When you sustain a work injury or illness, your primary focus should be on your treatment and healing so you can get back to work. However, like many injured workers, you’re probably preoccupied with financial concerns like how you’re going to pay your bills and medical expenses if you cannot return to work for some time.
Make sure you review your case with an Alpharetta workers’ compensation lawyer from 1Georgia Injury Lawyers, PLLC to get the benefits you deserve. Call our injury lawyers at 678-635-9939 for a free consultation.
Table of Contents
What Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Can I Receive?
The good news is that most employees who are injured on the job or develop an occupational disease have access to several types of benefits under their employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Below are some of the benefits available.
Workers’ compensation covers all of your medical expenses for work injuries and medical conditions. This includes hospital and emergency room care, diagnostic tests, all necessary and reasonable treatments, physical therapy, and follow-up visits. You can get compensation for certain reasonable personal expenses related to your medical treatment that you incur, such things as mileage, meals, and lodging.
Note, you must see a company-approved doctor in order for your workers’ compensation to cover medical expenses. Your employer should have a panel of physicians posted in a prominent location. If you run into problems with the provider or the list, contact your HR manager or your attorney.
If you lose more than seven days of work because of your injury, you are entitled to receive a weekly income replacement check. Your benefit will total two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to the maximum allowed under the law, which as of July 1, 2015 is $550. The duration of your benefits depends upon the severity and nature of your injury. Your attorney can provide you with case-specific information.
If your injuries are catastrophic and you are unable to return to your old job, you can receive vocational counseling and job training assistance.
The spouse/minor children of the employee are due certain workers’ compensation death benefits if their loved one died as a result of a work accident or illness. They are entitled to receive two-thirds of the deceased’s weekly wages (with a lifetime cap of $220,000), as well as up to $7,500 in funeral expenses.
Do I Need an Alpharetta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
While you can technically file a workers’ compensation claim on your own, it’s a good idea to secure legal representation. An attorney can be a huge asset to your case.
A workers’ compensation lawyer from 1Georgia Injury Lawyers, PLLC can:
- Review your claim and check for thoroughness and errors.
- Ensure your weekly wage was calculated correctly so that you are not shorted benefits.
- Explain your responsibilities and how to conduct yourself so as not to do or say something that could inadvertently harm your eligibility for benefits.
- Ensure you meet all the required deadlines.
- Speak to medical experts and help you compile evidence to support your claim if the employer or insurer questions your condition or denies your benefits.
- Walk you through the appeals process and represent you in hearing if your claim is wrongly denied.
Problems arise in claims all the time, and it helps to have a workers’ compensation lawyer from 1Georgia Injury Lawyers, PLLC on your side to avoid them or deal with them as they arise. One of the greatest advantages to having an attorney on your case is that you will be ready for whatever comes.
For instance, if you disagree with your company doctor’s prognosis or disability rating, your workers’ compensation lawyer will already be familiar with your condition and be able to assist you accordingly.
If your employer tries to retaliate because you filed for workers’ compensation, your workers’ compensation lawyer will know exactly how to handle it. Having a legal advisor ready will prove to be an invaluable resource.
How Do I File or Appeal a Claim?
You can submit a claim (Form WC-14) directly to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC), located in Atlanta. Remember to have a workers’ compensation lawyer review it for accuracy and completeness first.
Also, if your claim is denied, you retain the right to request a hearing from the SBWC. This will provide you with an opportunity to present additional evidence to prove your injury and eligibility. Your attorney can explain the appeals process and help prepare a solid, convincing case.