Find out what happens after you hire a Georgia work injury attorney
Experiencing a serious work-related injury or illness can strip away your ability to perform your job duties and earn a living. After getting hurt, one of the first things that you’ll need to do is file a workers’ compensation claim. In Georgia, the workers’ compensation system is designed to cover the expenses that you experience as a result of an on-the-job accident. Lost work time, disability and medical bills are just a few of the consequences of your injury or illness that workers’ comp can provide money to help cover.
While some employers and insurance companies are responsible enough to quickly respond to a claim with a suitable settlement, others are not so easy to work with. Sadly, many completely legitimate workers’ comp claims are rejected by insurance companies the first time, or the settlement is nowhere near what needs to be covered.
When you are wondering, “Do I need a lawyer for a workers’ comp claim?” it helps to understand exactly how one helps you through the process of getting a settlement approved.
Lawyers speed up the process
You might have worked for an employer for years or even heard stories about how other injured employees were taken care of during their recovery. While it is good to have faith in your employer, you should know that you can never be sure exactly how your case will be handled. Employers may try to deny their responsibility for your injury to save their reputation or to avoid having to pay increased workers’ compensation fees.
Insurance companies are also notorious for taking an impersonal stance. They may claim that the injury occurred outside the course and scope of your job, or resulted from a pre-existing condition. These types of disagreements can lead to your case going on for many months or even years, and you are never guaranteed a successful outcome.
A skilled attorney can help to speed up the settlement process while making it clear to your employer and the insurance company that you know your rights.
Attorneys put together multiple forms of evidence
There are several types of evidence that you will need to document the extent of your health condition. Medical evidence includes things such as your medical records and bills. Your attorney can request documents such as copies of scans or test reports that describe the extent of your injuries. They can also seek expert testimony that counts as vocational evidence regarding how your new health status impacts your ability to perform your job duties.
An attorney may ask people who are close to you for witness statements to use in court that describe how your day-to-day life has changed. If anyone witnessed the incident at work, then this can also be used as evidence.
They negotiate the best possible workers’ compensation settlement
The average person has no idea of what an acceptable settlement is for a health condition that could have long-term impacts on their ability to work. An experienced attorney will know what is a generally accepted settlement for someone with your type of injuries. They can help you calculate things such as the lost wages if you cannot resume your former position.
If your case has gone on for a long time, then your employer may be responsible for covering back wages and benefits. Your attorney helps you stand up for you in the face of potentially intimidating insurance company representatives who are seeking to pay out as little as possible.
Your law firm can appeal your case if your claim is denied
A denial of your claim can knock your confidence levels down, and you might question if you have a right to compensation. You might even start believing what your employer or their insurance company is telling you.
A workers’ comp attorney will help you understand your rights as well as the reasons for the claim denial. Too often, insurance companies deny cases that are completely legitimate. The attorney will look over every detail of how your case has proceeded to this point and identify a plan to overturn (appeal) the denial.
Your lawyer will evaluate the potential for third-party claims
Your employer might not be the only person who could owe you money for a work-related accident. Third-party personal injury claims can also be filed if an individual, piece of equipment or manufacturer that is separate from your company was involved. Your attorney helps you identify all possible angles for working out a claim that helps you recover the maximum compensation possible from the accident.
For a best-case scenario, you should hire a workers’ comp attorney before you file your claim so that they can steer your case from the beginning. However, you can also hire an attorney at the first sign that things aren’t going as you expected.
In most cases, an aggressive, fact-based approach is the best way to quickly work through the negotiation and settlement process. At Gerber & Holder Law, our Georgia workers’ comp attorneys know how to document your case with indisputable evidence that demonstrates just how damaging your work-related injury or illness is to your financial security.
If you’d like to file a work injury claim or are in the midst of a legal battle, contact our experienced and trusted law firm. We will fight for your rights and get you the compensation you deserve.