Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system that provides benefits for medical expenses and partial lost wages to workers who were injured in work-related accidents.
If you suffered a workplace injury and were denied compensation for your medical treatment or lost wages, you may have options to obtain the benefits you need. The trusted Macon workers’ compensation attorneys at Roden Law are strong advocates of employees’ rights. We have helped recover millions in compensation for employees who were wrongfully denied their workers’ compensation benefits. Our attorneys are skilled and experienced negotiators who understand how to navigate through Georgia’s workers’ compensation system to obtain a favorable outcome.
Do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation to review your claim. Our firm’s Founding Partner Eric Roden has spent his career representing workers’ compensation claims. We handle all of our cases on a contingency fee basis, which means all of our services are provided at no upfront cost. You will only be charged for our work if we recover compensation for your claim.
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How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
In order to file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, you must report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. If you wait too long and fail to meet this deadline, your workers’ compensation claim may not be considered.
Once you have reported your injury, you must complete a Notice of Claim (Form WC-14) and file it with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You should also send a copy of your completed Notice of Claim to your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer.
You must complete and submit your Notice of Claim within one year of the date in which you were injured, according to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-82.
Your employer should also provide you with a panel of six pre-selected “Panel of Physicians” that are reasonably accessible to you after you have been injured in a work-related accident. You can only receive medical treatment for your workplace injury or illness from these physicians, according to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-201.
If your claim is approved, you should be provided benefits on the eighth day after you initially submitted your Notice of Claim. However, if your claim is denied, it is highly recommended that you consult with a Macon workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss appealing the decision.
Call 1-844-RESULTS for qualified legal help with your claim.
How Do I Appeal a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
If your claim has been denied, or you were provided inadequate benefits to cover your medical treatment or lost wages, you have the right to appeal the decision.
To appeal a denied workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, you will need to request a hearing in front of an administrative law judge. Although the hearing is typically more informal than a trial, you will need to present strong evidence to support your claim. It is highly recommended that you consult with a Macon workers’ compensation lawyer to discuss building a case for your administrative hearing.
If you are unsatisfied with the administrative law judge’s decision, your next option is to appeal the denial to the Appellate Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. The appeal must be filed within 20 days after the administrative law judge’s decision.
A three-member board from the Appellate Division will review the records taken from your initial hearing. Additionally, you or your Macon workers’ compensation attorney can file briefs or request oral arguments. However, you cannot admit any new evidence. The board members will review the record and briefs and either agree or disagree with the administrative law judge’s decision.
If the administrative law judge’s decision is affirmed by the Appellate Division, you will be given 20 days to appeal to the Georgia Superior Court. The court will use the record of previous proceedings, briefs, and oral arguments to make its decision. If the Georgia Superior Court reaches a decision that is not in your favor, you then have 20 days to appeal to the Georgia Court of Appeals.
Appealing a workers’ compensation claim decision in Georgia can be complicated. The steps involved to appeal a denied claim become more complex as you proceed to reverse the original decision. If you are inexperienced with Georgia’s appeal process, it is highly recommended you consult with a skilled Macon workers’ compensation lawyer to help ensure your claim is properly handled.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form if your claim was denied.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
Workers’ compensation is designed to provide employees medical care and reimbursement for lost wages after being injured in an accident. In exchange for these services, employees cannot file personal injury lawsuits against their employer for a work-related injury.
However, there are certain workers’ compensation claim disputes that would require the help of a skilled attorney to provide the guidance you need to appeal or negotiate the outcome of your claim.
An attorney can help you with a workers’ compensation claim dispute that involves the following situations:
Your Claim Was Denied
Employers and workers’ compensation insurers often deny legitimate claims, expecting workers to not appeal the decision. In fact, more than 51 percent of Georgia workers’ compensation claims were denied during 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
However, if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, you can appeal the decision. A Macon workers’ compensation attorney will work to help ensure your claim is properly handled and negotiate with your employer’s insurer to reach a fair settlement.
Your Benefits Do Not Cover All of Your Medical Expenses or Lost Wages
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance should cover the entirety of your medical expenses, and partial lost wages, if applicable.
If you believe your initial workers’ compensation settlement offer is too low or does not compensate your injury and losses, do not accept it. Immediately contact our Macon workers’ compensation attorneys to find out the accurate amount of compensation you may be owed.
