Atlanta Workers' Compensation Attorneys
Getting injured on the job can wreak major havoc on your life, and at the very least create an inconvenient situation both medically and financially. In addition to struggling with your injury, your finances are affected, and in some cases, your career. Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) provides benefits to help you through this rough time in your life. Receiving these benefits requires that you report your injury immediately, seek medical attention, and cooperate with doctor instructions.
If you need help filing a workers’ comp claim, your claim has been denied, or your benefits have been reduced, you need to contact an experienced worker’s comp lawyer as soon as possible. Call 678-888-HURT (4878) to discuss the details of your case with one of the skilled attorneys at Hasner Law in Atlanta.
Typical Workers’ Comp Injuries
Workers’ comp injuries stem from a wide variety of accidents that might happen on the job. The most recent data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) reports that more than 82,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by Georgia’s private industry employers in 2016. The trade, transportation, and utilities sector, as well as the education and health services sector accounted for more than 50 percent of all reported injuries. Common workers’ comp injuries include:
- Head traumas including traumatic brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Electrical shocks and burns
- Carpal Tunnel syndrome and other repetitive use injuries
Workers’ compensation is accident insurance paid by your employer. When you file a claim, you might be paid to cover medical expenses and wages during your absence from work without regard for fault or negligence. Certain situations may give rise to a personal injury lawsuit against a third party because you were injured at your workplace. In these cases, your lawyer must prove fault or negligence for the court to award you damages. Here are some common examples:
- Your employer failed to purchase workers’ comp insurance, or they were not required to have it.
- Your injury involves a defective product, including toxic substances, resulting in a lawsuit against the manufacturer or retailer of the product.
- You were injured while working, but not on your employer’s property—for example, a sales representative at another business or someone’s home.
Recoverable Damages after a Workplace Injury
The damages that you can recover differ based on whether you are filing a workers’ compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. Workers’ compensation insurance in Georgia pays two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but not more than $575 per week. You are entitled to benefits for up to 400 weeks, unless your injury led to a long-term disability. In the case of a catastrophic injury, you might be entitled to lifetime benefits. Additionally, all authorized doctor bills, hospitalization, physical therapy, prescription medications, and necessary travel expenses will be paid.
If you file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, you might be able to recover the following types of damages:
- Medical expenses not covered by your workers’ comp claim
- Lost wages and benefits not covered by workers’ comp
- Pain and suffering for your injury
- Loss of consortium
In What Ways Do Employers Avoid Responsibility?
When your employer has worker’s compensation insurance, filing a claim and receiving benefits should be a straightforward process; however, that is not often the case. Employers and insurance companies will often go out of their way to avoid paying a claim. Your claim might be denied because the insurance company claims your injury did not happen at work, or you didn’t meet the deadline to file. The insurance company may also claim that you have a preexisting injury or downplay your injury.
In the event that you file a lawsuit against a third party for your workplace injury, Georgia’s modified comparative negligence rule gives the defense incentive to shift the blame your way. Comparative negligence is the notion of shared liability; the court assigns a percentage fault to each party of a personal injury suit and subtracts that percentage from their award.
For example, if court-awarded damages are $1,000,000, but the court finds that you are 20 percent at fault for your injury, you may only recover $800,000 in damages. Georgia’s modification adds another layer. If you are 50 percent or more at fault for your injury, you are prohibited from recovering damages. A skilled personal injury lawyer who deals with workers’ comp cases understands how to navigate the legal process and will anticipate strategies that the defense might use to shift the blame to you. They will fight to get the best outcome for your situation and make sure that those who are liable are held accountable.
Contact Hasner Law to Evaluate Your Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Case
Coping with the emotional and financial stress that comes with getting injured at work might be overwhelming at times. Workers’ compensation attorneys are advocates that will fight to make sure you get the wages and benefits to which you are entitled. They can also protect your rights in situations where your employer has retaliated because you filed a claim. A skilled attorney can investigate your injury, speak to witnesses, file necessary claim forms, and take care of all the details of your case. This gives you time to focus on rehabilitation, recovery, and getting back to work as soon as possible.
If your workers’ comp claim has been denied or you aren’t receiving the benefits to which you are entitled after being injured at work, contact Hasner Law online, or call our office at 678-888-HURT (4878) in Atlanta for a free consultation to discuss your case.