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Just about everyone has to work to some extent. Just about everyone has to leave the safety of their home at some point in order to earn a living that makes affording that home possible.
But leaving safety entails increasing the risk of harm. And while workplaces generally strive to keep high – or at least reasonable – safety standards, the odds of workplace accidents, sickness, and injury are never zero, no matter what industry you are in.
It’s a good thing, then, that every state has its own take on workers’ compensation. Especially for seriously injured employees, this government-mandated program provides considerable cash and healthcare benefits to help recover from injuries.
Unfortunately, despite the availability and mostly straightforward process surrounding workers’ compensation, not everyone is able to take advantage of it. Denials are fairly common, and when they happen, claimants end up shouldering their losses on their own.
The thing is, claimants don’t have to shoulder their losses alone, not with a workers’ compensation lawyer on their side.
While you are not legally required to hire a lawyer when you make your workers’ compensation claim, doing so does provide significant advantages compared to filing alone. Surveys show that people working with a lawyer secure claims 78.43% more often than those working without.
For context, that means 5 out of 10 claimants who work alone do not get any money, while 9 out of 10 claimants who hire a lawyer do. In addition, the value of claims made by people with lawyers is also up to four times higher on average, even after deducting lawyer fees.
Every state has its own procedures for making a workers’ comp claim, though they are mostly similar to each other.
Generally, accident or work-related sickness is reported to the worker’s employer. Steps are then taken to prove the health concern qualifies the victim for workers’ comp, and finally, the claim itself is filed.
Before you can make the claim itself, you first need to know if you are eligible to file one in the first place.
If you fail to follow the timeline or otherwise violate a rule or regulation, you may be penalized between $100 and $1,000 for each violation.
Once you have determined whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation, you have to inform your employer of your injury. You must do so within a period of 30 days from the date of injury or face a civil penalty issued by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
When you report your injury, your employer will be required to question you regarding how the injury came to be. They, in turn, will have to notify the Board of the injury.
The Georgia State Board requires all employers to have a Panel of Physicians posted in at least one prominent location on work premises. This Panel is a list of medical practitioners from whom workers injured on the job may seek treatment.
Getting a medical diagnosis from a physician on the Panel fulfills the first of two prongs you need to prove in order to get a worker’s compensation claim: that you indeed suffered an injury in the first place.
In order to prove the second prong of a worker’s compensation claim, you need to gather evidence that supports the idea that the injury occurred while you were doing your expected duties at work, on company time.
This sounds simple, but there are a few loopholes that could prevent you from making a claim.
For instance, scheduled breaks, such as recess and lunch, are not considered company time. As a result, if you are injured while on lunch break, even if you are on company premises, you would not be entitled to workers’ comp.
On the other hand, unscheduled breaks such as bathroom breaks would not disqualify you from workers’ compensation if you get injured on the way to the bathroom, for example. In a somewhat ironic way, sneaking a break is covered, while official breaks are not.
Things get even more complicated with company retreats or outreach programs, as presence at these events usually qualifies as company time. Further, not all breaks at these events can be scheduled, so lunch here may be treated differently from lunch at the office.
And then there is the matter of ingress/egress.
If you are driving to or from work and you get into an accident, you are not covered by workers’ compensation. There are, however, exceptions to this rule, such as if you were required to drive the company vehicle or if you are in transit from the office to a project site, or vice versa.
These rules change all the time as well, making it difficult to prepare evidence supporting whatever argument you decide to stick with. It is also at this point where you can benefit the most from a workers’ compensation attorney.
When you are finally ready to file your claim, you will typically take it up with the HR department or whatever body is in charge of contacting the insurance company in your stead.
Thankfully, unlike many other injury claims, workers’ compensation is pretty cut-and-dry when it reaches this stage. This is because workers’ comp claims are owed to injured employees regardless of who is at fault for an injury.
As a result, there is no need to argue with an at-fault party to assign liability. The insurer will still conduct an investigation, but, for the most part, any hesitation on the part of the insurer to pay will usually just be to clarify details already provided in the evidence.
Of course, this could still pose problems for you if they do not get the answers they are looking for and decide that some of the damages you reported are not covered. At worst, they could be actively looking for reasons to deny your claim.
If they do deny your claim, your lawyer can help address the reasons for the denial and give you a chance to appeal. They will work with you to smooth things out with the insurance provider to ensure you get a fair, full amount.
When you’ve been injured at work and need relief, the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm stands ready to help. We provide Fulton County with expert legal services to help clients recover from tragedy.
Under the leadership of Attorney Ali Awad, we have become one of the country’s fastest-growing law firms. In our first year, we recovered more than a million dollars in damages for our clients, and we continue to push the bar today, seven years later.
Contact us today at (833) 254-2923 and schedule your free consultation. We serve our clients in both English and Spanish, and we do not charge until we have won your case or settled your claim.
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After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process. Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today. We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.