Sustaining an injury at work can expose you to expensive medical costs, lost wages, and missed opportunities in your career. After you report your accident to your employer and obtain medical care for your injuries, the next step is finding out whether or not you have a workers’ compensation case. In Georgia, all employers with at least three employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer has this insurance, it will cover your medical bills and partial lost wages in the event of a work-related injury.
You might need to take your claim one step farther if your employer’s insurance carrier denies your claim, offers you less than what your injury is worth, or if a third party is at fault for causing your accident. In these cases, come to Kaufman Law, P.C. in Atlanta for assistance. Representing yourself in a workers’ comp case can end in getting much less than you deserve – or nothing at all. Kaufman Law, P.C. can stand up for your rights, and help you discover if you have a case in Atlanta.
When to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia
The Georgia workers’ compensation program exists to aid injured workers when accidents occur during work-related tasks. After any type of accident, file a workers’ compensation claim. This includes if you strained your back, pulled a muscle, dropped a heavy object on your foot, broke a bone, hit your head, fell down, inhaled toxic fumes, or suffer from a repetitive motion injury such as carpal tunnel. If you have an injury or illness you believe stems from something you did at work, report the incident to your employer and begin the claims process. You have a workers’ compensation case if the following are true:
- You are an employee of the company. Independent contractors will not qualify for workers’ comp unless the employer has specifically included them in the insurance.
- Your employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your injury occurred on the job, or your work activities caused the injury.
- You reported the accident to your employer within 30 days of suffering the injury.
- You did not cause your own injury intentionally or by breaking an employment rule.
Most injured employees in Georgia will qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If you receive a claim denial from your employer’s insurance carrier, you might have a case of insurance bad faith. Talk to our lawyers about claims denials right away. You will only have 60 days after receiving your letter to appeal a denial.
When to Settle Your Workers’ Comp Case
Workers’ compensation might not be your only means of recovery after a workplace accident. If someone else’s negligence caused or contributed to your injuries, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit instead of, or on top of a workers’ compensation claim. If you agree to settle your claim with the workers’ compensation board, you automatically forfeit your right to sue your employer. This is the tradeoff that comes with the workers’ comp system.
If you have reason to believe your employer’s negligence caused your accident, don’t settle right away. If someone other than your employer caused your accident, you might be able to recover through both systems. Talk to our Atlanta attorneys to discuss the potential for a lawsuit after a workplace injury. Request your complimentary consultation today.