Sandy Springs Workers' Compensation Attorney
How Do I Know If I Have a Workers Compensation Claim?
Georgia does not determine fault when it comes to workplace accidents and illnesses. That means you can still collect benefits even if your actions caused you to suffer a temporary or permanent disability. Under a no-fault workers’ compensation system, you cannot sue your employer even when the company is clearly at fault. This limitation can feel unfair when you have suffered a significant injury or illness at work that causes ongoing pain and suffering. We recommend consulting with ,Sandy Springs Workers Compensation Attorney, Mark Thomas.
Although the law prevents you from suing your employer, it makes no such distinction about third parties that may have contributed to your pain and suffering. For example, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer of a defective machine that caused your injuries. Another example of a workers compensation claim; suing a driver who caused an accident while driving a company vehicle to deliver. If you feel a third party bears responsibility for your injuries, Sandy Springs Workers Compensation Attorney Mark Thomas is available to evaluate your legal options.
What To Do When Your Employer Denies Your Claim for Workers’ Compensation
Another situation that often arises in workers’ compensation claims is that the insurance company representing the employer denies it. The denial paperwork may state that your injuries did not occur at work or that you are exaggerating a minor injury to collect workers’ compensation benefits. In many cases, injured workers receive no explanation for the denial.
While you like to think your employer would have your back when a job-related injury or illness keeps you home, this isn’t always the case. A denied workers’ compensation claim can leave you in the terrible position of having large medical bills to pay with no means to do so while you are out of work. Sandy Springs workers’ compensation attorney Mark Thomas will determine if your case meets the state’s definition of a bad faith denial of benefits and explain how to proceed from there.
What Does and Does Not Qualify as a Bad Faith Workers’ Compensation Claim
State law does allow your employer to deny a workers’ compensation claim in limited circumstances. These include:
- You engaged in horseplay or deliberate misconduct that causes you to hurt yourself.
- You failed to follow the proper procedures to file a claim or missed the deadline to initiate a claim.
- Your injury occurred due to intoxication or drug use on the job.
- Your employer can prove your injuries were self-inflicted.
However, you have the right to secure legal services from Sandy Springs workers’ compensation attorney Mark Thomas if your employer denied your claim for any of these reasons:
- Accusing you of one of the above behaviors under false pretenses.
- Attempting to coerce you into accepting less than you have the legal right to receive in workers’ compensation benefits. Injured workers must receive two-thirds of their average weekly pay up to a maximum of $675 a week as per the State Board of Workers’ Compensation that established payment maximums effective July 1, 2019. How long you receive benefits depends on your injury or illness severity and whether your workers’ compensation doctor classifies you as temporarily, permanently, partially, or disabled.
- Delaying your benefit payments without sufficient cause.
- Implying or stating you will face disciplinary action, demotion, or termination for following through with filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Misrepresenting your rights under Georgia law to file a workers’ compensation claim regardless of how it occurred unless the reason falls under one of the categories above.
- Not providing you with written documentation that thoroughly explains the reason for your denial of benefits.
- Refusing to investigate your claim promptly.
If you know you filed your claim on time and that your injury or illness is legitimate, you are within your rights under the state workers’ compensation system to hire an attorney to challenge the denial of your claim.
Other Workers Compensation Benefits Your Employer Must Provide in Addition to Weekly Pay
Your employer’s insurance provider must pay all healthcare costs associated with your workplace injury or illness for as long as you require treatment. The caveat must schedule your appointments with a doctor-approved by your employer to treat workers’ compensation injuries. You can seek a second opinion with another doctor on the approved list or petition the Workers’ Compensation Board of Georgia to allow you to see a doctor of your choosing.
Having to abide by this requirement sometimes causes conflict between injured workers and their employers. When employees continually disagree with their doctor’s decisions, they legitimately wonder if a conflict of interest exists. The doctor’s opinions and recommendations carry a lot of weight, such as your disability classification and how long you can collect benefits.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Mark Thomas, Sandy Springs workers compensation attorney, if the conflict has become unresolvable or you feel you are not receiving fair treatment. You also do not have to accept a hostile work environment because you filed a legitimate claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Injured workers in Georgia must receive 40 cents per mile they or a family member drive from attending appointments or receiving medications. You are eligible for vocational and medical rehabilitation if you suffer a catastrophic injury. Benefits could include reimbursement of higher education expenses, assistance with finding a new job, and job skills training. Remember that your employer has the legal obligation to provide these benefits and that you can demand what is rightfully yours.
Ready to Talk to an Experienced Sandy Springs Workers’ Compensation Attorney?
Workers’ compensation claims can be complicated, and people often have many questions. Sandy Springs workers compensation attorney Mark Thomas is here to help. Feel free to request a consultation or call our office today at 404-999-3258 to learn more about how partnering with a respected workers’ compensation attorney can improve the likelihood of a successful claim.