Did you suffer a serious injury at work? Were you recently diagnosed with a medical condition caused by your work environment? If your job has caused your health to decline, you may have the right to workers’ compensation benefits. However, accessing these benefits may prove to be more challenging than you previously thought.
With help from an experienced Augusta workers’ compensation lawyer at Barrios Virgüez by your side, you can heal from your injuries while we work tirelessly to help you secure the benefits you are entitled to. Contact our office for a free consultation today and find out more about what to expect from the workers’ compensation claims process in Augusta.
Do You Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Augusta?
You may have experienced a repetitive stress injury caused by sitting in the same position every day and carrying out tasks. Perhaps you were injured while working on a construction site and became a victim of a falling accident or a crush injury.
Regardless of the reason, you are entitled to consult with an experienced Augusta workers’ compensation attorney in your area to discuss your options.
For a free legal consultation with a worker's compensation lawyer serving Augusta, call 678-888-2222
Common Work Injuries in Augusta
Some of the most common injuries associated with the workplace include:
- Whiplash and other vehicle-related injuries while driving a vehicle for your job
- Back injuries from falling from heights
- Broken bones
- Crush injuries from being pinned in between objects
- Fire and explosion-related injuries, like burns and scarring
If your employer failed to have the appropriate safety gear or did not provide you with the necessary training or supervisory assistance to do your job safely, they may be held responsible for your injuries.
Filing a worker’s compensation claim may be the only way for you to put this incident behind you so that you can focus on recovery.
As an injured employee, you already have enough to worry about and you should be focused on retaining an attorney who can assist you with getting the benefits you so desperately need. It is also important to realize that as an employee, your employer is prohibited from discriminating against you because of your choice to file a workers’ compensation claim. They cannot harass you, fire you, demote you, or threaten you because you file a legal claim. If this is happening to you, you need to retain an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Augusta immediately.
Augusta Worker's Compensation Lawyer Near Me 678-888-2222
Common Work-Related Accidents
Accidents at work can take virtually endless forms. However, there are some types of work-related accidents that happen far more frequently than others. Some of these include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Elevator and escalator accidents
- Ladder and scaffold accidents
- Construction accidents
- Repetitive stress injuries
- Falls from elevated heights
- Being struck by or against objects
- Violence at work
Who Qualifies for Workers’ Compensation in Augusta?
After your work accident, you may be wondering what legal options are available to you. After all, despite your injuries, you will still need to cover your regular living expenses and continue supporting yourself and your family. Fortunately, under Georgia law, the vast majority of employers are required to protect their employees by purchasing workers’ compensation protection coverage.
It does not matter whether you have been employed with the company for a few hours or several years. You do not need to work full-time hours In order to qualify either. These are common misconceptions surrounding workers’ compensation eligibility in Augusta.
As long as you are considered an employee of the company, your employer’s workers’ compensation protection coverage should begin protecting you from the first day you are hired. As long as your injuries occurred within the scope of your job responsibilities, you could be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
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What Do Augusta Workers’ Compensation Benefits Consist Of
Workers’ compensation benefits are unlikely to be enough to cover your expenses in full. However, they may help to ease your financial burden while you explore your legal options further.
If you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits and your claim is approved, there are specific types of compensation and benefits you may be able to collect. These include:
- Medical expenses – The insurance company will be required to cover all of your medical expenses as they relate to your work-related injury. This should include the cost of prescription medication, your medical treatment and care, diagnostic testing, and any necessary transportation fees.
- Vocational rehabilitation benefits – When your on-the-job injury is so severe it will prevent you from being able to return to your previous line of work, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits. These are designed to cover the cost of your job training or education opportunities as needed so you can find gainful employment and another line of work.
- Disability benefits – Disability benefits are meant to replace a portion of the income you will lose by being unable to work, and generally, you can expect to recover approximately 2/3 of your average weekly salary as part of your disability benefits. However, the amount of time you can continue to collect workers’ compensation benefits may be limited based on the type and severity of your injury.
