If you have been injured at work, call the Law Office of Elene Welsh to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Columbus, GA. We know how stressful worrying about money can be after getting hurt on the job. So we take a proactive approach to your case, fight to help you recover maximum compensation, and ensure you receive all of the employee benefits you’re entitled to under Georgia law. Our team has over 30 years of experience holding employers responsible on behalf of injured workers.
Your first consultation is free, so don’t wait to contact our Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Columbus to schedule yours today. Call (706) 984-8963 now.
Do I qualify for worker’s compensation benefits?
Under Georgia law, workers’ compensation benefits can be paid to employees who sustain an injury at work. This law applies to full- and part-time employees, but not independent contractors.
You don’t have to get hurt at your workplace to qualify – you can also successfully secure workers comp benefits if you get injured while “on the job,” performing a job-related task or responsibility.
For instance, let’s say you’re driving a work truck to carry materials to an Atlanta job site when you get into an auto accident: You’d most likely qualify for workers comp since you were performing a duty for your job.
Georgia’s No-Fault Workers Compensation System
A Georgia employer must possess workers’ compensation insurance for three or more employees. When a worker gets hurt while on the job, this insurance program can cover lost wages, disability, and medical bills regardless of fault.
That’s right — you may be able to obtain workers’ compensation benefits even if you are entirely or partially at fault for the accident that caused your injury. Georgia’s no-fault system states that any injured worker can seek and potentially recover workers’ comp benefits.
How do I file a work injury claim in Columbus, Georgia?
Georgia has strict policies in place for filing a workers’ compensation claim. Here’s what you need to know after being hurt at work.
- Report the Accident: Report your accident and injury to your employer immediately after it occurs or as soon as you realize you are hurt. You must report your accident within one month of the date of the occurrence. Missing this deadline can hinder your rights to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
- See a Doctor: Make sure you visit the doctor as soon as possible and see a medical provider pre-approved by your employer. The insurance company may decline to pay your medical bills if you see an unauthorized physician. The only time you don’t have to see an approved doctor is if you need emergency medical attention immediately after your work injury.
- File a Claim: To claim benefits, you’ll have to fill out Form WC-14 and send copies to your employer, the State Board of Workers Compensation, and your employer’s insurer. Most victims have up to one year from the date of their injury to send in this form.
Once you’ve made your claim, your employer’s insurance company will then evaluate your claim for benefits. If your request is accepted, you’ll begin to receive the benefits for which you’re qualified. If your claim is rejected, you have the right to appeal the settlement and fight to get the funds you believe you deserve.
Is there a deadline for filing a worker’s compensation claim Columbus?
Georgia workers should notify their employer of their injuries immediately, even if they do not seem very serious at first. Although the law provides up to 30 days from the injury date to file a claim, any delay can hinder the claims process or lead to lost compensation. In addition, the reviewing board might believe that a claimant’s injuries are not severe if they wait too long to receive medical care.
Georgia State Board of Worker’s Compensation
After you file your claim, the claim goes to the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation for evaluation. The employer should provide the injured worker with a list of medical professionals approved by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. The injured employee must then seek medical attention from one of these approved doctors. The exception to seeing an approved doctor is that if the injured worker requires emergency medical treatment, they may receive medical care from any practitioner. Once the emergency is over, they are required to return to one of the approved practitioners. Workers must let their employer know which approved physician they have chosen, and they have the right to switch doctors once without informing their employer.
Understanding Worker’s Compensation Benefits
The medical provider treating an injured worker may advise staying out of work for some time to recover. Injured workers may be able to receive workers comp benefits if they cannot work for seven days or more. Most injured employees claiming workers’ compensation will receive their initial benefits check within 21 days of missing work. Claimants out of work for more than 21 days may also receive benefits for the first week.
After July 1, 2016, Georgia law limits benefits to no more than two-thirds of the injured employee’s weekly earnings, but not to exceed $575 per week for up to 400 weeks. In some situations, an employee will be able to return to work immediately but may not be able to perform physically demanding previous job tasks. If an injured worker can only return to a lower-paying job, they can receive partial benefit payments of no more than $383 per week for up to 350 weeks.
