Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Are you suffering from a work-related injury or illness in Atlanta, Georgia? If so, the Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at Hasner Law, PC can help you get the full amount of compensation you’re due for your medical bills and lost wages.
Hasner Law, PC is a leader in the fight for workers’ rights. Our top-rated trial lawyers have more than 80 years of combined legal experience. We’re committed to getting each and every client every dollar they deserve. We’ve already recovered millions of dollars in life-changing settlements and verdicts for injured victims like you.
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How Hasner Law Can Help After You’re Injured at Work in Atlanta
If you’re injured at work, you might think that all you have to do is report the accident to your employer to get your workers’ compensation benefits. Your employer might have even told you that you don’t need a lawyer.
But the system is designed to benefit employers and insurance companies, not injured workers like you. When you file a compensation claim, you have to follow rigid procedures and meet strict deadlines. Your employers’ insurance carrier will put obstacles between you and the money you deserve. Simple mistakes could cost you valuable compensation; that’s why you need professional legal advice and representation.
Hiring an attorney can make a massive difference in your quest for benefits
The Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at Hasner Law, PC, will:
- Investigate your accident and determine whether any party other than your employer is responsible for your accident
- Monitor the progress of your workers’ comp claims and challenge any claims that are denied or undervalued
- Hire experts to make sure your medical needs are accurately documented
- Handle all communications and negotiations with your employer’s insurance company
- Advocate for you before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation if your claim is denied
- File a personal injury lawsuit if there is a third party liable for your injuries
At Hasner Law, our attorneys have more than 80 years of professional experience handling complex workers’ compensation claims with great results. We know Georgia workers’ compensation laws inside and out. We know what steps need to be taken to not only secure benefits on your behalf, but to get you the maximum benefits that can be paid under the law.
How Common Are Workplace Accidents in Georgia?
In 2020, there were 4 million workplace injuries serious enough to require medical treatment. That’s almost 11,000 people injured at their place of employment every single day.
Over 4,113 workers died on the job in the U.S. in 2020—that’s more than 11 per day. Shockingly, another 651 people died in workplace homicides or suicides.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, fatal workplace accidents in Georgia have increased by 7.4% over the past decade:
- 2011: 111
- 2012: 101
- 2013: 117
- 2014: 152
- 2015: 180
- 2016: 171
- 2017: 194
- 2018: 186
- 2019: 207
- 2020: 193
The slight drop in 2020 was likely due to the COVID 19 pandemic’s effect on the workforce.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in Georgia, up until November of 2021, 8,434 workers’ compensation claims were filed and the state board of workers’ compensation had paid out over $269 million in compensation to injured workers.
Workers’ compensation injuries stem from a wide variety of accidents that might happen on the job. At Hasner Law, we’re prepared to help you fight for compensation for any work-related injury or illness.
Do I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits Under Georgia Law?
In the state of Georgia, all employers with three or more regular workers must carry workers’ compensation insurance.
Typically, full-time, part-time, and seasonal employees qualify for these insurance benefits if they suffer a work injury while performing work-related responsibilities.
Traveling employees also tend to qualify for benefits, while independent contractors do not. Employees for federal government agencies, farm laborers, domestic servants, and railroad carriers are also not eligible for workers’ comp benefits in the state of Georgia.
Do I Qualify For Workers’ Compensation If I Don’t Get Hurt At Work?
You don’t have to get hurt on your employer’s premises to qualify. You can also successfully secure workers’ comp benefits if you get hurt while performing a job-related task or responsibility.
For example, let’s say you’re driving a work van to transport materials to a job site when you get into a car accident. You’d qualify for workers’ comp since you were asked to complete a task within the scope of your employment that put your life at risk.
How Much Is My Workers’ Compensation Claim Worth?
You’re entitled to compensation for all of your medical treatment. You’re also entitled to a portion of your lost wages—the exact amount depends on whether and when you can return to work.
