The team at Moebes Law is here to help you with the complicated process of filing for workers’ compensation in Atlanta. If your employer has workers’ compensation and you have been injured on the job, you are entitled to collecting workers’ compensation after you file for it. Even once you do begin to collect your workers’ compensation, you may need to file a lawsuit in order to receive the full amount of benefits you are owed. Since workers’ compensation is essentially insurance, keep in mind that, like an insurance company, the initial package you are offered for your compensation will not be the full amount that you are entitled to. This is to be expected, and is why hiring someone familiar with workers’ compensation and personal injury law in Atlanta is very important. The attorneys at Moebes Law LLC are experienced personal injury lawyers in Atlanta, and will help you navigate this complex and sometimes frustrating system.
What Is My Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Case Worth?
If you have suffered an injury on the job in Atlanta, you may be wondering how much your case could be worth. To begin with, without a full consultation, it’s difficult to know the extent of your injuries or the amount of involvement the case will take. You should also know that there are certain damages that do not apply to these cases, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, or loss of enjoyment of life. In order to seek damages for those, you would need to enter a personal injury lawsuit. Also, settlements of workers’ comp claims are voluntary, but most cases do settle, and this may turn out to be your best option. An injured employee is usually entitled to, at most, 350 to 400 weeks of lost wages, but very seldom do they get that amount.
Statistics and Related Data
- All businesses in Georgia with three or more employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance
- Sole proprietors and partners in a business can choose whether they want to be included in their workers’ comp insurance policy
- So far, independent contractors are not eligible for employee benefits like workers’ comp, but this law is currently being debated in the state legislature
- Business owners can buy workers’ comp insurance from any private insurance carrier
- Workers’ compensation policies only cover employees when they are working in the state
- You can be fired while receiving workers’ comp. This policy does not protect you from termination
- Workers’ comp policies only cover injuries that take place on the job, other injuries are covered under a general liability policy
- Generally, Georgia business owners can expect to pay between $2.00 and $2.50 per $100 in payroll
- As of July 19, 2020, the number of applications for workers’ compensation in Georgia was 8,144, while total compensation payments were 2,578
Workers’ Compensations FAQ
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear from clients at Moe’s Law.
Is Workers’ Compensation the Same As a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
No, workers’ compensation is different from a personal injury lawsuit, although they both cover your medical bills and lost wages. There are a few major differences: first, workers’ compensation does not cover you for pain and suffering or diminished quality of life. Secondly, you do not need to prove that your employer is at fault for your injury. This is the case because workers’ compensation is a “No-Fault” system, meaning that as long as you are injured on the job, you will be compensated for your lost wages, medical bills, permanent damages, and the potential of retraining for your vocation. You are not able to sue your coworkers or your employer through workers’ compensation.
How Much Am I Entitled To For Workers’ Compensation?
The amount you will file a request for in a workers’ compensation case will be entirely dependent on the specifics of your situation. Your earning history, the amount of your medical bills, the extent of your injuries, and your ability to rejoin the workforce will all play a role in determining this final number. During your first consultation with an attorney at Moebes Law LLC, you will have the opportunity to discuss these specifics and get an idea of the amount you will be filing for. If you are unable to return to work because of permanent injuries or are unable to resume your former job, these will add to the amount you are entitled to because of permanent disabilities or your need to learn a new vocation in order to get back to your former earning potential.
In a personal injury lawsuit, the plaintiff additionally sues for loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, and other “intangibles” that are ultimately represented with a dollar amount. This is not the case with workers’ compensation. Punitive damages are not possible against your employer, either.
Can I Sue My Employer For My Injuries?
Since workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” system, your employer will not be considered for their role in the injury. By collecting workers’ compensation, you automatically waive your right to sue your employer or your coworkers for any damages beyond the scope of workers’ compensation payments.
The only case that this would be different would be if your employer were to maliciously injure you. In order to be allowed to proceed with a personal injury lawsuit, you would need to be able to prove that your employer acted with malice against you, and intended to injure you. This falls outside of the scope of workers’ compensation. If your employer was negligent, and that resulted in your injury, you must default to workers’ compensation.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against Third Parties?
In some cases, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, such as a manufacturer of a tool that you were injured on because it was faulty or improperly designed. These cases are not as common as most workers’ compensation, but you will be able to discuss the circumstances with an attorney at Moebes Law to determine if seeking partial damages from the third party may be reasonable. While this may complicate your overall process, it may ultimately win you more money for your damages. With the support of a legal professional, complicating your process will not add additional stressors to your recovery process, but will help you get the compensation you deserve.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer?
You are not required to hire an attorney for a workers’ compensation process if there is nothing out of the ordinary. However, if your employer decides to dispute your claim, or if there are complications to your claims process, the help of a legal professional will be extremely helpful. Our team has a history of successful workers’ compensation claims, and will be happy to guide you through this sometimes frustrating process. If your employer has disputed your claim, or if there are a series of complications that are becoming overwhelming (especially as you are recovering from your injury), then a lawyer will be a great asset.
Can Moebes Law LLC Help Me With a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Absolutely. The attorneys at Moebes Law are available to discuss the specifics of your injury, the claim process, and to identify any potential complications that may arise before you begin this process. If you have determined that you do not have the time, energy, or understanding to maneuver this process with the certainty that you will be awarded all that you are owed, then having counsel through the process is a major benefit.
How long do you have to work before you are entitled to receive workers comp?
Coverage begins from the first day you start your job.
How do you file a claim?
You must use form WC-14, which you can find at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation or by going to www.sbwc.georgia.gov. Once received, your claim will be decided by an Administrative Law Judge.
How long will you receive these weekly benefits?
If your injury is catastrophic, you may receive them throughout your lifetime.
If you are injured and you are unable to go back to work, what are your options?
Should you find yourself in this situation, you are entitled to get a different job or learn how to do another job. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation can guide you in this case. You may be entitled to rehabilitative training to help you find new work.
Can you receive Social Security benefits and workers comp at the same time?
You can, although your social security benefits may be reduced.
Workers’ Compensation Lawyers of Atlanta
Submit the details of your case on our website, or contact us today to schedule a free consultation. You will have the opportunity to go over your injuries and financial circumstances with a professional, who will help you to determine the best course of action to realize a successful claim.
- Interview with Workers Compensation Attorney
- Workers’ Compensation Claims
- All Types of Job Injuries
- What Are My Rights if I am Injured on the job?
- Medical Treatment with Lost Time from Work