Columbus Workers' Compensation Attorneys


Updated

Jun 26, 2018

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a workplace accident, the attorneys in our Columbus office can help you obtain the benefits you need to recover from your injuries.

In Georgia, most workers who are hurt on the job are entitled to compensation for medical bills and lost wages through Georgia’s workers’ compensation system; however, the employer and their insurance company will find ways to deny valid claims, minimize the amount of benefits workers receive and send employees back to work before they are ready.

At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys can help protect your rights as you apply for benefits or appeal a denied or undervalued claim. To protect your legal rights, it is very important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible.

Our Columbus attorneys offer free case reviews to potential clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

How Quickly Do I Need to Take Action?

You must notify your employer within 30 days of when the accident occurred. Under Georgia law, if your employer is not notified of the accident and your injuries within 30 days, you may be unable to collect workers’ compensation benefits.

Furthermore, your claim for workers’ compensation benefits must be filed within one year of the date of the accident. After your attorney files the claim, he or she may request a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. An administrative law judge will preside over the hearing. Most hearings take place within 60 days of the date when your attorney files the request for a hearing.

Can I Be Retaliated Against For Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

No. It is illegal for your employer to retaliate against you for seeking benefits through Georgia’s workers’ compensation program. If your employer attempts to retaliate against you in any way, your attorney may file a lawsuit against your company and seek an injunction ordering your employer to stop the retaliation immediately.

What Will a Lawyer Do for Me?

The attorneys in Morgan & Morgan’s Columbus office have years of experience helping injured workers qualify for benefits. In handling your workers’ compensation claim, your attorney can:

  • Gather and obtain all necessary medical records and documentation of your injuries
  • Explain Georgia’s workers’ compensation claim process to you
  • Guide you through each step of the workers’ compensation process
  • File your official claim for benefits
  • File an appeal seeking to overturn the adverse decision in the event your claim has been denied or undervalued

Workers’ compensation benefits are intended to compensate injured workers regardless of who was at fault in causing the accident. In exchange for your right to receive benefits no matter who was at fault, you will not be able to sue your employer in most instances.

If a third party, such as a subcontractor or product manufacturer, however, contributed to the cause of the accident, your attorney may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against this third party seeking additional compensation for your injuries.

Your attorney will review the facts and circumstances of your workplace accident to determine if you are eligible for legal relief above and beyond the benefits provided under Georgia’s workers’ compensation program.

How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?

Morgan & Morgan’s workers’ compensation attorneys do not charge any upfront fees. We only receive a legal fee is we are able to obtain compensation for you. The fee is generally a percentage of the benefits you are awarded. All legal fees are reviewed by the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation to ensure that they are fair and reasonable.

How Much Money Can I Recover?

This will depend on whether Georgia’s workers’ compensation system classifies your injuries as catastrophic or non-catastrophic.

Catastrophic injuries are those involving severe head injuries, severe paralysis, amputations, severe burns, blindness or other types of injuries that prevent an employee from being able to perform the essential functions of his or her job. If you have suffered a catastrophic injury in a workplace accident, you may be entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly salary up to the maximum amount for as long as you are unable to return to work.

For non-catastrophic injuries, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage (certain limits apply) for up to 400 weeks. In addition, if you are able to return to work, but can only work a lower-paying job because of your condition, you may be eligible to receive a weekly benefit for up to 350 weeks.

The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Employee Handbook contains more information about the program’s rules and regulations.

What Types of Benefits Does Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation System Provide?

Through Georgia’s workers’ compensation program, you may be eligible to receive the following types of benefits:

Medical Benefits: Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for your medical treatment related to a workplace injury. Georgia’s workers’ compensation medical benefits pay for:

  • Doctors bills
  • Hospital bills
  • Prescription drugs
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Necessary travel expenses for healthcare services

Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation program, injured workers may be eligible to receive compensation for medical care for a maximum period of 400 weeks from the date of the accident. If you suffered a catastrophic injury, however, you may be eligible to receive lifetime medical benefits.

Disability Income Benefits: If you are unable to work for more than seven days because of your injuries, you may be entitled to weekly income benefits. If Georgia’s workers compensation program accepts your claim for benefits, you will receive your first check within 21 days after the first day you missed work.

  • Temporary Disability Benefits: Under Georgia’s workers compensation program, you may be eligible to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount of $525 per week. Injured workers with temporary disabilities may be eligible to receive benefits for up to 400 weeks. In addition, if you are able to return to work but can only get a lower paying job as a result of your injuries, you may be eligible to receive a reduced benefit of up to $350 per week for up to 350 weeks after the workplace injury occurred.

  • Permanent Disability Payments: If you have suffered a catastrophic injury, you may be eligible to receive lifetime disability benefits.

Vocational Rehabilitation Benefits: If you are unable to perform the essential functions of your job because of the injuries you suffered in a workplace accident, our attorneys may be able to help you obtain compensation for job retraining. For example, if you are a construction worker who is no longer able to perform physical labor, Georgia’s workers’ compensation system may pay for you to receive occupational training so that you can learn the skills needed to have a job that does not require manual labor, such as computer programing or website development.

Death Benefits for Dependents of Deceased Workers: A widowed spouse with no children may receive a maximum of $150,000 of workers’ compensation benefits.

Our Columbus attorneys offer free case reviews to potential clients. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

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