One can be awarded attorney’s fees–in addition to the amount awarded, as opposed to as a percentage of the amount awarded–in a few instances under the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. Basically, the insurance company needs to have behaved “unreasonably.”
While getting an Administrative Law Judge to find that an insurance company or its attorney has acted unreasonable is fairly rare in Georgia, the Moebes Law firm has received such an Award three times in the past couple of months. In all of these instances, the Judge found that the insurance company, under OCGA 34-9-108(b)(1), defended my clients’ claims without reasonable grounds.
Some of the actions that led to such rulings have included: failure to pay a workers’ comp settlement within the required 20 days, failing to carry workers’ compensation insurance on the date of accident, and improper suspension of TTD (temporary total benefits) for an injured worker (e.g., when the claimant hasn’t seen her doctor within 60 days of the suspension for a supposed normal duty work release).
In each of these instances, the claimant did not need to pay Moebes Law, LLC 25% of her benefits; the Judge ordered the employer and insurance company to pay an extra 25% of the awarded benefits “on top of” the award.
So, when an insurance company is arbitrarily cancelling your workers’ compensation check or is refusing to pay you in a timely manner after a workers’ comp settlement, take some comfort in knowing that, eventually, you may actually benefit financially from its actions against you!
Questions? Please contact us at the contact information below:
Moebes Law, LLC
3535 Piedmont Road NE
Building 14, Suite 410
Atlanta, GA 30305