compensation lawyer that will guide you through the process will help you get the best results with as little stress as possible.
Asking the right questions at your initial consultation with an attorney will help you understand what you can expect throughout the claims process and ensure that you hire the best attorney for you.
Understanding Your Situation
Does it matter if the accident was my fault?
If you didn’t follow safety procedures perfectly before your injury, you may be concerned that this will affect your claim. However, unless illegal or extreme behavior was involved, who was at fault generally does not impact your benefits.
What types of benefits could I qualify for?
Benefits will depend on the severity of your injury and how much it affects your ability to work in the future. Medical expenses are generally covered, along with short-term disability payments if the injury requires you to miss work. If your injury prevents you from doing your job, you may be eligible for retraining benefits. It’s important to understand what kind of benefits you should qualify for.
Can I sue my employer?
Regardless of fault, you usually can’t sue your employer directly. However, you may be able to sue a third party, such as the manufacturer of a defective product. If your injury involved a third party, this is an important complexity to bring up with your lawyer.
Do I need a lawyer to get benefits?
In some straightforward cases involving minor injuries, you may be able to successfully file for benefits yourself. However, sometimes even simple claims are denied, so hiring a lawyer is always a good option. If your case involves a serious injury, good legal representation is essential.
Choosing the Right Attorney
How much experience do you have with workers’ compensation cases?
To get a good idea of how much experience an attorney has in workers’ compensation, ask about both years of experience and the percentage of the attorney’s practice focused on workers’ compensation. Gearhart Law Group has 20 years of experience both on the injured worker and defense side.
Will you be able to handle my entire case personally?
Ensure that the attorney will handle any litigation or appeals that may come up, especially if your case is complex. You should also ask whether it will be easy to speak to the attorney personally, rather than an assistant or paralegal if you have questions.
How much does your firm charge, and what is the payment structure?
Workers’ compensation lawyers often charge on a contingency basis, which means that you pay a percentage of your total settlement and that you don’t need to pay before your case is settled. In Georgia, this rate can not be exceed 25%.
FAQs About Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
Do I need a workers’ compensation lawyer?
If you’ve been injured at work, a workers’ compensation lawyer will help you claim benefits as quickly and successfully as possible.
How much does a workers’ compensation lawyer cost?
Workers’ compensation lawyers charge a contingency fee, so you won’t pay anything until your case is settled.
Can I sue my employer?
You usually can’t sue your employer for a workplace injury. However, if a third party was involved, you may have grounds to sue that third party.