Workers’ Compensation Attorney Macon, GA
Workplace injuries happen all the time. Someone trips over an item left out in a hallway. An employee strains his or her back lifting a heavy load. Or, often more serious, a worker is injured by equipment or heavy machinery.
Fortunately, workers’ compensation offers some protection for employees injured on the job—helping manage medical bills or covering a portion of lost wages. It’s insurance, and, just like personal health insurance, it covers injuries ranging from serious to relatively minor. In most cases, an employee is eligible for workers’ compensation no matter who’s at fault.
But while workers’ compensation claims are extremely common, workers’ compensation itself is complex. If you’re considering filing a claim, you’ll first want to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney in Macon, Ga. At Buzzell, Welsh & Hill, we’ve covered every type of case, so we know exactly how to get the best deal for our clients.
What am I eligible for?
Figuring out which benefits you’re eligible for can be tricky and confusing. If you’re a part-time or full-time worker who has been injured, (or if a family member has lost his or her life in an accident), you may be eligible to receive all or some of these benefits:
- Medical treatment: This covers your ER visit, your doctors’ bills, surgeries and any prescribed medications. Even your travel expenses can fall into the bucket of medical expenses if you’re racking up miles visiting specialists.
- Disability wage replacement: Also called income benefits, this can cover Total Temporary Disability (TTD) or Total Partial Disability (TPD), depending on the severity of your injury. There are some pretty strict limits on this benefit, however, including weekly pay caps.
- Catastrophic wage benefits and vocational rehabilitation benefits: In some cases, an injury may be severe enough—like a spinal cord injury or a severe burns—to effectively remove the worker from the job market. Catastrophic wage benefits provide lifetime weekly payments in these cases, while vocational rehabilitation benefits help train the injured worker for a new career direction.
- Death benefits: If a loved one has lost his or her life on the job, death benefits can help cover lost wages and funeral costs for the spouse or children.
- Permanent Partial Disability (“PPD”) benefits: After you no longer receive TTD or TPD benefits and your medical treatment is complete, you may qualify for continued weekly payments if your doctor decides you’ll have a permanent level of disability due to your injury.
While there’s clearly a wide variety of benefits available, workers’ compensation doesn’t cover pain and suffering. The Workers’ Compensation Act, which largely protects employers, only requires them to pay medical bills, wages, and permanent impairment.
Could I lose my job if I file a workers’ compensation claim?
You’re probably concerned if you hire a Macon workers’ comp lawyer to assist you with your workers’ compensation claim, you could lose your job. However, it’s rare to lose your job for this reason and it typically only happens when you’re totally disabled and can’t perform essential job functions. Instead, injured employees are often released to lighter duty activities and can still have their medical bills paid. Since workers’ compensation doesn’t offer job protection, a lawyer can’t keep you from losing your job, but it’s unlikely you will just because you’re filing a claim.
Also, remember you’re not filing suit against your employer. Workers’ compensation is an administrative claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. An insurance company pays your benefits, not your employer. And because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, it doesn’t matter who caused the accident or whose negligence led to the injury—your medical expenses and lost wages will still be covered.
How can hiring a lawyer help me?
If you’re already getting a weekly check, you might be wondering why you should hire a workers’ compensation lawyer in Macon, Ga. At Buzzell, Welsh & Hill, we’ve represented countless clients who want to improve their workers’ compensation benefits. We can help you receive compensation for a previously denied medical procedure or add additional reimbursements such as mileage expenses to the doctor’s office.
Contact us for a free consultation. We can take a look at your situation to see if we can improve your settlement. You may also wish to speak to a Macon workers’ compensation lawyer if:
- Your claim has been denied
- You believe your employer isn’t treating you fairly or respectfully
- You don’t think your payments will cover your lost wages or medical bills.
How do lawyer fees work?
In a workers’ compensation case, attorney fees have to be approved by a judge. Attorneys earn money based off the incremental effort, meaning anything earned for you above what you’re already receiving will pay the fees.
All of this applies to me. What should I do now?
In Georgia, you have 30 days to report your injury to your employer after it occurs. If you exceed 30 days, you could become ineligible for benefits. That’s why it’s always a good idea to report a workplace injury—even one that doesn’t seem serious at the time.
You’ll also need to make sure you’re treated by a doctor from your company’s posted panel of physicians. After an injury, you have the right to choose any physician from the list, which should be posted somewhere you can see it easily. If you’ve been receiving weekly benefits, you’re also entitled to the second opinion of a doctor not on the posted panel of physicians. The rules surrounding physicians can be tricky, however, so it’s a good idea to speak to a lawyer before making any big changes.
Contact a Workers Comp Attorney Macon, GA
Whether you’re unhappy with your benefits or you think your employer isn’t cooperating, the Macon workers’ compensation lawyers at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill are here to help you get the settlement you deserve. Contact us today at 478-787-0047.