There are also individual provisions for workers who suffer permanent injuries, amputations, or disfigurements. If a worker dies from their injury, their dependents may receive up to $575 per week. A widowed spouse without kids may only receive up to $230,000 total. It’s also necessary to note that workers’ compensation benefits may sometimes alter Social Security benefits.
Understanding Worker’s Comp benefits can be complicated, but a skilled Workers Compensation attorney like Ellene Welsh can help explain your potential earnings after a work injury. Ellene offers a free consultation, so if you have questions, please call her office at (706) 984-8963 and schedule a time to speak with her.
Third-Party Liability in a Work Injury Case
Many workplace injury cases involve third-party liability. Third-party liability occurs when a negligent third party (any entity that is not the employer) causes bodily injury to a worker in Georgia. Construction accidents commonly involve third-party liability, as many entities are present on all construction sites. Other workers, subcontractors, cleaning crews, nearby drivers, and pedestrians walking through the site may all end up with third-party liability for a worker’s injuries. At the Law Office of Elene Welsh, we can help you with these types of claims in Georgia.
Third-Party Claims and Worker’s Comp
Georgia’s workers’ compensation system states that once an employee files for this type of coverage, they give up the right to file a personal injury claim against the employer. It does not, however, bar recovery from third parties. Suppose an individual or entity that is not the employer caused the workplace accident. In that case, the employee could seek recovery through the workers’ compensation program and a personal injury claim. Examples of third parties who may be liable for workplace accidents include:
- Other drivers
- Manufacturing companies
- Property owners
- Independent contractors
It is worth considering filing a third-party claim on top of workers’ compensation, as this can result in higher compensation for your damages. For example, you could not only recover for your medical expenses and lost wages through workers comp, but also for your physical pain, emotional suffering, loss of the capacity to earn, and lost quality of life with a personal injury claim. However, you must prove the third party’s fault, wrongful act, or omission to win a settlement or verdict in a PI claim.
Why Should I Call a Workers Compensation Lawyer After I Am Injured At Work in Columbus, Georgia?
Georgia’s workers’ compensation system is supposed to help injured employees recover physically and financially after an accident at work. However, just because you’re qualified for workers’ compensation benefits doesn’t mean getting your compensation will be easy.
The system is set up to benefit employers and their insurance companies, not injured workers like you. When you file a workers comp claim, you must follow stringent policies and work within strict time limitations. Your employers’ insurance provider may attempt to make it hard for you to get the money you deserve so that they don’t have to pay you. Simple mistakes when filing a claim could decrease your compensation.
Hiring a lawyer can make a big difference in your workers’ compensation case. At the Law Office of Elene Welsh, our workers’ compensation attorney in Columbus, GA, has more than three decades of experience handling complex workers’ compensation claims. We know Georgia workers’ compensation law like the back of our hand. We know what steps need to be taken to get you the maximum benefits you deserve for your damages.
When you hire the Law Office of Elene Welsh, we will advise you throughout the process and advocate for your rights. Our goal is to help you obtain the money you need to recover from your work injury. Give us a call today to set up a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can help you. (706) 984-8963
You Deserve an Experienced Workers Compensation Attorney in Columbus On Your Side
If you have been hurt on the job while working in Columbus, Georgia, you may be qualified for workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can help you get back on your feet after an unfortunate injury at work.
Don’t let insurance companies pay you less than you deserve. Instead, let the experienced legal team at the Law Office of Elene Welsh help you get maximum compensation. Our workers’ compensation attorney in Columbus has been handling complicated workers’ compensation and personal injury cases for over three decades. We understand Georgia law and know what needs to be done to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact our Columbus law firm today to schedule a free case evaluation at (706) 984-8963. Our team will review the details of your case and explain your legal rights. Our goal is to guide you in your legal claim and help you get the money you deserve for your injuries. There’s not much time to act, so give us a call now!