People who are injured at work have rights. One of these rights is the right to any and all medical care that will help you heal following an injury. If you are being denied proper compensation following a workplace injury, a Duluth workers’ compensation attorney can help you claim the benefits you are owed.
Barrios Virgüez have passionately helped many clients from all backgrounds to claim workers’ compensation benefits. We can assist you in recovering workers’ compensation benefits that pay for medical care or replace your weekly income. If a severe injury occurred, we can also help you claim catastrophic benefits.
Suing Your Employer: The Reality
In a majority of cases, you will not be able to sue your employer for a work-related injury because workers’ compensation follows a no-fault system. This means that injured employees are allowed to receive a part of their wages and medical benefits even if they or another party is liable for their injuries. This right is given in exchange for employees revoking their right to sue their employer.
Workers’ Compensation Law
Workers’ compensation is a state-mandated system that allows employees who are injured at work to recover lost wages, medical costs, and rehabilitation costs regardless of who was at fault in the accident that caused their injuries. Workers’ compensation law protects your employer while also allowing the victims of workplace injuries to collect benefits that help them sustain themselves while they are injured and unable to work.
Workers’ compensation law insulates employers from the possibility of paying massive tort settlements to injured employees who pursue civil claims. Though, there is a cost at play here. Employers also surrender the option to levy common-law defenses that would otherwise be applicable in civil cases.
For a free legal consultation with a workers' compensation lawyer serving Duluth, call 678-888-2222
Work Related Injuries
Many different injuries can fall into the category of work-related injuries. In most cases, a work-related injury describes injuries that happened while you were doing work on behalf of your employer or during the normal course of employment. This can include any of the following:
- Slip and fall injuries
- Falls from height
- Machine related injuries
- Repetitive motion injuries
- Trauma injuries
- crashes and collisions
- Exposure to harmful substances
- fire and explosions
- Injuries caused by people or animals
Duluth Workers' Compensation Lawyer Near Me 678-888-2222
Who Is Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
In most states, employers are required by law to carry some form of workers’ compensation insurance. Though, a majority of these states only require these plans to cover people who are classified as “employees.” Some states, like Idaho and Wyoming, do not require coverage for undocumented workers, while other states, like Arizona, California, and Texas, specifically include undocumented workers in the list of “employees” who must be covered.
It is also important to note that some states do not require workers’ compensation for certain classifications of workers. Some examples include:
- Domestic workers
- agricultural workers
- seasonal workers
Workers’ Compensation Claims vs. Civil Claims
It may not be immediately clear whether your circumstances warrant the filing of a workers’ compensation claim or civil claim. Although most companies are protected from civil claims by workers’ compensation law, there are some situations where a civil claim can be made. For example, if a 3rd party is responsible for your injuries, you may have the opportunity to pursue a legal claim against them rather than your employer.
It is important to leverage the aid of a Duluth workers’ compensation lawyer when you are confronted with the choice of filing a workers’ compensation claim or a civil personal injury claim. By having your case reviewed by an experienced legal team, you can get the answers you need to make this critical decision.
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Workers’ Compensation Income Benefits
For most workers, it is unlikely that they will be able to afford their typical bills if they are injured and no longer able to work and earn a living. This is more so the case when their finances are depleted by expensive medical bills that result from having their injuries treated. That is why the combination of lost income and medical benefits you receive through workers’ compensation are critical to a manageable recovery.
Here is more information about the different categories of workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.
Income Benefits for Temporary Disability
If a work-related injury or illness is preventing you from engaging in work at the required level, you may be due temporary total or partial disability benefits.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
If you cannot work because of your injury for at least seven days, you are entitled to receive temporary total disability benefits. These benefits often will not start until you have been unable to work for that amount of time. Though, it is possible to receive payment for the first seven days if you are totally incapacitated for 21 consecutive days after being injured.
Temporary total disability benefits allow you to collect income equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage before being injured. There are minimum and maximum amounts that vary from state to state. Understand that you are not allowed to receive temporary disability benefits for any longer than 400 weeks unless you suffered a catastrophic injury like a severe head injury, amputation, or paralysis.
Temporary Partial Disability Benefits
If you are able to work but earn less due to a workplace injury, you have the right to receive temporary partial disability benefits. This is equal to two-thirds of the difference between your weekly earnings before and then after your injury. There is a $450 weekly cap on these benefits, and you can only collect for a maximum of 350 weeks from the date of the injury.
Income Benefits for Permanent Disability
If you have received temporary disability benefits until you have reached the limit, you will be assessed for what is called maximum medical improvement. This process is used to determine if you have a disability that is likely to be permanent. If so, you could continue to receive weekly payments for life at the same rate that you received temporary disability benefits. In some cases, you can also acquire a one-time amount equal to future payments.
A Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Duluth Will Help You with Your Legal Case
If your employer is refusing to accept your workers’ compensation case, but you feel that you are owed compensation, work with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Duluth to litigate your claim. With Barrios Virgüez behind you, it is possible to force your claim to be accepted.
But you will not know unless you try. To get started with a free, no-obligation consultation , call to schedule an appointment.