Work Injury Attorney In Jonesboro, Georgia
Have you been denied workers' compensation or need help filing a claim after suffering an injury at work? Our Jonesboro Workers' Compensation Attorneys have been helping injured worker's for over 20 years.
By law, almost every injury that occurs in the workplace is covered by workers compensation; however, there are various legal guidelines and restrictions to receiving benefits depending on the state you are employed.
Our lawyers represent individuals who suffer from on-the-job injuries and occupational diseases. We represent clients varying in a wide range of injuries, whether it's a claim involving a catastrophic injury to those involving less-severe injuries, nonetheless still resulting in a disruption to your everyday life. If you were injured in Jonesboro due to a work-related injury, please contact our attorneys today.
Understanding Job-Related Injury & Workers' Compensation
Workers compensation law requires employers to carry insurance that provides employees who become injured or ill on the job with medical coverage and pay replacement. It also protects companies from being prosecuted by employees for the workplace conditions that caused an illness or injury.
Workers compensation differs depending on the state you live in, however; the underlying principle remains the same that employers should assume the costs of injuries, illnesses, and deaths that occur on the job, without relying on the issue of fault, and partially replace wage income loss.
While income replacement for most employees is usually a percentage of the worker's true income, it is counted as a transferred payment and thus is not subject to federal income tax for the employee or employer. Keep in mind, in some states domestics, agricultural workers, and manual laborers are not subject to coverage.
How Does an Employee Qualify for Benefits?
Workers compensation in is a no-fault system, constructed to provide benefits to employees’ while shielding them from lawsuits. It doesn't matter if the accident was your fault, your employer's fault, or not your fault you can receive benefits as long as you are eligible for the following requirements:
- The person or business you were working for must provide workers’ compensation insurance or be legally required to do so.
- You have an obligation to be an employee of that person or business. (you don’t have to be a full-time employee, as long as you are a regular employee)
- Your injury or illness must be work-related, employees can also be undocumented migrants, prisoners, or minors to qualify.
The worker's compensation laws can be complicated and tricky especially when you don't know the legal guidelines and jurisdiction regulations about civil court. Hiring a Jonesboro attorney will ensure that your case will be heard whether it be in front of a judge or negotiating with insurance companies your rights will be protected.
Filing a Work Injury Claim in Jonesboro
- Seek Medical Treatment- After being hurt at work, it's important to take the appropriate steps when seeking medical care. Receiving the right medical care is not only necessary for your overall health and recovery, but also for maximizing your workers' compensation benefits and making sure you are sufficiently compensated for your injuries. Be sure not to delay treatment or wait to be seen by a physician. The less gap in time from your accident to the time you receive treatment, the less of a chance it gives your employer (or its insurance company) to argue that your injuries are not work-related. Keep in mind, if your injury is a non-emergency situation you may be required to pursue medical help from a doctor chosen by your employer, or in individual states the laws permit the employee to chose a doctor of their preference.
- Report your injury to your employer- You are required to report a work-related injury to your employer 30-60 days after the accident. If you neglect to do so, you could risk gaining benefits and may lose your rights to file a claim. Note, each state has it's own limits on the number of days you have to notify your employer, it ranges from a few days to two years. Typically, your employer will have a claim form for you to fill out after the incident is reported. It then becomes your employer's obligation to submit the paperwork to the appropriate insurance carrier. Again, depending on the state law, you rather than the employer may need to file a separate claim with your state's workers' compensation insurance agency. For the state of Georgia, you have one year to do so.
- Document the accident- If possible keep a detailed record of the accident details, time, place, and if possible even take pictures. The more evidence you have about your injuries the harder, it will become for an employer or insurance company to deny your claim.
- Talk to any witnesses- Try to obtain a statement from any co-workers that saw the accident take place. The more eyes on your side, the more reliable your claim becomes.
- Hire a personal injury attorney- Due to the complexities of workers' compensation and state laws it is always wise to seek legal advice and guidance. In addition to making sure you file all the necessary forms and meet all the deadlines your attorney will understand how to generate medical evidence that documents the severity of your condition. Having a professional legal advocate ensures your claim will reach a fair settlement while the "worth of your case" won't be underestimated by friends, family, and co-workers.
How long After a Work Injury Can You Bring Forth a Claim?
Unless you are 100% confident that your supervisor or employer witnessed your accident, you must advise one of them about your accident within (30) days. If you wait longer than (30) days, you must put your accident in writing, and there must be a sufficient reason for the delay.
You also have to file a claim with your state's administrative worker's compensation agency. This notice provision is a legal time deadline or "Statue of Limitations." Nonfulfillment to take legal actions with a legal or contractual period may result in losing various rights and benefits. You must abide by the notice provisions unless your employer was aware of your accident.
In the state of Georgia, notice of Claim, must be filed with the Workers' Compensation Board either:
- One year from the date of injury
- One year from the time of the last authorized treatment paid for by your employer or its insurer; or
- Two years from the last payment of Workers' Compensation income benefits.
In the state of Georgia employees that are found eligible and are awarded compensation for lost work and medical bills, regardless who is at fault; in exchange, employees surrender their rights to sue their employers for the illness or injury (with a few exceptions).
What type of on-the-job injuries are covered under Workers' Comp?
- Worsening of pre-existing conditions
- Injuries occurring on company property or at a company-sponsored function
- Injuries caused by company owned assets, like mechanical equipment
- More severe injury cases include diseases caused by exposures to hazards, such as benzene, asbestos or silica dust; rashes brought on by exposure to cleaning chemicals or gasoline.
What type of on-the-job- injuries are not covered?
- Injuries resulting from horseplay at work
- Injuries arising from drinking or from an impaired state
- Employees injured while traveling to and from work, (only a few states provide coverage) unless the employer provides the transportation.
Who pays for medical bills until a claim is processed?
Depending on the state you live, your employer is required to pay for your medical bills until a conclusion has been made to accept or deny your claim, at least in a stated amount. If your claim is accepted, your employer will persist to pay for your medical bills for approved treatment.
On the other hand, if your application is rejected you can pay your bills and seek reimbursement from the worker's comp insurance company once the denial is overturned. Or some doctors will treat on what's known as a "lien basis," meaning that payment for your bills will come out of any recovery you get through workers comp. In the meantime, some states have a temporary disability insurance program; you may be eligible to apply for these short-term benefits to make up for some of your out-of-pocket costs.
Contact Our Jonesboro Law Firm
If you have been harmed on-the-job, our work injury attorneys provide personalized client service throughout the length of your case. We have the knowledge, experience, and an experienced qualified staff that is committed to you and your case.
Our Georgia legal team will thoroughly analyze the circumstances of your work injury case to determine all benefits you are entitled to after an injury accident. In some cases, we may need to file a third-party claim against someone other than the employer, and will bring all responsible parties forward.
Contact our Jonesboro, GA Work Injury Lawyers to help you file the appropriate documents and paperwork to get the compensation needed while you safely recover from your injuries.
Click below to start your free injury case review!