Ask Rocky: Frequent Questions about Georgia Workers' Compensation Laws
Rocky, I have been injured on the job. What should I do?
If you have been injured in a work-related accident, you should report it immediately to your employer (boss, foreman, supervisor, etc.) as soon as possible. If you wait longer than 30 days after your injury to report it, you may lose your right to collect medical and income benefits. For more information please call me at 404-999-GAWC (9242) so that we may discuss your situation in detail immediately.
Rocky, how much will it cost me to hire you as my attorney on my Georgia workers' compensation claim?
First, on workers' compensation cases, you pay absolutely no money out of your own pocket! Rocky will work for you on a contingency fee basis. "Contingency" means that an attorney takes no money from his client but instead receives a percentage of any settlement or judgment. As an injured worker, this means it costs you nothing to hire me.
The attorney fee will be based on an agreement between you and your lawyer. Attorneys' fees are subject to the approval of the State Board of Workers' Compensation. This means that before an attorney can be paid, the State Board of Workers' Compensation must FIRST approve the fee. Georgia law provides that an attorney may collect 25% of any settlement or income benefit that an attorney earns. For more information please call me at 404-999-GAWC (9242) so that we can discuss your case in detail today.
After you have hired me to represent you, I will deal with each and every aspect of your case personally, including ALL contact with your employer and its' insurance company. I also contact your treating physicians personally so that I can ensure your treatment is followed closely. I will manage your case while you rest and take the necessary time to heal from your injuries!
Rocky, what do I need to know about Georgia Workers' Compensation Laws?
This is a very important question, and I encourage you to contact me personally so that we may discuss each and every fact and circumstance of your case. In Georgia, the State Board of Workers' Compensation has jurisdiction for injuries arising out of and in the course of employment. The purpose of the State Board of Workers' Compensation is to provide injured workers access to the system.Â
Georgia workers' compensation laws are comprised of State Laws and Board Rules that are highly technical. The Workers Compensation laws in Georgia require a thorough understanding of not only the law, but also how each law and Rule is applied in each case. However, there is some general information that you should be aware of.
As an injured worker, Georgia Law provides several potential benefits to you. If you are injured as a result of a work accident, you are generally entitled to medical treatment, weekly income benefit checks for lost time from work, money benefits for a permanent disability rating and, in some cases, rehabilitation benefits.
I will work to ensure that you receive EACH AND EVERY benefit that you are entitled to. Remember, insurance companies represent YOUR EMPLOYER, NOT YOU. If you talk to a representative of your employer's insurance company, also known as an "adjuster," always keep this fact in mind: the adjuster represents your employer, not you.
If you have been injured on the job, you need to act fast to preserve your rights under the Georgia workers' compensation laws. Keep in mind that there are time limits on filing your notice of claim with the Board. Just because your employer and its' insurance company has knowledge of your injury does not mean that they have filed this Notice with the Board. Only you or your attorney would do this. In Georgia, you generally have only one year from the date of your work injury to file this Notice of Claim with the State Board of Workers' Compensation.
Rocky, how will I get medical treatment?
Georgia law provides that an employer, or its insurer, is to provide medical treatment to you at no cost to you. You are entitled to any treatment that is recommended by your physician that will give relief and/or effect a cure that are a result of your work-related injury. Additionally, you are entitled to be reimbursed for costs of mileage going to and from your medical appointments.Â
Rocky, how do I get my prescription medications?
If you have been injured on the job and are having problems getting your prescriptions filled for your work related injury, contact Rocky so that he can get this resolved for you.
Rocky, am I entitled to chose any doctor I want?
Again, this is an important question and depends upon a wide range of circumstances. In most circumstances you will have to receive treatment from a physician that is listed on your employer's posted list of doctors. This list is called a "Posted Panel of Physicians." However, in some circumstances, you can choose a physician of your own choice. You should contact me at 404-999-GAWC (9242) so that we may properly evaluate your case for FREE over the telephone.
Rocky, my doctor has recommended that I have an MRI or CT scan.
My employer's insurance company refuses to pay for it. What should I do?
I receive calls similar to this every day. Generally, your employer and their insurer are required by the law to pay for any treatment or procedure recommended by the authorized treating physician. If your doctor has asked that it be done, this is VERY IMPORTANT. Contact me at 404-999-GAWC (9242) so that we may properly discuss your case FREE over the telephone. I can work for you to ensure that you receive the treatment you require.
Rocky, how will I receive WEEKLY INCOME BENEFIT CHECKS?
If you are injured in a work-related accident, and you have been disabled from working by your treating physician, you are entitled to weekly income benefits if you have missed more that seven (7) days of work. Your first check should be mailed within 21 days after the first day you missed from work.
Georgia Workers Compensation law provides that you are entitled to receive monetary payments while the doctor has you OUT OF WORK and you are temporarily disabled due to your work-injury. The amount of temporary disability is based upon two-thirds of your average weekly wage, with established maximums, depending upon the date of your injury. These income benefits are paid in weekly payments to you directly.
Rocky, my employer has sent me a document that says I must return back to work.
What should I do?
Again, this is a very technical aspect of the Georgia Workers Compensation laws. If you are on what is known as "light duty" work restrictions and your employer allegedly has light duty work to offer you, generally you must make an attempt to perform the work. If you cannot, discuss this with your authorized treating physician. If you feel your situation needs attention immediately, call me at 404-999-GAWC (9242) so that we may properly discuss your case FREE over the telephone.
I can work for you to ensure that your return to work is proper and timely.
Rocky, my doctor says that I have a permanent partial disability rating.
What does this mean?
This means that you will receive a benefit check (either paid over several weeks or in a lump sum) based on the type and extent of your permanent disability. The authorized treating physician determines any percentage of disability or bodily loss ratings based upon Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, fifth edition, published by the American Medical Association.
Rocky, my neighbor settled his workers compensation claim for $175,000.
How much should I expect to receive when we settle my case?
Every workers compensation case is unique. Each must be evaluated on its own facts and circumstances, and only a qualified attorney can give you the advice and counsel you need to make a properly informed decision. For example, one of the factors that can affect the value of a case is your weekly benefit amount, the extent of your injury and the likelihood of future medical care. This does not mean that other factors do not also play a role. Contact Rocky at 404-999-GAWC (9242) so that we may properly discuss your case FREE over the telephone. I can work for you to ensure that you receive every penny that you deserve.
Rocky, I was injured at work, but I FAILED my drug test. What should I do?
This is an area that is very technical in nature. The laws on drugs in the work place are very complicated in workers' compensation cases. Just because you failed a drug test does not necessarily mean that you cannot fight to obtain workers' compensation benefits. Contact me at 404-999-GAWC (9242) so that we may properly discuss your case and your alleged positive drug test FREE over the telephone.
Rocky, I am ready to settle my Georgia workers compensation case.
What should I do?
Before signing any settlement document, you should be aware that when you settle your case you are finalizing the case and you will not be entitled to any further medical treatment or benefits. Settlement of your case is permanent and binding upon you forever. Call Rocky so that he can provide you with SETTLEMENT PROTECTION on your case so that you obtain the highest value possible on your workers compensation claim. Contact Rocky at 404-999-GAWC (9242) so that he can discuss your case and provide SETTLEMENT PROTECTION on your case.