Stephen Hasner | Workers' Compensation | December 29, 2016
Many workers in Georgia suffer serious injuries on the job each year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that Georgia’s annual work injury rate is 2.7 per 100 workers. To put this figure into perspective, this means that around 150,000 Georgia workers sustain on-the-job injuries each year.
Injured workers are entitled to recover benefits are under Georgia law. However, if you require medical treatment, or if you have missed time on the job because of an injury, you should not go through the claims process alone.
Please consult with an experienced Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer today for assistance with your claim.
Should I Hire a Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
In cases where you sustained a very minor injury, and your employer and the insurance company are cooperating with you, you may be able to handle your claim on your own.
However, if you were forced to miss any time on the job, or if you are having any trouble recovering full and fair benefits, you should obtain assistance from a qualified attorney.
The following is a list of six situations where you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer. If you find yourself in any of these situations, please seek legal help as soon as possible:
- You suffered a serious injury. Any injury that requires you to miss substantial time on the job should be considered serious. In these cases, you are generally entitled to both medical benefits as well as benefits that replace a portion of your lost income. These claims are more complex. It is important to seek legal help to navigate the claims process.
- Your claim has been denied or delayed. If you have already filed your claim and received a denial, you should not give up. Many claims are incorrectly denied. This is particularly true for claims that were initially filed without the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawyer. You have the right to file an appeal, and you should use it.
- You are applying for Social Security disability benefits. If you are also filing for Social Security benefits in relation to your work injury, it is imperative that you consult with a lawyer. Social Security disability benefits can lead to a corresponding offset of your workers’ compensation settlement. Your settlement must be correctly structured so that you maximize your recovery.
- You have a pre-existing condition. Pre-existing conditions usually make workers’ compensation claims much more complex. However, a pre-existing condition does not mean that your claim will be automatically denied. It is important to be ready for the challenges that might arise.
- You face retaliation for reporting your injury. You have the legal right to report your work injury and file a workers’ compensation claim without facing any adverse action from your employer. If you were retaliated against for filing a claim, or if you were pressured into not filing your claim or reporting your injury, you need to call a lawyer immediately.
- You have a third-party claim. In some work injury cases, victims also have a claim against a party other than their employer. For example, if you were injured at a construction site, and another contractor’s negligence was responsible for your accident, you may be able to take legal action against that other party.
Five Questions to Ask a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Before you agree to work with an attorney, you should ask a series of questions. Here are a few questions that could elicit helpful information for you:
- Do I have a viable claim?
During your first consultation with a workers’ compensation lawyer, you should get some perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of your claim. By doing this, you will be able to know the approximate value of your case and what to expect in the workers’ compensation claims process. Of course, no lawyer can offer you a guarantee of results, but an experienced lawyer should be able to offer you some very useful perspective.
- Is your practice devoted to workers’ compensation cases?
Many lawyers in Georgia dabble in workers’ compensation cases. They may handle one or two cases a year. It is in your best interest to work with a workers’ compensation lawyer who regularly handles workers’ compensation claims. Experience matters.
- Have you handled similar cases before?
You will want to work with an attorney who has extensive experience with handling workers’ compensation claims. You should always look for an attorney who has handled cases like yours before. For instance, if you suffered a serious workplace head injury or a debilitating on-the-job shoulder injury, you will want to work with an attorney who has specific experience handling similar claims.
- Can you explain the process to me?
You should also ask a workers’ compensation attorney to go over some of the specifics of the claims process with you. This will give you a better view of how the process will go and how your attorney will help you. For example, you may want to ask about the anticipated time frame for getting more information about your claim and eventually recovering your benefits.
- How does payment work?
Finally, it is important to know how your workers’ compensation lawyer will be paid for his or her services. At Hasner Law, PC, we provide workers’ compensation services on a contingency fee basis. We will not charge you any upfront costs. Instead, we will recover our legal fees when you receive your workers’ compensation benefits.This type of payment arrangement offers many different advantages for injured workers. For example, it means that the attorney will be taking on all of the financial risks involved with bringing your case. Our team is willing to take on the risks because we are confident in our ability to pursue workers’ compensation benefits for you.
Our Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Can Help You
If you were recently injured on the job, please contact Hasner Law, PC today. Our team has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation claims. We will review your case free of charge. We have offices in Atlanta and Savannah and serve injured workers throughout the surrounding communities.