You do not necessarily have to file a lawsuit against your employer in the state of Georgia in order to obtain workers compensation benefits. In many cases, our firm can successfully open a workers compensation claim and obtain all of the available workers compensation benefits provided by law without filing a lawsuit. Further, our firm always obtains permission from our clients before ever requesting court in their claim. Before requesting court, an attorney from our firm will communicate with our client to explain the benefits of going through the legal process. Generally speaking, when one request court to obtain workers compensation benefits, this sets into motion several different things. First, the employer will obtain its own attorney to represent itself and the insurance company. Second, we will be entitled to discovery information related to your accident and injuries. Third, the opposing counsel will take your deposition at our law office. Fourth, we have the right to take the depositions of any witnesses, treating physicians, or employer representatives if need be. Your attorney will discuss these depositions with you, and your attorney will prepare you for your deposition.
Frequently, it is necessary to request court in order to obtain workers compensation benefits for an injured worker. As soon as it becomes aware of your injury, the insurance company will conduct an investigation to determine whether or not they accept your claim. An insurance company can fully accept your case, in which case you are deemed to have a compensable case, or they may fully deny your claim, in which case they will not involuntarily provide you with any benefits. A third possibility is that the insurance company may deem your case “medical –only”. This means that they will provide medical benefits to the injured worker but not indemnity benefits.
According to GA law, an employer is prohibited from firing an employee simply because they obtained the services of an attorney to represent him in his claim. An employer is also prohibited from firing an employee because the employee reported his injury or because the employee requested time off work to obtain medical treatment for his injury. However, in the event that employer does terminate an employee not withstanding this prohibition, your attorney can request a penalty from the court for the employer having violated this rule. By GA Law, an injured worker has thirty days to report his injury to a supervisor. Therefore, it is critically important to act quickly after one has had an injury on the job.
However, some workers sustain a distinct type of work injury called a “gradual worsen” injury. A gradual worsening injury does not occur a one exact moment in time, but instead worsens over a period of time. For example, low back injuries are frequently “gradual worsening” injuries. A worker maybe required to lift heavy materials on the job and may develop low back pain over a period of weeks or months. This is a classic gradual worsening type of injury. If you believe you sustained a gradual worsening injury or any other type of injury, please contact our office to schedule a free in office consultation.