When you need workers’ compensation benefits because you’ve been injured on the job, you don’t want to run into unnecessary obstacles. Sometimes, they can’t be avoided, such as cases where your employer or their insurance company disagree with you on the severity of your injury or whether or not it was work related. Yet, many complications can be avoided just by knowing what your rights are as an injured worker in Atlanta, Georgia, and knowing how to steer clear of the most common mistakes made by workers who have been in your position.
What Are Your Rights Under Atlanta, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Law?
The first thing you need to know when you are seeking workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta, Georgia, is what
your actual rights are. This includes your right to medical coverage, your right to wage benefits, and your right to see a company approved physician and seek a second opinion. You also have a right to coverage for any emergency room treatment if your injury required urgent care.
As far as your right to medical treatment, this includes your right to coverage for surgeries, physical therapy or rehabilitation, prescription medications, and follow up appointments with the company approved physician. If you require medical devices, such as braces, crutches, or other medical devices, then you have a right to coverage for these expenses as well. If you must travel a long distance to get to your appointments (greater than 10 miles round trip), then you also have a right to request that your mileage also be covered.
When it comes to your wage benefits, for injuries that occurred after July 1, 2016, you have a right to receive payments at two-thirds of your former average weekly wage (up to $575 for up to 400 weeks in non-catastrophic injury cases), or two-thirds the difference between current and former wages in cases where you are able to return to a light duty position (up to $383 for up to 350 weeks). In cases where you suffer from a catastrophic injury, you may be eligible for lifetime benefits. You will not receive wage benefits, however, until you’ve been out of work for at least seven days. The first seven days will only be covered if you have to miss 21 days of work.
Common Mistakes that Could Compromise Your Atlanta, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Claim
There are thousands of workers’ compensation claims filed every year in Georgia, but not all of them get approved. Some will be initially denied, fought, and ultimately approved, while others are never approved. This is where it is essential to be aware of the common mistakes that could compromise your workers’ compensation claim in Atlanta, Georgia. These include:
- Missing doctor’s appointments.
- Failing to cooperate with medical advice.
- Exaggerating injuries.
- Failing to disclose pre-existing conditions.
- Posting information about your injury on social media.
- Posting information about your life on social media.
- Failing to seek the advice of an Atlanta, Georgia, workers’ compensation attorney.
- Hiring an attorney without first seeking an in-person consultation.
Do Not Miss Doctor’s Appointments when Seeking Workers’ Compensation in Atlanta, Georgia
Missing a doctor’s appointment for any reason could compromise your claim. If you absolutely must reschedule, be sure to do so as quickly as possible and don’t miss the next one. Even when you no longer need to see your doctor as frequently, you need to schedule and keep regular appointments to stay in touch and ensure that your claim is not compromised by failing to seek regular medical care.
Always Follow Medical Advice when Seeking Workers’ Compensation in Atlanta, Georgia
Failing to follow medical advice is another big mistake. It is common in cases where a doctor tells you to wear a brace or use another medical device that you don’t want to use. You may feel that a neck brace, for example, is uncomfortable and that you can keep still without it. You might just take it off for a little while. Yet, if you are seen without it, then there will be questions about whether you really need it.
Never Lie About or Exaggerate Injuries in a Workers’ Compensation Claim
Some people fear that they won’t be taken seriously when filing a workers’ compensation claim. They then make the mistake of exaggerating or telling outright lies about symptoms. This is a big mistake that could prevent you from recovering compensation that you would otherwise be owed. Failing to disclose pre-existing conditions is another mistake that many people are tempted into out of fear that they will be denied benefits because of the pre-existing condition. You could be accused of workers’ compensation fraud if you hide or exaggerate anything, which is not a good position to be in.
Do Not Post About Anything on Social Media Accounts when Filing for Workers’ Compensation
Posting about your work related injury or your day to day life on social media accounts could compromise your Atlanta, Georgia, workers’ compensation claim. You may think that it is an innocent post, but it could easily be used against you. Whether you appear to be having fun or appear to be enjoying your usual activities, this can look bad when you seek benefits. Avoiding posting on social media at all for the duration of your workers’ compensation claim is a wise idea.
Work With an Experienced Atlanta, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Attorney
There are two big mistakes that people frequently make when it comes to working with a workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. One is failing to seek the legal advice you need when you need it. The other is hiring an attorney whom you have never met in person. If you run into any complications with your workers’ compensation claim, you need to get some legal advice. You can do this with a free consultation where you will find out what an attorney thinks of your claim. Yet, some attorneys offer consultations over the phone. That is not a problem, but you should not hire anyone without meeting them in person first. Contact the Bader Law Firm workers’ compensation attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia, to learn more about how we can help you.