Thousands of employees travel to their jobs in West Georgia everyday with the expectation of putting in a full day’s work and heading back home. The thought of getting injured at work is something very few workers ever think about. Although there are multiple safety and regulatory agencies, such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) for instance, workplace injuries are much more prevalent than most people realize.
First Things First
No one wants to get injured while at work. If you are injured while at work while performing your job, under Georgia law you are entitled to medical care and possibly a weekly check. However, if you been injured, it is important to understand that your employer – no matter how good they have been to you in the past – is there to operate a business and generate a profit. Understand that once you have been injured and an incident and or injury report is filed, the nature of the relationship with your employer changes – possibly forever.
Most people would like to believe they work for a decent and fair company or individual and once you are injured your employer will quickly help you see a doctor. Unfortunately, in cases involving worker’s compensation claims, employees frequently find themselves in the uncomfortable position of contending with difficulty getting help seeing a doctor and illegal retaliatory actions initiated by their employer, including:
• A reduction in pay or demotion
• A reduction in working hours
• Refusal to accommodate for a light duty work assignment
• Hostility or discrimination
Don’t Leave Anything To Chance
Many workers who suffer injuries on the job are surprised to discover the number of hurdles to jump over in order to get the medical treatment they need and the weekly check benefits they are entitled to under their employer’s Georgia workers’ compensation coverage. Most try to handle the claims process on their own, until they learn they should not expect any help from their personnel department.
They Will Have Lawyers. You Should, Too.
Your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company will have a legal team to stand firm to protect their financial interests. By trying to file your claim on your own, it will be you against a team of experienced defense lawyers. No matter how clear-cut the evidence may be in your favor, many employers will push back to protect themselves, not to protect you.
They may deny your claim outright, insisting the accident was your own fault. They may string out a settlement over several years to keep from paying you. They may also try to get you to return to work before you are fully recovered from your injuries.
There are a multitude of reasons why you should talk to a workers’ comp lawyer in your area before trying to handle the claim yourself. If your injuries result in a permanent total or partial disability, in addition to your workers’ compensation benefits you may be entitled to receive Social Security disability benefits, as well as weekly pay benefits or a lump sum settlement. Ensuring that your workers compensation settlement is structured properly is one of the most important reasons. Without an experienced lawyer who understands the specific issues and claims process in Northwest Georgia, Social Security could claim a sizable portion of your settlement.
An experienced worker’s compensation attorney will know how to take your medical record and turn it into a story that will demonstrate the severity of your injuries; to provide the necessary evidence you will need to get your workers’ compensation claim approved. Experienced Worker’s Compensation attorneys can also review all of the information that pertains to your case, and estimate what it is worth, allowing them to render decisions regarding the full and fair settlement you are entitled to.
Your employer and their insurance company will consult with lawyers to protect themselves. You should also consult with a lawyer to be sure your claim is handled properly so that you receive the benefits needed to quickly recover from your injury.