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Decatur Workers Compensation Lawyer

If you’ve sustained a severe workplace injury and can’t work, you’re eligible for workers compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, ongoing care expenses, and other damages. A workplace injury can significantly affect your life and your finances, thus, it’s crucial to work with an experienced Decatur workers compensation lawyer to make sure you don’t receive mediocre medical care and compensation pay. 

At Marks Law Group, our primary purpose is to make sure every client receives the medical care and income benefits they’re entitled to under the Georgia Workers Compensation Act. If you have never applied for workers comp benefits before, it’s challenging to know if you’re receiving the right amount of benefits and how to settle your case. Our Decatur workers compensation attorneys are here to answer all your questions and guide you through the workers comp process while ensuring you get fair benefits. Call our Decatur law office today at (404) 939-1485 for a free initial consultation.

When Should I Hire a Decatur Workers Compensation Lawyer?

Not every injured worker needs to hire a workers’ compensation attorney. Because the workers’ compensation system is an administrative process, that’s relatively easy for workers to navigate. Thus, if your workers compensation claim is straightforward and your employer or their insurance company isn’t disputing your claims, then you can probably handle your claim on your own.

Unfortunately, the process isn’t always that simple, and many workers can benefit immensely from hiring a workers compensation lawyer. Sometimes, a worker who suffers an injury at work can make a claim outside of workers compensation, and a personal injury attorney would be necessary. For instance, if you sustained serious injuries at work because of your employer’s negligent act, or if you’re an interstate railroad worker or a crew member on a vessel, you can file a personal injury claim against your employer for a work-related injury.

Decatur workers' comp lawyer - infographic

Here are scenarios when it’s best to hire a workers compensation attorney:

  • Your workers’ compensation claim is denied. Insurance companies are well-known for disputing workers compensation claims. For instance, the insurance company may claim you filed your claim too late or that your injury wasn’t work-related. A workers compensation lawyer can help you appeal the denial through the workers compensation system. The appeal process requires you to file paperwork, use legal tools to collect evidence, and present your case at a hearing. Having an experienced attorney by your side can make the entire workers compensation process easier to navigate and get the benefits you need and deserve.
  • Your permanent disability rating is being disputed. Most workers’ compensation awards and settlements are for permanent disability benefits. These benefits are determined based on your permanent disability rating. However, if your employer or their insurance company don't agree with the rating assigned by your treating doctor, they can require you to attend an independent medical examination (IME) with a doctor of their choice. Typically, the IME doctor will assign a lower disability rating, which the insurance company will use to justify paying you less. A workers comp lawyer can help you get a fair settlement. Also, an attorney can convince the court that you’re eligible for the higher disability rating.
  • You have a pre-existing condition. If you have a pre-existing condition or injury involving the same body part that was injured at work, you’ll face an uphill battle with the insurance company. The insurance adjuster will probably blame your injury on your pre-existing condition, instead of your work activities. That's true, especially if your work-related injury has developed gradually, rather than during a single work incident.
  • You’re not getting the medical care you need. Often, insurance companies deny or delay approving expensive medical treatments, including surgeries. An experienced workers compensation lawyer can put pressure on the insurance company to approve the needed medical treatments on time.
  • Your injury has affected your ability to work. If you can never work again after your work-related injury, you must maximize your workers compensation benefits and structure them in a way that they last well into the future. If you have to change careers following your workplace injury, you’ll need to get training in another line of work. A skilled workers compensation lawyer can help you achieve all this.

Who is Excluded from Workers Compensation?

Workers’ comp insurance is required of all employers with over three employees in Georgia with limited exceptions. 

The first class of people excluded from workers compensation in Georgia are employees of businesses with less than three workers. The second group of people who are excluded from the workers’ compensation are farmworkers. This not only includes farmers but also people who work on farms doing other jobs. However, it’s crucial to note that workers comp can cover farmworkers if their employer provides coverage for them, but the employers are not required to.

workplace injury

Also, prisoners are not entitled to workers’ compensation if they’re injured on the job. This is true even if they’re required to do the job as part of their incarceration, and even though they were paid for the job. Prisoners living in halfway houses as part of their probation or incarceration also fall under this exclusion of workers’ compensation.

The fourth group of people excluded from the workers compensation are truck drivers. Most truck drivers, but not all, have a separate policy called an occupational accident policy. This policy is like workers compensation, however, it’s essential to call the workers’ compensation lawyer at Marks Law Group if you have questions regarding who is covered by workers’ compensation.

Can I Terminate an Employee While on Workers Compensation?

Yes, you can fire an employee while they’re on workers compensation. An employee isn’t protected from termination just because they suffered a work-related injury. You have the option to keep them employed or fire them while they’re receiving medical treatment and/or indemnity benefits via workers’ compensation.

However, you can’t terminate an employee for applying for or being on workers compensation. This is called retaliatory termination, and it’s against the law. However, it’s hard for your employee to prove why you fired them. The workers compensation doesn’t end because you fired them. They’ll continue receiving their benefits until they recover or reach maximum medical improvement, or forever if they’re permanently disabled.

injury at work

How are Workers Compensation Attorneys Paid?

Workers’ compensation lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, so attorney’s fees and other cases related costs will only be due once your attorney wins your case. Thus, workers’ compensation attorneys don’t charge an hourly fee. You’ll receive a bill from them once you receive a successful judgment or monetary settlement. A workers compensation lawyer takes a percentage of your settlement payout as his or her fee. This percentage ranges from 10% to 25%. However, if your attorney doesn’t win your case, they don’t get paid.

We understand how nerve-racking a work-related injury can be. Thus, the workers compensation attorneys at Marks Law Group are ready to help you fight to recover all the benefits you deserve. We have helped hundreds of injured workers in Decatur and throughout Georgia recover millions of dollars in benefits, and we can help you too.

Contact our Decatur injury law office today to speak with our experienced Decatur workers’ compensation lawyers. If you’ve sustained injuries at work, call (404) 939-1485 for a no-cost consultation or chat with us online to learn how we can help. 

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