Getting injured while on the job is a devastating chapter in a person’s career. Consequences of work injuries include expensive medical costs, pain and suffering, repetitive visits to the doctor, lost wages and the loss of the capacity to enjoy your life. A workers comp lawsuit attorney can help you file a workers’ compensation claim within the legal timeframe and obtain the adequate compensation you deserve for medical treatment, lost wages and related expenses.
Should You Go for Workers Comp Lawsuit or a Personal Injury Claim?
First, you need to know the difference between a workers comp lawsuit and personal injury claim. A work injury is covered by workers’ compensation regardless of who was at fault. When it comes to a personal injury claim, it is an at-fault system which means that you need to prove that your employer is at fault for causing you injury.
In case the employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance, the injured person can sue her employer through a personal injury claim.
Note that workers’ compensation benefits do not cover pain, suffering and the loss of enjoyment of life. On the other hand, a personal injury lawsuit allows the injured worker to claim compensation for these elements. Another difference is that a workers’ compensation lawsuit can be settled in a matter of weeks, while a personal injury claim can take months or even years before you obtain due compensation.
In the end, it is best to consult with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney to determine the best course of action.
Cases Where You Should File a Workers Comp Lawsuit in Atlanta, GA
Many injured workers are not aware that they can file a workers’ compensation lawsuit. This is an appropriate course of action in cases like:
- You suffered an injury at work (slip and falls, motor vehicle injuries, defective equipment, chemical exposure, heavy lifting, etc.)
- You experience a lot of pain after sustaining an injury while on the job
- After the accident, the employer tells you to keep what happened to yourself
- Months have passed since the accident, and you have not filed a workers’ compensation lawsuit—remember that you should proceed a filing within one year from the date of injury
- The workers’ compensation carrier is not willing to pay the compensation
If any of the cases above applies to you, you should definitely file a workers’ compensation lawsuit. However, be sure to avoid making the following mistakes:
- Not notifying your employer about the injury suffered at the workplace
- Making mistakes on claim forms and missing filing deadlines
- Downplaying or overplaying the injury
- Not following doctors’ orders
- Not getting an independent medical assessment
- Returning to work before you have fully recovered
- Not returning to work when the doctor says you are ready to do so
- Being unaware of a benefit you are entitled to in case you cannot return to work
- Settling for the wrong disability rating
- Not reopening a workers’ compensation lawsuit when the doctor decides you need to undergo additional treatment
After filing the workers’ compensation lawsuit, you will receive a notice of pretrial about thirty days after your worker’s compensation case is filed. Some cases involve mediation instead of pretrial, with the hope of resolving differences among the parties. If not, the magistrate assigned to your case will then set a future hearing date and post it on the wall. If you are represented by an attorney, you do not have to attend the hearing. Note that representing yourself is almost impossible. Even if you try presenting proofs and tell the magistrate how the accident happened, you can still lose if your case is not properly presented.
Settling a Georgia Workers’ Compensation case involves taking into account several factors. First, there are lost wages which are called temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits in workers’ comp. Second, there is the medical treatment, both past, and future. It can include surgery, prescriptions, physical therapy, rehabilitation supplies, pain management, injections, and follow-up appointments with a doctor, and more.
Third, assuming this is not a death claim or a catastrophic disability, there is the permanent partial disability rating, which is issued by the doctor once the person reaches maximum medical improvement.
Call the Law Office of John B Jackson if You Suffered Work Injuries
If you have been injured at work in Atlanta, call us today 770-988-6155 for a free consultation to evaluate your legal options and start building a case. Getting a settlement for a work injury is often an overwhelming and tedious process, and the assistance of a workers’ compensation lawsuit attorney will help you obtain the just compensation you deserve.