Voted Best Personal Injury Law Firm By Georgia Lawyers
Thomasville Work Injury Lawyer
Matt Wetherington with Wetherington Law Firm,P.C. is the hardest working attorney I have ever worked with. He went above and beyond our expectations. Calls and emails are returned promptly and by Mr. Wetherington himself.
5 Stars is nowhere near enough to rate how awesome Matt and his colleagues were. They took my case even when I didn’t think there was anything we could do. I was in a bad situation at the time and Matt, Robert, and Sarah were there for me every step of the way.
I’m so grateful to Ben Levy and everything he did for me. He was truly dedicated to helping my case. Throughout the process, Ben was very thoughtful, responsive, organized, and made sure I was fully informed along the way.
Free Injury Lawyer Consultation
When people get hurt at work in Thomasville, it can happen in many ways. Maybe something falls on them, they slip, or a machine hurts them. These accidents can cause big problems like broken bones, burns, or even long-term health issues that keep them from working.
Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1) has rules that help workers get help with medical bills and lost wages through workers’ compensation. This means if you get hurt at work, you don’t have to prove your boss did something wrong to get help. But, getting this help can sometimes be tricky, and sometimes workers are told they can’t get the help they need.
Workers’ compensation is supposed to cover your doctor’s bills and pay you some money if you can’t work because of your injury. If you’re really hurt and can’t go back to work, it might even pay for new job training. The law has strict deadlines, though. You usually have one year from the accident to ask for these benefits (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-82), so it’s important to act fast.
At Wetherington Law Firm, we stand up for workers who’ve been hurt on the job. We know the rules inside and out and can fight to make sure you get the help and money you’re supposed to. We deal with the paperwork and talks with the insurance companies so you can focus on getting better. If you or someone you care about got hurt at work, reach out to us. Let’s work together to make sure you’re treated fairly and get everything you’re owed.
Your Rights Under Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law
Under Georgia Workers’ Compensation Law, employees who are injured on the job are entitled to certain rights and benefits, designed to support them through their recovery. These laws ensure that workers receive medical treatment and compensation for lost wages due to work-related injuries or illnesses, without the need to prove their employer was at fault. Here’s a breakdown of your key rights under Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation:
- Medical Benefits: You have the right to receive all necessary medical treatment for your work-related injury or illness at no cost to you. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, physical therapy, medication, and any required medical equipment. Employers are required to post a list of at least six approved physicians or a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization (WC/MCO) you can choose from (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-201).
- Income Benefits: If you’re unable to work for more than seven days due to your injury, you’re entitled to weekly income benefits. These benefits typically amount to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum amount set by law, for the time you’re authorized off work by your treating physician (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-261).
- Rehabilitation Services: For certain types of injuries, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation services to help you return to work or find new employment if you’re unable to return to your previous job due to your injury.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): If your injury results in a permanent disability, you may be entitled to additional compensation once you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). The amount is determined based on the type and severity of your disability (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-263).
- Right to Choose a Doctor: You have the right to choose a doctor from the list provided by your employer to treat your injury. You’re also allowed one change of physician from the posted panel without the employer’s consent (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-201).
- Right to Appeal: If your claim is denied or if you disagree with the benefits awarded, you have the right to appeal the decision. The Workers’ Compensation Act outlines the process for filing an appeal, including requesting a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-105).
Common Causes of Workplace Injuries
Workplace injuries can occur in various environments and result from numerous causes. Understanding these common causes can help employers and employees take preventive measures to create a safer work environment. Here are some frequent causes of workplace injuries:
- Slips, Trips, and Falls: These are among the most common workplace accidents, often resulting from wet floors, uneven surfaces, cluttered walkways, or inadequate lighting.
- Overexertion: Injuries due to lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing objects. Overexertion can lead to musculoskeletal disorders, including strains and sprains.
- Falls from Heights: These occur in industries like construction and maintenance, where workers may fall from ladders, roofs, scaffolding, or through unsecured floor openings.
- Struck by or Against Objects: Workers can be injured by moving objects, machinery, or by bumping into stationary objects, leading to bruises, fractures, or lacerations.
- Machinery Accidents: Injuries resulting from operating machinery without proper safeguards can cause severe injuries, including amputations, crushing injuries, or burns.
- Repetitive Motion Injuries: Performing the same motions repeatedly can lead to repetitive stress injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or tendonitis, particularly in office and manufacturing jobs.
- Vehicle Accidents: Workers who operate vehicles or heavy equipment are at risk of accidents due to collisions or overturning, especially without proper training or in poor driving conditions.
- Exposure to Harmful Substances: Contact with toxic chemicals, fumes, or loud noise can lead to illnesses or injuries, including respiratory conditions, hearing loss, or skin disorders.
- Electrical Accidents: Exposure to live electrical wires or equipment can result in electrical shocks, burns, or electrocution.
- Violence: Acts of violence by coworkers or other parties can cause physical injuries, and in some cases, fatalities.
Steps to Take After a Work Injury
If you experience an injury at work, taking the right steps immediately afterward is crucial for your health and for any workers’ compensation claim you may file. Here’s what you should do:
- Seek Medical Attention: Your health is the top priority. For serious injuries, get emergency treatment immediately. For less severe injuries, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible, as some injuries might not show symptoms right away.
- Report the Injury to Your Employer: Inform your supervisor or employer about the injury as soon as possible. Georgia law requires that you report your injury within 30 days to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Be sure to document your report in writing and keep a copy for your records.
- Document Everything: Keep detailed notes about the accident and your injuries. Take photos of the accident scene and your injuries, if visible. Write down the names and contact information of any witnesses.
- Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to the treatment plan recommended by your healthcare provider. Attend all follow-up appointments and keep records of all medical visits, treatments, and expenses.
- File a Workers’ Compensation Claim: Your employer should provide you with the necessary forms to file a claim or you can obtain them from the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Submit your claim as soon as possible to start the process.
- Keep Records: Maintain detailed records of everything related to your injury and claim. This includes medical records, correspondence with your employer or their insurance company, and any expenses incurred due to your injury.
- Consult with a Work Injury Lawyer: Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be complex. Consulting with an experienced work injury lawyer can provide clarity, ensure your rights are protected, and help maximize the benefits you receive.
- Avoid Discussing Your Case: Be cautious about discussing your case with co-workers or on social media. Statements you make could potentially be used to challenge your claim.
- Monitor Your Health: Some injuries can worsen over time or lead to secondary conditions. Keep track of any changes in your health related to your work injury.
- Consider Return-to-Work Options: If you’re unable to return to your previous job due to your injury, discuss alternative duties or rehabilitation services with your employer and doctor.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia
If you get hurt at work in Georgia, there’s a special way to handle it, called ‘workers’ compensation’. It’s like a safety net for workers. Now, here’s what to do if that happens:
First, you must tell your boss or supervisor about your injury as fast as you can, usually no later than 30 days after you get hurt. Next, see a doctor, but make sure it’s a doc your job says is okay – they have lists called ‘Panel of Physicians’. The doc will check you out and say what needs to happen so you can get better.
Then, there’s some paperwork involved. Your job should know what to do, but sometimes having a lawyer like us at Wetherington Law Firm can make it smoother. If you run into any trouble, like your job doesn’t help you or if the insurance company won’t pay for what your doctor says you need, that’s when we can really help.
Remember, even in tough times at work when you’re hurt, you’ve got rights. At Wetherington Law Firm, we’re here to make sure your rights are respected and to help you get all the workers’ compensation benefits you’re supposed to. We’re your partners in this, so let’s chat and get you on track for healing and getting what’s fair.
What to Do If Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Is Denied
If your workers’ compensation claim in Georgia gets a “no” – which means denied – don’t stress, there are clear steps to tackle this.
First up, check out the reason they said no. Maybe there’s a mistake or they need more information. You can often fix this by chatting with your employer or their insurance company. If that doesn’t work, it’s time for the next step.
You have the right to appeal, which is like saying, “I don’t agree, let’s check this again.” In Georgia, you would file an appeal with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You gotta do this quick though, cause there are strict time limits.
Lastly, and this bit’s important: don’t try to figure it all out alone. Give us a shout at Wetherington Law Firm. We’re pros at workers’ comp cases and can guide you through the maze, stand up for you in court, and push hard to get the benefits you deserve. We’re in it with you – to straighten things out and get you the support you need to bounce back.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia are designed to help you if you get hurt at work. These benefits can cover different needs depending on your situation. Here’s the lowdown on what you might be entitled to:
- Medical Benefits: All your doctor visits, surgeries, prescriptions, and even trips to and from the doc should be covered. The catch? You mostly have to use the doctors your employer lists out.
- Income Benefits: If you’re out of work for more than seven days, you can get a part of your regular paycheck. It’s not the full 100%, but more like two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a state-set max limit. And, if you’re out for over 21 days, they should even pay you for the first week you missed.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): When your injury is so bad you can’t work at all, TTD kicks in to provide weekly benefits.
- Temporary Partial Disability (TPD): If you can work a bit, but not earn as much as before, TPD helps make up some of the difference in your paycheck.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): Sometimes an injury leaves you with a lasting issue, and PPD is there to compensate you based on how severe and permanent the injury is.
- Rehabilitation Benefits: For more serious injuries, workers’ comp might cover services to help you get back on the job or train for a new type of work.
- Death Benefits: If the worst happens and someone dies from a work injury, their dependents can get benefits to cover lost income and funeral expenses.
How Wetherington Law Firm Can Help with Your Work Injury Claim
At Wetherington Law Firm, we specialize in helping folks who’ve been injured on the job. We get that dealing with a work injury can be tough, so here’s what we can do for you:
- Evaluate Your Case: We’ll sit down with you to understand the details of your injury and job situation to figure out how strong your workers’ comp claim is.
- Guide You Through the Process: The paperwork and rules for workers’ comp can be confusing. We know how to handle it all and we’ll guide you through each step.
- Gather Evidence: We can help collect important evidence to support your claim. This could be medical records, safety reports from your workplace, and statements from witnesses or experts.
- Communicate with Insurance Companies: Let us do the talking. Insurance companies can be tricky, but we know how to deal with them and make sure they’re treating you fairly.
- Appeal Denials: If your claim is denied, we can handle the appeals process. We know the deadlines and procedures inside out and we’ll fight to overturn the denial.
- Negotiate Settlements: Sometimes settling is the best option, and we’ve got the negotiation skills to get you a fair settlement that covers your needs.
- Represent You in Hearings: If your case needs a hearing, you want us in your corner. We’ll argue your case to make sure you’re heard loud and clear.
- Assess All of Your Legal Options: Sometimes there’s more than just workers’ comp that you can go after. If someone besides your employer had a part in your injury, we might look into a personal injury claim as well.
If you’re navigating the choppy waters of a work injury claim, it’s time to bring a steadfast ally aboard. At Wetherington Law Firm, we empower injured workers with top-notch legal guidance and relentless representation. Don’t let the confusion of paperwork, the intimidation of insurance companies, or the disappointment of a denied claim keep you from the benefits you rightfully deserve.
Connect with us today – because when you’re with Wetherington, you’re setting sail towards the justice and compensation you need to recover and return to life’s journey with confidence.