The value of these items will vary in each case, depending on:
- The severity of your injury
- Whether you can return to the same job in the same capacity
- How long your recovery will take
- Whether your accident was the result of your violation of safety or employer rules
When bills are piling up and you’re facing a long recovery time, you need a law firm you can trust to give you the personal attention you deserve and one that knows Georgia workers’ compensation law inside and out. That’s Hasner Law, PC.
Our founding attorney is committed to making sure workers receive fair treatment throughout the workers’ compensation process. He’s so passionate about workers’ rights that he co-founded the Georgia Injured Workers’ Advocates, a group dedicated to protecting the rights of injured workers throughout the state. We’ll fight hard to maximize your award.
What Benefits Can I Get From Workers’ Compensation In Georgia?
Workers’ compensation benefits will cover your medical treatment and a portion of your lost wages related to an on-the-job accident.
Depending on your specific circumstances, you could receive benefits to cover:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital stays
- Transportation to and from medical appointments
- Physical therapy
- Vocational rehabilitation
For lost wages, you’re eligible to receive benefits based on the severity of your injury.
There are four categories of income replacement:
Temporary Total Disability
If you’re completely unable to work, you’re eligible to receive:
- Two-thirds of your average weekly earnings before your injury, up to the maximum set by law (currently $675/week).
- For a catastrophic injury, you’ll receive benefits as long as you are unable to work.
- For a non-catastrophic injury, benefits are available for 400 weeks.
Injuries are considered catastrophic when they are so severe that they prevent you from any meaningful work.
The following injuries are generally considered catastrophic:
If you have a catastrophic injury and are essentially permanently disabled, you could receive these benefits for an unlimited duration of time.
Temporary Partial Disability
If you can return to work at a lower-paying job, you can receive:
- Two-thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage before and after your injury, up to the maximum set by law (currently $450/week).
- Benefits for up to 350 weeks from the date of your accident
So, let’s say you were making $500 per week, but after your injury, you can only perform a job that pays $300 a week. The difference is $200. Your workers’ comp benefits (⅔ of $200) would be roughly $133/week.
Permanent Partial Disability
Suppose you’re permanently disabled due to losing a body part or the ability to use a part of your body. In this case, you could receive:
- Two-thirds of your average weekly earnings before your injury, up to the maximum set by law (currently $675/week).
- Benefits for a certain number of weeks depending on the type of injury (up to a maximum of 300 weeks)
Your compensation will be based on a formula determined by statute, which takes into account what part of the body was lost or injured.
Spouses and minor children of individuals killed on the job are entitled to the following benefits:
- Two-thirds of the deceased’s average weekly earnings before death, up to the maximum set by law (currently $675/week)
- Dependent minor children can receive benefits until age 18, or until age 22 if enrolled in school
- Spouses can receive benefits until they remarry, reach age 65, or receive 400 weeks of payments
- Funeral expenses of up to $7,500
Even if you are entitled to the above-mentioned benefits, it may still be difficult to get the money you deserve. Your employer’s insurance company will be reviewing your treatment to see if it is “reasonable and necessary.” And, they may try to dispute the severity of your injuries as a whole.
Hasner Law, PC will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free case evaluation.
What Are My Rights Under Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws?
As an employee under Georgia law, you have nine specific rights if you’re hurt on the job. They’re actually called the Bill of Rights for the Injured Worker.
Your rights include:
- Right to medical and income benefits.
- Right to choose a doctor from your employer-provided list of six doctors.
- You may make one switch to another doctor on the list without your employer’s permission.
- In an emergency, you can get temporary medical treatment from any doctor. Once the emergency is over, you must use a doctor on the list.
- Payment of authorized expenses. This means any expenses related to your injury caused while you were working. Covered expenses include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Rehabilitation (in some cases)
- Physical therapy
- Medically necessary travel expenses
- Weekly income benefits, if you missed more than seven days of work due to your injury. Your first check should be mailed within 21 days after your first missed day of work.
- If you sustain a catastrophic injury, you’re entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wage until you can return to work (up to the maximum set by law).
