How a Lawyer can Help With a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Georgia law provides workers employed in most businesses the right to seek workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured or become ill as a result of your job. But the law does not guarantee that every employer and insurance company will do the right thing and pay the full benefits to which an injured worker is entitled.
Many workers’ compensation claims in Georgia are denied and many more are settled for far less than the full benefits that the injured worker or the family of a deceased breadwinner deserves. Insurance company lawyers, tightfisted employers or an injured worker’s own mistakes can interfere with a valid claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Parsons & Associates, P.C., advocates on behalf of injured workers who have suffered a work-related injury or illness. Our workplace injury lawyers can help you obtain the benefits you deserve from the Georgia workers’ compensation system. Contact us today in Atlanta or Savannah for a free consultation. We do not charge a fee for legal services until we obtain compensation for you.Eight Ways to Benefit From a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer’s Help
Workers who have been injured and need workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia will discover that they have entered a new world of bureaucratic rules, regulations, forms and procedures. Our attorneys at Parsons & Associates help guide injured workers and their families through the complicated process of obtaining benefits while dealing an injury or illness.
Here are eight ways we can assist with your workers’ comp claim:
- Process your claim forms. Your workers’ compensation claim begins with forms that ask for information about you, your employer, your job and pay, your injury and when, where and how it happened, plus all medical care you have received for your injury so far. Many claims are denied because the original application for benefits is incomplete or inaccurate. At best, this delays benefits. We can help you organize your claim paperwork from start to finish and ensure it is accurate and complete.
- Fight a denial by your employer. Workers’ compensation is an insurance program, and paying benefits ultimately costs your employer money. Some employers or their workers’ comp insurers will try to block claims by saying an injured worker was not on the clock when he or she was hurt or does not qualify for benefits for other reasons. A workers’ compensation attorney is your advocate in this system. We can compile evidence of your eligibility for benefits and argue your case before the workers’ compensation board.
- Appeal a denied claim. For a variety of reasons, many workers’ comp claims are initially denied. Some are turned down multiple times before proper benefits are eventually granted. The appeals process offers several rounds of hearings to overturn an unfavorable decision. Each successive hearing is a more formal, court-like setting and each requires new evidence if a ruling is to be overturned. We can help you develop a stronger claim package and provide you with experienced legal representation during your appeals hearing.
- Ensure a pre-existing condition will not harm your claim. A common argument used by employers to oppose paying a claim is that a preexisting condition is the real cause of a worker’s injury or illness. If you have a partial disability, a chronic illness or another preexisting condition, this could cause a reduction in your workers’ comp benefits. We can help you obtain an independent medical exam, if necessary, and make sure the workers’ comp board understands that your preexisting condition has no relation to your claim.
- Help you see a doctor of your choice. Georgia’s workers’ compensation system requires that you see a doctor named on a list of at least six physicians identified by your employer. If your employer’s doctor says you are ready to return to work before you feel able to do so, you may seek a second opinion from another physician on the list. It may also be worthwhile to have an independent medical assessment. Through the cases we’ve handled, we have come to know physicians in the Atlanta and Savannah areas who understand workers’ compensation and who will work for you independently of your employer’s interests. We can work to convince the workers’ comp board to accept an independent physician’s assessment of your health.
- Help you meet your obligations. A workers’ compensation claim can last a long time in cases of serious injury. Over the course of several months or years, you must cooperate with your employer and the authorized treating physician regarding medical evaluations, treatment, rehabilitation services and anything being done to investigate or process your claim. Failure to meet your obligations can jeopardize your benefits. We can assist you with the “case management” aspects of your claim, including keeping track of deadlines and appointments, and we can answer your questions if you receive instructions you are not sure about.
- Protect your rights. In addition to your obligations as a workers’ compensation recipient, you have rights. We can make sure you are not pushed around by your employer or their insurer. If your employer pushes you to return to work too soon or offers unsuitable temporary duty, or if your benefit checks are not on time, or you have any problems, your workers’ compensation attorney is only a phone call away. We’ll push those on the other side of your claim to meet their obligations to you, and we’ll be ready to represent you before the workers’ compensation board.
- Ensure an adequate final settlement. Eventually the doctor assigned to your case will decide that you have recovered or your recovery has progressed as far as can be expected. If you cannot fully recover, you will be assigned a disability rating, which will be used to define your final workers’ compensation benefit. We can review this decision before it is adopted by the workers’ compensation board and challenge a rating that will not result in an appropriate settlement for you.
Whether you are making an initial claim, appealing a denial of benefits, disputing the amount of a benefits award or fighting an order to return to work too soon, you’ll make your strongest case with a workers’ compensation lawyer from Parsons & Associates, P.C., at your side. We can help you at every step during the Georgia workers’ compensation claims process.
Contact us today at (770) 422-9000, or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential review of your case. We return calls within 24 hours from our offices in Atlanta and Savannah.