If you’ve been injured on the job in Carrollton, Georgia, then you probably entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. There are very few exceptions to this rule. For example, if your employer has less than three employees, you may not have coverage. Yet, in most cases, a work related injury in Carrollton, Georgia will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, and you can learn more by contacting an attorney with your questions. Following are some of the most common questions that we hear at the Law Offices of John B. Jackson & Associates concerning the most frequent workers’ compensation claim issues.
Do You Need an Attorney and Can You Afford One?
Whether or not you require an attorney for your workers’ compensation claim will depend on the details of the
situation. The attorneys at the Law Offices of John B. Jackson & Associates will provide a free consultation to help you decide if you require our services. If you do, then you can certainly afford it because we don’t charge up-front fees. In fact, if you do require our services, then we will only receive payment if we help you to recover the compensation that you deserve. Then, we will only take a percent of the compensation that you receive.
What Should You Do After a Work Related Injury?
You need to report any work related injuries to your employer right away and also seek medical treatment. Failing to report your injury by filling out an incident report or notifying your employer in writing could compromise your claim. Failing to seek medical treatment right away could also compromise your claim. You also need to know which doctors you are allowed to see, based on your workers’ compensation coverage. Your employer should provide a list of approved physicians, and you will need to seek medical care from one of those.
What If You Want a Second Opinion From a Different Doctor?
In most cases, you will be allowed to seek a second opinion from a different doctor, though you must still choose from the list of approved physicians that your employer provides. You will need to inform the workers’ compensation insurance company of your intention to get a second opinion and make sure that you have this decision approved before moving forward.
What is the Time Limit for Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
This question is more complex than it may seem at first. There are various factors that can alter the answer to the question of the time limit for receiving workers’ compensation benefits, and much of it depends on your level of disability and when your physician approves you to return to work. If your employer can provide a light duty job that allows for your medical restrictions, then you may not get benefits from that point forward, or your benefits may be reduced.
If you do not have a catastrophic injury, then you will likely only receive benefits for 350 to 400 weeks, again, depending on whether or not you can return to work before this period ends. If your injury is catastrophic, then this timeline could be extended.
What If Workers’ Compensation Refuses to Cover Necessary Medical Treatment?
In some cases, you may find that the workers’ compensation insurance company is not willing to cover certain treatments, and your doctor won’t provide them until they are approved. If you feel that the treatment is reasonable and necessary, but the workers’ compensation insurance company disagrees with this, then you may need to request a hearing. Contact the Law Offices of John B. Jackson & Associates to learn more about your options if this happens.
What If You Had a Pre-Existing Condition that Was Worsened by Your Work Injury?
If you sustain a work related injury in Carrollton, Georgia, and that injury exacerbates a pre-existing condition, then you can still recover workers’ compensation benefits. This can be difficult, however, if you cannot prove that the injury was work-related, or actually made worse by a work-related injury. An attorney can help you to prove this if there is any dispute.
What Do You Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is Denied?
If you have a valid workers’ compensation claim, and if that claim is denied, then you may need to revisit the forms that you have already completed, typically with the guidance of your employer, to make sure that no mistakes were made. From there, you may have to request a hearing to prove that you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You can get the appropriate forms from the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, and discuss the details of how you can request a hearing and prove your claim with the Carrollton, Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys at John B. Jackson & Associates.
When Do You Start Receiving Wage Benefits if Your Claim is Approved?
If your doctor provides work restrictions that keep you from returning to work, your employer has a total of 21 days to decide whether or not they are going to pay your wage benefits. If your employer does not make a decision within this timeframe, or if they decide not to pay your benefits, then you may need to speak to an attorney about your options. You may also be entitled to receive payment for penalties because of the delay, and they may also have to pay for your attorney’s fees. It all depends on the situation.
What if the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Company Offers You a Settlement?
You cannot be forced to settle your workers’ compensation claim. However, you may wish to do so. You will need to consider the benefits versus the potential downsides of accepting a settlement, and your attorney can help you to evaluate your position and make the best decision for your needs. Your attorney can also help to negotiate a settlement that is fair, based on your injuries, lost wages, and potential for future treatment needs.