Work Injury Attorney In Riverdale, GA
If you suffered injuries while on-the-job you are entitled to workers' compensation benefits.
Our Riverdale, Ga Work Injury Attorneys can help you properly file all legal documents and make sure your rights are protected. Many workers struggle to pay medical costs and hardships due to wage reduction while recovering. We can help you gain compensation and benefits after an accident at work.
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How to File a Claim After an Accident at Work
Seek Medical Treatment- After being hurt at work, it's important to take the appropriate steps when seeking medical care. Receiving the right medical treatment is not only necessary for your health and recovery, but also for maximizing your workers' compensation benefits and making sure you are adequately compensated for your injuries.
Be sure not to delay treatment or wait to be seen by a physician. The sooner you are medically cared for the sooner you will heal from your injuries. Furthermore, the closer in time to your accident that you receive treatment, the less room 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 certain 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 fail 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 responsibility to submit the paper work 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 pertaining to 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 its 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 develop 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.
Understanding Workers Compensation in the State of Georgia
Workers compensation law mandates insurance coverage for on-the-job injuries or illness. The deadlines for filing a workers’ comp claim varies from state to state, but mostly always involves an employer, the injured employee, an insurance provider, and medical professionals. All fifty states make it mandatory for employers (of a certain size) to provide workers’ comp coverage for their employees. The basic requirements for workers' compensation benefits are as follows:
- The person or company you were working for must carry workers’ compensation insurance or be legally required to do so.
- You must be an employee of that person or company. (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 illegal aliens, prisoners, or minors to qualify.
Most employees will have medical costs covered and partial compensation for lost income (generally 50 to 70 percent of pre-injury wages) after an injury. On average, benefits don’t include compensation for pain and suffering. Serious injury cases could call for permanent or partial disability, rewarding in a permanent fixed sum and/or lump sum settlement.
Work injuries that are covered in Riverdale
- Aggravation of pre-existing conditions
- Injuries sustained on company property or at a company-sponsored function
- Injuries caused by company owned assets, like mechanical equipment
- More serious 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.
Work injuries that are not covered in Riverdale
- Injuries resulting from horseplay at work
- Injuries sustained while drunk or in an impaired state
- Employees injured while traveling to and from work, (only a few states provide coverage) unless the transportation is provided by the employer.
Deadline for Filing a Work Accident Injury Claim
Unless you are 100% certain 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 good reason for the delay.
Once you notify your employer of the accident, you will also need to file a claim with the workers' compensation administration. Depending on the state you live, will determine the length of time yo have to file. This notice provision is a legal time deadline or "Statue of Limitations." Nonfulfillment to take legal actions with a legal or contractual time deadline 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; or
- One year from the date 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.
When is it safe to return to work?
Once you have reached your level of maximum medical improvement (MMI), your treating physician will complete a Return to Work Form. The form notifies your employer and the workers compensation representative that you are clear to return to work.
Depending upon your health status, your doctor may order lighter work duties while your injuries continue to heal. Your employer should apply the company's return to work policy according to your treating physicians orders.
An effective return to work policy includes:
- Confirmation that your employer understands the nature and extent of your injuries, and your present physical limitations
- A plan to provide reasonable accommodations to allow you to return and ease back into work safely, free from unnecessary pain and discomfort
- Clear communication between you, your employer, and, your doctor to expedite your return to your former work duties as soon as medically advisable
Benefits your Riverdale Work-Injury Lawyer Can Help Your With
Medical Care-Your medical bills will be paid for to help you recover from your work-related injuries; however, your choice of doctors may be limited.
Temporary disability benefits-If your work-related injury prevents you from doing your job normally and, as a result, you lose wages, you could receive temporary disability benefits. This option is usually only available after you've missed several days of work.
Permanent disability benefits- If you aren't able to fully recover form your injuries, you may receive permanent disability benefits based on the nature and extent of your impairment or injury.
Death Benefits- In the unfortunate event that you die from a work-related injury or illness, your spouse or children may receive death benefits.
Some on the job injuries may not be considered under workers compensation law or workers compensation law may not be enough for a certain on-the-job injury, particularly in the case of very serious or catastrophic personal injuries. In these situations, our Riverdale Workers' Comp Lawyers will identify a negligent third party such as a manufacturer of a dangerous or defective product or the maker of an improper safety device and prove their liability to your condition.
Our Special Invite to Injured Workers
Our team will communicate with the workers comp insurer on your behalf, gather and develop medical evidence, negotiate a good settlement, and represent your workers compensation case.
When insurance companies deny your claim or employers refuse to pay, we will take on your case and fight for your rights.
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