As a worker in Georgia, if you suffer an on-the-job injury, you may wonder what type of “safety net” is available to help you continue taking care of yourself and your family. The answer to this is simple – workers’ compensation benefits.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation cases aren’t always straightforward. Because of this, you may need help getting the compensation you deserve. That’s where our team of legal professionals comes in. At Hines Law, we will provide you with quality representation to help you recover the benefits you deserve.
Along with contacting our team for help, keep reading for some other important information about your workers’ compensation case and benefits.
What If You Are Responsible for the Injury?
One of the first things to understand is that workers’ comp is considered a no-fault system. Usually, it doesn’t matter how or why your injury occurred. If the injury is work-related, you should be able to recover benefits. Even if you caused the accident that resulted in your injury, this is true.
For example, did you slip and fall on a floor you were mopping? While you may be partly responsible for the injuries you incurred, this isn’t going to keep you from getting benefits.
While this is true, there are some exceptions to this no-fault concept. One example was being under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the injury occurred. If this happens, the workers’ compensation benefits claim may be denied. While this is true, it doesn’t mean you can’t receive compensation if alcohol or drugs are found in your system. In this case, you just have to prove that your use of alcohol or drugs did not cause your injury and that you would have experienced the same injury if you were sober.
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Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions
You may have been told that you can’t receive benefits if you have suffered a prior injury, like the current one. However, this isn’t true.
It’s still possible to receive compensation if your pre-existing condition was worsened or aggravated by a work-related injury. The benefits you receive would only cover the aggravation of the condition rather than the underlying issue.
For example, if you have back pain due to an accident that took place several months ago, and your condition was controlled by medication, you may think additional back issues may not be covered. However, if you fell on the job, and the pain increased, and the medication or treatment is no longer working, you may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Getting Fired and Workers’ Comp Benefits
In the state of Georgia, you can be fired for any reason or no reason. That’s because it is an employment-at-will state.
The only exception to this is if you have a signed contract stating that this cannot happen. If you don’t have this contract, you can be terminated at any time. While this is true, you may still receive ongoing or outstanding workers’ compensation benefits.
Filing Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Employers and Co-Workers
Even in situations where your employer or co-workers directly caused your injuries, you cannot sue them. The same is true if a co-worker’s negligence resulted in the accident.
Because there’s no need to prove fault, getting workers’ compensation benefits will be easier than filing a personal injury lawsuit. With that in mind, if a third-party, like a driver or a product manufacturer, was responsible for your injuries, you can seek compensation from this individual or entity. It is possible to receive workers’ compensation benefits and file a third-party lawsuit.
Selecting an Approved Doctor
Some workers who are injured at work may wonder if they can choose their own doctor for treatment. Your employer is responsible for providing you with a list of medical providers you can seek treatment from.
In most cases, the list will include a minimum of six doctors or even a managed care organization that provides you with even more options. It is only possible to choose a different doctor if the options provided by your employer are not sufficient for some reason. However, this can be tricky, so having an attorney is recommended.
Contact Us for Help with Your Worker’s Compensation Claim
If you are injured at work, filing an Atlanta workers’ compensation claim for benefits is recommended. While this process may seem intimidating, our team is here to help. Remember, if you are injured at works, you have rights to these benefits. If you have trouble getting them, contact us. At Hines Law, we help ensure you receive the benefits you deserve for the injuries you experienced.