Clarkesville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

There are many ways that the conditions of one’s job can cause injury or illness. A worker may suffer harm in a sudden accident or sustain long-term damage because of repetitive motions. Some conditions can prevent an employee from working at full capacity, or even from returning to work at all.

Workers’ compensation is meant to help injured employees collect benefits when they are injured on the job. However, insurance companies may try to avoid paying benefits and deny claims on various grounds. To ensure that your claim follows the applicable requirements, speak with a dedicated attorney at Smith Hulsey. Our Clarkesville workers’ compensation lawyers are experienced in handling these types of cases and can protect your rights throughout the process.

The Definition of Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that employers purchase to pay certain benefits to employees who are injured or become ill during the scope of their employment. These benefits usually include medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation costs. Death benefits are paid to families of employees who are killed on the job.

An employee hurt on the job is entitled to benefits regardless of whether the employer was at fault for their injuries or illness. On the other hand, an employee collecting workers’ comp cannot sue their employer for the injury sustained.

A business with three or more employees is required to provide workers’ comp insurance. A person who regularly works part-time is considered an employee eligible for coverage. Those injured on the job should speak to a knowledgeable Clarkesville attorney about their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

Deadlines for a Workplace Injury Claim in Clarkesville

According to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-80, an employee injured on the job must notify their employer within 30 days of the accident. If they fail to do so, their claim may be denied. Additionally, an injured employee has one year from the date of their accident to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, as per O.C.G.A. §34-9-82(a). Failure to file within this one-year statute of limitations will bar their right to compensation.

If a worker passes away because of their accident or illness, their family must file a claim within one year of the date of death. While certain situations may extend this one-year filing period, it is important to reach out to legal counsel as soon as possible after a workplace incident. A compassionate local attorney could help an injured worker or their family pursue the compensation they are entitled to.

Filing Process for Workman’s Comp

An injured employee must file a Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation to protect their right to claim benefits. If they do not receive benefits, they can request a hearing with the Board. An administrative law judge will review all the evidence and issue a ruling.

If the employee is not successful at the hearing, they may appeal the decision. A skilled workers’ comp attorney could guide an applicant through filing the claim, appearing at the hearing, and, if necessary, appealing the decision.

Recoverable Benefits Under Workers’ Compensation

An injured employee is entitled to both income benefits and medical benefits but is not entitled to pain and suffering under workers’ comp. The type of income benefits a worker is eligible for depends on the nature of their injuries. A knowledgeable workers’ comp attorney at Smith Hulsey could help a Clarkesville employee determine which income benefits they qualify for.

Temporary Total Disability

If a work injury prevents an employee from working, they are entitled to weekly temporary total disability benefits. The amount is equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage before the injury, up to a certain maximum. These payments continue until their condition has improved as best as it can with treatment.

Temporary Partial Disability

Some injured employees can return to work but will earn less as a result of their new physical limitations. In these cases, the worker is entitled to two-thirds of the difference between their weekly earnings before and after the injury. These benefits are also capped.

Permanent Disability

An employee who suffers permanent and total disability could receive weekly benefit payment for life at the temporary total disability rate. Alternatively, they could receive a lump sum for the amount of their future payments. A seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer in Clarkesville could advise on which of these options is most beneficial given the circumstances.

Permanent Partial Disability

An employee who suffers a partial permanent disability will receive the same benefits as a temporary total disability for a limited amount of time. The amount paid is determined by the nature of their injury and their average weekly wage prior to the accident.

Medical Benefits

Workers’ compensation covers medical care such as:

  • Doctor visits
  • Surgeries
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Travel reimbursement for medical appointments
  • Other reasonable medical expenses

Death Benefits

When an employee dies from an on-the-job injury or occupational illness, the surviving dependents are entitled to death benefits under workman’s comp. Burial expenses may also be covered. Families of workers killed on the job should discuss their situation with a compassionate legal advocate at our firm to learn their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

Talk to an Experienced Clarkesville Workers’ Compensation Attorney

The process of obtaining benefits through workers’ comp can be complex, especially for someone recovering from a serious injury. A Clarkesville workers’ compensation lawyer could ease your stress and work tirelessly to pursue all the benefits you are entitled to. Call the legal team at Smith Hulsey today to learn more.

Smith Hulsey Law

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