Your Injuries Prevent You from Working
If a work-acquired injury has caused you to suffer a permanent partial disability or permanent total disability, you may be entitled to lifetime payments to compensate you for your lost wages. However, permanent disability claims are expensive for insurers, who may be reluctant to approve such a claim.
A knowledgeable Macon workers’ compensation lawyer will understand how to obtain maximum disability benefits. He or she will use your medical records and testimony from your treating physician to prove your injury prevents you from working and you deserve permanent partial or permanent total disability.
You Receive Social Security Disability Benefits
Some workers who are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits may also be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer a work-related injury or illness. However, you cannot receive the full amount of Social Security benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time.
An experienced Macon workers’ compensation attorney can help structure your claim to help you receive the maximum amount allowable.
You Were Injured by a Third-Party
In certain situations, you may be able to file a Macon personal injury lawsuit for a work-related accident caused by a third-party’s negligence.
For example, if you were injured in an auto accident by a negligent driver while performing a work-related task, you may be entitled to further compensation for your pain and suffering.
If you believe your workplace injury was caused by a third-party’s negligence or recklessness, our Macon workers’ compensation lawyers will investigate your claim to determine if you have a valid case.
Call 1-844-RESULTS to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If your workers’ compensation claim has been approved, you should be entitled to receive compensation for any medical expenses and partial lost wages related to your workplace injury.
If you were injured in a work-related accident, your employer should pay for the entire cost to treat and recover from your injury. This includes:
- Emergency room and hospital visits
- Doctors’ appointments
- Imaging studies
- Medical tests
- Transportation costs to and from appointments
- Cost of rehabilitation
- Prescription medication
- Assistive medical equipment
It is important to include the cost of the treatment you received after acquiring your work-related injury. You should carefully document the types of medical services you received and the cost of each doctor’s visit, test or procedure. Our Macon workers compensation attorneys will use this information to accurately estimate the amount of compensation you may be owed.
In addition to medical expenses, you may be entitled to compensation for your lost wages if you missed more than seven days of work because of your injury.
However, there are different types of benefits for lost wages you may be entitled to receive after filing a workers’ compensation claim. This includes:
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
If your predetermined physician determines that your injury prevents you from working, you will be provided temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.
The amount of TTD benefits you may be provided is two-thirds of your regular weekly wages at the time of your injury. You will be provided TTD benefits until your predetermined physician decides you are recovered and able to work.
For non-catastrophic injuries, there is a 400-week limit for receiving TTD benefits. However, if your injury is catastrophic and is determined to be permanent, you can receive unlimited TTD benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are payable to an employee when he or she returns to work in a job or position paying less as a result of a work-related injury.
TPD is payable up to amount of two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage before and after the injury. Employees who are entitled to receive TPD benefits are limited to 350 weeks of payments from the date of the injury.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
If a physician determines that your injury has left you permanently disabled and unable to perform any type of work, you may be entitled to permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits.
The amount of PPD benefits you may be entitled is determined based on a percentage assigned to you by your treating physician in accordance with O.C.G.A. 34-9-263.
Death benefits may be available to eligible dependents of an employee whose work-related injury resulted in his or her death. Death benefits are payable in amounts at two-thirds the rate of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage at the time of the accident. The amount of death benefits cannot exceed this amount.
In Georgia, death benefits may be made available to the deceased employee’s surviving spouse or minor children. Individuals who are found to be totally dependent on the deceased employee may be entitled to the amount of disability benefits the employee would have received if he or she had lived. If the individual is found to be a partially dependent, he or she will only be entitled to receive an amount of compensation that is proportion to his or her level of dependence.
Our Macon workers’ compensation lawyers understand how to accurately estimate the value of a claim. During our free initial consultation, we will discuss the type of medical treatment you received and how long you were out of work to determine an amount that fairly compensates your losses.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form.
Contact Our Macon Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Although workers are guaranteed workers’ compensation benefits for an on-the-job injury or illness, your claim can easily be denied or reduced by your employer’s insurer.
For this reason, it may be in your best interest to contact Roden Law’s Macon workers’ compensation attorneys to determine if you were wrongfully denied the benefits you deserve. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to find out if you have a case. All of our services will be provided to you at no upfront cost. The only time you have to pay us is if we recover benefits for your claim.
There is no risk in contacting our Macon workers’ compensation attorneys to find out if you have a case to obtain the benefits you need to recover.