"David Van Sant was a joy to work with and I would highly recommend contacting him to anyone who is having problems trying to settle their claim directly with the Insurance Adjusters. Use David. He’s great!!!" (Elaine P. – personal injury client)
If you are injured at work or while doing your job, you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Your medical care and a portion of any lost wages are ordinarily covered. Submitting your claim with a report of your accident and injuries begins the claims procedure. Although workers’ comp insurance is a legally mandated state program designed to benefit both employees and company owners, it is still an insurance program. Like all insurance companies, they employ thousands of lawyers and claims adjusters whose jobs are to save the company money and pay as little as possible on the thousands of claims filed. To ensure that your claim is properly filed, processed, and settled, you should speak to one of the Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC.
Don’t wait until your claim is denied or delayed before you call our offices. From the moment you first call our Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm, we can help you properly file your claim and get you the immediate medical care you need. We know how the adjusters will attempt to limit or qualify claims and we can work with them directly on your behalf to get you the full coverage and maximum benefits you are entitled to receive. Having a law firm who understands the workers’ comp laws and regulations fighting on your behalf can often result in a much better and faster settlement.
Contact Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today!
Workers’ compensation injury insurance is a “no-fault” program. It is not necessary to prove negligence or responsibility – just that you were on the job when you suffered an injury accident. While it should make receiving your benefits less complicated it also means that your employer or claims adjusters may attempt to deny you some or all of the coverage you deserve. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers can help you fight for the settlement you truly deserve if:
- Your claim is denied or payments are “delayed.”
- You are accused of faking your injuries.
- Your employer fires you after an injury in an attempt to ignore your claim.
- You are offered a reduced settlement that that does not fully cover your expenses.
- You are told you must return to work before you are fully recovered.
Can I receive workers’ comp benefits if I was injured at work?
In Georgia, the law requires any business with three or more employees, including regular part-time employees, to carry valid workers’ comp insurance. The insurance carrier is the entity that pays benefits to an injured worker. You are eligible for workers’ comp benefits if: 1) you are an employee of a business with three or more employees, and 2) you suffered an injury while on the job.
There are many types of injuries that can occur at work and while performing work-related duties and the vast majority occur due to sudden accidents. However, workers may suffer injuries that occur over time as a result of work duties, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and continued exposure to chemicals or toxins. If you suffer from an injury that results from wear and tear on the job, contact our experienced Atlanta workers’ comp attorneys today.
While Georgia law sets forth the procedure that employers, insurance companies, and injured workers must follow, it is important to note that each claim is unique and that worker’s comp law is complex and always subject to change. It is so critical to obtain the advice and counsel of a skilled Atlanta workers’ comp law firm who is experienced in handling claims from start to finish.
In general, if you are injured on the job, you should take the following steps:
- Seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Your health is the most important thing you should be concerned with, so, if you are injured on the job, seek medical attention as soon as possible. In the case of an emergency, you may seek medical treatment from any doctor. However, in non-emergency situations, you may have to seek treatment from a specific healthcare provider, depending on the insurance carrier’s requirements. It is important for you to follow the advice of your doctor.
- Notify your employer about the accident and your injuries. State law requires that in order to receive workers’ comp benefits, you, as an injured employee, must notify your employer as soon as possible following a workplace injury, and in no circumstances, later than 30 days following the accident/injury.
- Upon notification of your injury, your employer will file a workers’ comp claim with its insurance carrier. Once your employer is notified of the accident/injury, it must notify both its workers’ comp insurance carrier and Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation of the incident.
- Once your employer files the claim, the insurance carrier will either accept or deny the claim. If the insurance company accepts (i.e., approves) your claim, you will begin to receive workers’ comp benefits within a timeframe specified by Georgia law. If the insurance company denies your claim, it must provide you with detailed reasons as to why it was denied. If your claim is denied, you must act quickly to determine whether you wish to appeal the insurance company’s decision. An experienced workers’ comp attorney will help you evaluate your claim and provide guidance as to whether you should appeal the denial.
- You can appeal the insurance company’s denial of your workers’ comp claim. If the insurance company denies your claim and determines that you are not entitled to receive benefits, you may request a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. The hearing is similar to a trial, but it is heard before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ hears from both you and the insurance company, applies the relevant law, and then renders a written decision as to whether you are entitled to workers’ comp benefits. This hearing is very important to your claim and you can assume that an experienced attorney will represent the insurance company. It is important to be prepared, and you will certainly benefit from the experience of a reputable workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta, GA.
- If you “lose” at the ALJ hearing, you may appeal the decision to a Georgia court. If the ALJ affirms the insurance company’s denial of your claim, you may be able to appeal the decision to the appropriate appeals court. This is a time-sensitive and complex procedure, and you may benefit greatly from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta, GA.
Georgia’s workers’ comp system is considered “no fault,” meaning that specific benefits are offered to workers injured on the job, regardless of fault. Generally, benefits provided to employees fall into the following categories:
- Reimbursement for medical expenses. The workers’ comp insurance carrier generally should pay for your medical expenses incurred as a result of your injuries, including hospital bills, office visits, and prescriptions, as well as certain rehabilitation services. Additionally, you may receive reimbursement for some or all of your travel expenses incurred as a result of your injuries, such as travel to and from healthcare providers. You are eligible to receive reimbursement for medical expenses for up to 400 weeks after you sustain your injury. In cases of catastrophic injuries, you may be eligible to receive medical expense reimbursements indefinitely.
- A percentage of lost wages. Typically, during the time when an injured employee is out of work, he or she should receive two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage, but not more than $575.00 per week for an accident that happened on or after July 1, 2016. Your average weekly wage is calculated taking into account your total gross earnings before taxes and benefits for the 52-week period prior to the accident.
Does the type of injury I receive have any bearing on the lost wages I am entitled to recover?
The weekly amount and duration of lost wages you will receive depend upon a number of factors, including whether your injury resulted in a total or partial disability and whether said disability is considered temporary or permanent (as determined by medical professionals). These determinations are not always straightforward, and medical experts may have different opinions regarding your injuries and resulting disabilities. Since the characterization of your disability is so important, it is a good idea to work with one of our work injury attorneys who is familiar with the system and who has dealt with many doctors in similar cases.
My spouse died as a result of work-related injury. Can I receive any benefits?
The dependents of an employee killed as a result of work-related injuries sustained after July 1, 2016 will receive two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage or up to $575.00 per week, whichever is less. Georgia law defines dependents as the employee’s surviving spouse, children, and dependent stepchildren. A spouse who does not have children may receive a limited benefit amount, totaling up to $230,000.00 (unless and until he or she remarries or “cohabitates” in a marital-like relationship).
Please contact our offices today to speak with one of our knowledgeable Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers. We are here to help you!