It can be easy for people to make the mistake of thinking that collecting benefits for a work-related injury is as straightforward as filing a claim. However, there is much more that goes into the process of applying for benefits and it is not uncommon for injured workers to hit some obstacles along the way.
Three of our recent cases highlight different problems that can arise when people file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia. They should serve as a collective reminder of why legal representation and support can be crucial throughout the application and appeals processes.
In the first case, a man catastrophically injured on the job had retained the services of an attorney who filed an attorney fee lien upon being terminated by the man. However, the attorney never properly distributed the paperwork to the man’s new attorneys and the administrative, superior court and Court of Appeals all affirmed that due to the oversight in filing and distributing the documents, the former attorney was not owed any money by the injured man.
A second case involved a man who was seeking workers’ compensation for a stroke. Even though the man’s application was supported by opinions from his doctor that he suffered a stroke and a contributing factor to the stroke was work-related stress, it was ultimately denied. After several appeals based on the language of the courts’ decisions, it was determined that he had not suffered a stroke, and even if he did, there was not enough evidence linking it to work conditions.
In the last case, a woman suffered an on-the-job injury as a bus driver. She was approved for benefits but her benefits were initially lower than expected. After appealing, the woman prevailed and the Court of Appeals ruled that she did deserve more money based on the language of the law and the nature of her injuries.
These three cases highlight the complications that can arise when it comes to filing paperwork, providing evidence for a claim and interpreting the law. It’s not as easy as filling out an application and waiting for an approval. This is why it can be crucial for injured workers to have the legal support and guidance of an attorney to help them through the process of seeking maximum compensation from beginning to end.