- If you receive a non-catastrophic injury, you’re entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wage (up to the maximum set by law) for up to 400 weeks.
- If you can return to work at a lower-paying job, you’re entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wage (up to the maximum set by law) for up to 350 weeks.
- If you’re killed in a fatal workplace accident, your dependents will be paid burial expenses up to $7,500. They’ll also receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage (up to the maximum set by law). Benefits are for a limited period of time and vary depending on the circumstances.
- If you don’t receive your benefits on time, your employer’s insurance company pays a penalty. The penalty is added to your benefits.
Hiring a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer can help make sure you’re getting the rights the law has provided for you.
Can I Sue My Employer If They Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance?
In Georgia, the workers’ compensation laws are set up to provide swift financial support for injured employees. It’s also designed to protect employers from lawsuits. If your employer has workers’ comp insurance, you’ll waive your right to sue them for injury-related damages. You’ll be required to go through the workers’ compensation system, instead.
There are limited exceptions to this rule. You may have a legitimate case against your employer if they failed to purchase a workers’ comp insurance policy, denied your claim without justification, or weren’t required to have it.
Generally speaking, though, lawsuits against your employer will be off-limits.
Can I Sue a Third Party for Additional Money?
Workplace accidents occur for all kinds of reasons. Not just employer negligence. If a party other than your employer contributed to your injuries, you might be able to file a third party lawsuit with the help of an Atlanta personal injury attorney to recover compensation.
If you file a personal injury lawsuit, you’ll be able to seek compensation for pain and suffering, which workers’ compensation doesn’t cover. And, the amount you can receive for medical expenses and lost wages in a lawsuit is typically much higher than you’d receive from workers’ compensation benefits.
There are times when you can recover benefits for workers’ compensation and additional damages in a third-party lawsuit.
Can I Sue My Employer for Denying My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Generally, no. While you’re usually entitled to workers’ compensation benefits after an injury, there are some valid reasons when your claim may be denied.
For example, if you failed to report your accident within 30 days, you are no longer entitled to benefits. You’re also not entitled to workers’ comp benefits for injuries sustained while doing something outside the scope of your employment.
But workers’ comp claims are often denied for other reasons that may not be valid. And you do have options if your employer denies your workers’ comp benefits. You can file a claim and request a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
At the hearing, you’ll have the chance to tell the Administrative Law Judge why you’re entitled to benefits. Your employer’s insurance company will also be at the hearing to tell the judge its reasons for the denial. The judge will weigh the evidence regarding your claim.
The State Board can also investigate any claims that your employer denied your benefits in bad faith. If you think this happened to you, speak to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer for advice on how to proceed.
Can I Still Recover Compensation If I’m Being Blamed for an Accident at Work?
In most cases, yes. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. That means you’re eligible for benefits even if you caused the accident due to ordinary carelessness.
However, there are some exceptions.
If you were using drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, your claim could be denied. Or, if your conduct was intentional or malicious, you could risk your right to benefits.
We Handle All Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workplace accidents commonly occur in these fields:
- Health care
- Social assistance
- Food processing
Common causes of workplace accidents include:
- Car accidents
- Excavation accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Fall from heights
- Defective machinery
- Struck by an object or falling debris
- Building collapse
- Exposure to toxins
We can help you file a claim to cover all of the medical treatment that you need. And we’ll fight hard against unfair denials or offers from your employer’s insurance carrier.
What Are Common Workplace Injuries?
Anything from minor to severe or even fatal injuries can occur in the workplace.
Some of the most common workplace injuries are:
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and other head injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Fatal accidents
It’s essential to seek medical attention right away and follow all of your doctor’s orders. Not following medical advice could compromise your right to benefits.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
You should report your accident to your employer immediately. You must report it within 30 days or you could forfeit your right to workers’ comp benefits.
If a third party is responsible for your injuries, you’ll have just two years to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.
