Murrayville Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Murrayville
An Injury at work can take a heavy toll on a worker’s health and livelihood. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics says that in just one year, private employers in Georgia reported more than 78,000 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, or roughly 2.5 cases for every 100 private employees throughout the state.
Because a workplace injury or illness can put a significant strain on the victim’s finances, it’s vital that injured employees get the workers’ compensation benefits they’re eligible to claim. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for employers and workers’ compensation providers to deny or unfairly reduce the value of an injured worker’s claim, leaving the injured employee with few resources during an already difficult time.
If you’ve been hurt on the job in North Georgia and are having difficulty obtaining compensation for your injuries, talk to a Murrayville workers’ compensation lawyer right away. The Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys at the Weaver Law Firm have been fighting for the rights of injured employees for more than two decades. Our track record of success speaks for itself.
Understanding What Workers’ Compensation Covers
According to Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation, the law requires most businesses with three or more employees (including regular part-time workers) to carry workers’ compensation coverage. This means that the vast majority of employees are eligible for workers’ compensation coverage, even if they only work part-time.
However, there are a few exceptions to Georgia’s requirement for businesses to carry workers’ compensation coverage, including:
- Railroad workers
- Government employees
- Certain domestic workers
- Independent contractors (Note that simply calling someone an “independent contractor” does not necessarily mean they are not actually an employee in the law’s eyes.)
The key thing to know about workers’ compensation coverage is that it’s a no-fault benefit. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you or your employer is to blame for your injuries or illness. As long as the injury or illness happened due to or in the course of your job, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
According to the state-issued Workers’ Compensation Handbook for employees, these benefits include:
- Compensation for any medical treatment related to your injury or illness
- Rehabilitation benefits help you heal from your injuries or illness and get back to work
- Wage-replacement benefits for time missed from work due to your injury or illness
Depending on the severity of your injuries and how long you’re expected to miss work, these benefits break down into four broad categories, which are:
- Temporary partial disability benefits
- Temporary total disability benefits
- Permanent partial disability benefits
- Permanent total disability benefits
While workers’ compensation benefits should cover the full extent of your medical treatment related to your injuries, other benefits have certain limits. Wage-replacement benefits are capped at two-thirds of your average weekly wages before your injury, up to a limit of $675 per week.
Workers’ compensation benefits are designed to cover a wide range of injuries and illnesses, including:
- Motor-vehicle accidents
- Slip-and-falls, trip-and-falls, etc.
- Fires and explosions
- Exposure to caustic chemicals or other harmful substances
- Electrocution injuries
- Overexertion injuries
- Machinery accidents
- Workplace violence
- Being struck by or against a heavy object, machinery, etc.
- Any injury or illness that aggravates a prior injury or illness
This is not an exhaustive list. If you sustained any type of injury at work, there’s a good chance you’re eligible for some sort of compensation.
One last thing to note is that because workers’ compensation is a no-fault benefit, this generally means you cannot sue your employer for a work-related injury. However, if the injury happened at work and a third party caused it, you might be able to file a third-party injury claim against the negligent party and recover compensation in addition to any workers’ compensation benefits you’re entitled to.
How a Murrayville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You
To get the maximum benefit amount in a workers’ compensation claim, it’s best to get help from an attorney who has experience with these cases. Workers’ compensation claims can be quite complex, and you need to be careful with the information you submit as part of your claim.
The Murrayville workers’ compensation lawyers at the Weaver Law Firm can help with your claim by:
- Filling out the necessary forms to have your claim processed as quickly as possible
- Gathering the proper medical records to submit to your employer and the State Board of Workers’ Compensation
- Finding the right doctor and other specialists to get you the care you need
- Handling any appeals that may be necessary if your claim is denied or you don’t receive the full amount in benefits you may be eligible for
- Standing up for your rights in disputes about when to return to work and other matters
What to Do After an Accident at Work
Acting quickly after an accident at work is crucial if you want to have your claim processed quickly and receive your full benefit amount. Here’s what to do:
- Report the accident to your employer. You need to let your employer know about a workplace injury within 30 days of it occurring or of you first becoming aware of it, but it’s generally better to report the injury as soon as possible. If you can, make the report in writing to your manager or your employer’s human resources department. If you’re unable to make the report yourself, have a co-worker, family member, or friend do so for you.
- See a doctor right away. The timely treatment gives you the best chance at a full recovery from your injuries. Delaying medical treatment could be used as a reason for your workers’ compensation provider to delay, deny, or reduce the value of your claim. Be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible after a workplace injury and follow their instructions carefully.
- Write down what happened. The workers’ compensation process can be fairly time-consuming, and it’s essential to maintain a consistent narrative about what happened throughout the process. Write down what happened as soon after the accident as you can. Include as many details as possible, as these details may be necessary to establish your claim’s validity.
- Save any evidence of your injuries. In addition to your medical records, photographs of your injuries and other evidence can help substantiate your workers’ compensation claim. If you have any photos of your injuries, accident reports, or other evidence, make sure to include them as part of your claim.
- Talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer. If you’re injured and unable to work, the last thing you want is a drawn-out workers’ compensation claim. To get the money you need as quickly as you can, get help from an experienced, knowledgeable Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries in Murrayville
While there’s no single cause of workplace injuries and accidents, there are a few recurring patterns we see at our firm, including:
- Motor-vehicle accidents – Work-related car accidents happen all the time for a wide variety of reasons. As long as the accident occurs in the scope of an employee’s work duties, they should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
- Employer practices – When employers hire inexperienced or unqualified workers, fail to institute proper training practices, don’t perform proper maintenance, have unsafe premises, or engage in other negligent behaviors, they put workers at risk.
- Overexertion injuries – Overexertion injuries are some of the most common types of workplace injuries, especially for employees involved in heavy physical labor.
- Repetitive motion injuries – Doing the same physical task repeatedly can lead to an injury even when each individual movement isn’t especially taxing.
- Machinery defects/failures – Mechanical defects can lead to equipment failure or explosions, either of which can lead to a workplace injury. Even if the parts were manufactured correctly, a lack of proper maintenance could make machinery more likely to malfunction.
Types of Work Injury Cases We Handle
A few examples of some of the work injury cases we handle at the Weaver Law Firm include:
- Neck and back injuries
- Broken bones
- Joint damage
- Soft-tissue injuries including sprains and strains
- Crushed or amputated limbs
- Electrocution injuries
- Slip-and-fall injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
Time Limit for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Georgia law says that injured workers have one year from the date of their injury or the date that they discovered or reasonably should have discovered the injury to file a workers’ compensation claim. Otherwise, your claim is likely to be denied.
Talk to a Murrayville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
Don’t risk missing out on the workers’ compensation benefits you need and deserve. For assistance, contact a Murrayville workers’ compensation lawyer from the Weaver Law Firm. Get a free initial consultation by calling our Murrayville office, by chatting with us live, or by filling our online contact form now.