- Death benefits – Surviving family members of individuals who pass away from work-related injuries may be able to collect death benefits. Death benefits can include compensation for the decedent’s medical expenses, funeral and burial expenses, and disability benefits for surviving family members.
Important Georgia Workers’ Compensation Forms
There are several different things you need to know about filing a workers’ compensation claim. These include:
- As soon as possible after the incident, you need to inform your employer about what happened. Workers’ compensation protects you if you were injured on the job and filing a workers’ compensation claim will prohibit you from being able to pursue damages outside of the workers’ comp program unless specific conditions apply.
- Attending all of your medical appointments associated with your workers’ comp claim is crucial because otherwise this may be used against you to try to prove that your injuries were not that severe.
- There is a chance that your claim could be delayed or denied unfairly. In such a situation, you need to have the representation afforded by a workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the complex system and fight for the compensation you deserve.
- It may take weeks or months to discover the true nature of your injuries, and once you have achieved maximum medical improvement or the point at which doctors no longer expect you to recover any further from your workplace injuries, you may be in a position to settle with the workers’ compensation program. However, having an attorney is strongly recommended to ensure that this gets accomplished fairly.
Injured Employees’ Rights
Regardless of how the accident happened, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim. You may be ineligible to recover benefits if the injuries were caused by your own careless behavior, such as being under the influence of drugs or alcohol while on the job.
However, in most other situations, you are eligible to recover workers’ compensation benefits regardless of the circumstances of the accident. It is pertinent that you file a claim in a timely fashion. You need to report the injury to your employer right away.
While you have the right to visit your own doctor and get a second opinion, you should still keep up with the appointments provided by the workers’ compensation insurance program or your employer directly.
Also, you have the right to retain an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will know the common pitfalls in the workers’ compensation system and can help you avoid some of the most common missteps that could lead to a denied or undervalued claim. Being able to properly illustrate the injuries you have sustained will have a big influence on your ability to recover compensation.
Why Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Denied?
Insurance companies are profit-driven and will be looking for opportunities to deny your workers’ compensation insurance claim wherever possible. However, that does not mean that every workers’ compensation insurance denial is done so in bad faith. There are some instances in which the insurance company has the right to deny a claimant’s claim.
Your attorney will need to carefully examine your denial and initial application to determine whether the insurance company’s reasoning for denying your claim is valid. With that being said, some of the more common reasons insurance companies give for workers’ compensation claim denials include:
- Having a pre-existing condition
- Failure to provide enough medical documentation
- Reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- Failure to provide supporting evidence
- Failure to file your claim in a timely manner
- Injuries being self-inflicted
- Being in violation of your companies code of conduct
What to Do if Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied in Augusta
The first thing you should do if your workers’ compensation claim is denied in Augusta is to reach out to an attorney for help. Your lawyer can then analyze your initial application for workers’ compensation benefits and the denial you received from the insurance company to determine how to best approach your case.
Generally, we may be able to work with the insurance company by providing additional medical records or supporting documentation to get your denial overturned. However, if the insurance company remains rigid in its decision to deny your claim, we may need to file a notice of claim by submitting Form WC-14 with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Your attorney will be sure to send a copy to your employer and your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider as well to ensure all relevant parties have copies of your appeal. You will then be given a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge where, with help from your workers’ compensation lawyer in Augusta, you will be able to present evidence to support your need and right to workers’ compensation benefits. It is important to note that if you are hoping to move forward with a workers’ compensation claim appeal, you must file your appeal within one year of your denial or risk having your case barred by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Get Help from an Augusta Workers’ Compensation Attorney
When you become injured or ill due to the circumstances of your work environment, you have the right to specific compensation and benefits.
Get help holding the insurance company accountable to their financial obligation when you contact a reputable Augusta workers’ compensation lawyer at Barrios Virguez. Schedule your no-cost, risk-free consultation by filling out our quick contact form or calling our office.