The experienced legal team at Hasner Law, PC is well equipped to thoroughly evaluate the circumstances of your accident and take action quickly to make sure you don’t miss important deadlines that could compromise your case.
What Mistakes Could Compromise My Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Even though you’re entitled to certain benefits, you must follow the rules in order to obtain those benefits.
Making these common mistakes could cause your claim to be denied:
- Failure to report your accident to your employer on time. You should report your accident to your employer as soon as possible. Don’t wait longer than 30 days, or your claim will likely be denied for missing the deadline.
- Failure to choose an approved medical provider. Unless you need emergency medical care, you must select a doctor from your employer’s posted list of medical providers. Even in the case of an emergency, you have to see an approved doctor once the emergency is over. Treatment from an unauthorized provider will likely not be covered.
- Failure to follow medical advice or instructions. This includes not just medical care. It also applies to attempting a job authorized by the testing physician. If you fail to attempt the work the doctor says you can perform, you risk having your benefits suspended.
- Refusing to submit to a drug or alcohol test. If you’re asked to take a test for intoxicants after your accident and you refuse, it will be assumed that your injury was caused by your use of alcohol or drugs. If you can’t prove otherwise, your benefits will likely be denied.
- Presenting any false information on your claim. This will not just get your benefits denied, but it could land you in jail and leave you owing hefty fines. This certainly doesn’t mean you’ll get thrown in jail for an honest mistake, but if your claim is misleading or contains inaccurate or incomplete information because you don’t understand something about the forms or the claims process, your benefits could be in jeopardy.
When you’re out of work due to an injury, you have enough to worry about. Don’t put the benefits you’re entitled to at risk by making one of these common mistakes. Consulting a reputable Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer early in the process can help set you up for success.
What Should I Do After I Get Hurt On the Job in Atlanta?
When it comes to filing a request for workers’ compensation, Georgia has some pretty strict procedures in place. Here’s what you need to know about filing a compensation claim to receive benefits after you get hurt at work.
Report the Injury
Tell your employer immediately after an accident or you notice an illness. Your injury must be reported no later than one month after you get hurt. Missing this deadline can cost you the right to collect workers’ comp.
See a Doctor
Make sure that you get to the doctor as soon as you can. However, make sure that you visit a physician who’s pre-approved by your employer. The insurer may decline to pay your medical bills if you visit an unauthorized medical provider. This doesn’t apply if you need emergency medical attention after you get hurt at work.
File a Claim
To formally request benefits, you’ll have to:
- Complete Form WC-14, and
- Send copies to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, your employer, and your employer’s insurance company.
You’ll have, at most, one year from the date of your injury to file this form.
Once you’ve submitted your compensation claim, your employer’s insurance company will review your request for benefits.
If your request is approved, you’ll begin to receive the benefits for which you’re eligible.
If your workers’ compensation claim is denied, you have the right to appeal that decision and fight to get the money you believe you deserve.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
It varies. Many workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the attorney’s fee will be a percentage of the money that they recover for you. This prevents you from having to put money up front, and you don’t pay anything if they don’t win your case.
The state of Georgia limits the percentage of the fee that can be paid to your attorney in workers’ compensation cases. The fee is capped at 25% of the weekly income benefits. You’ll always get 100% of your medical benefits.
Contact Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyers For a Free Consultation
If you’ve been hurt at work, don’t rely on your employer’s insurance company to give you the full compensation you deserve. Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers are known for their track record of success in standing up for workers’ rights.
When your livelihood is at stake, don’t settle for less than you deserve. Let Hasner Law, PC help. Call today for a no-risk, completely free consultation.
Local Emergency Rooms
- WellStar Atlanta Medical Center: Emergency Room – 303 Parkway Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
- Emory University Hospital Midtown: Emergency Room – 550 W Peachtree St NW, Atlanta, GA 30308
- Grady Memorial Hospital Emergency Room – 80 Jesse Hill Jr Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30303
- Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Emergency Department – 38 Jesse Hill Jr Dr SE, Atlanta, GA 30303
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