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Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you are injured on the job, you have rights. You have the right to any and all medical care that will help you recover from your injury. Medical care is to be provided by a doctor who is qualified to provide treatment for your injuries. You have the right to receive disability income benefits if you are unable to work or earn less money due to your injury. You have the right to payment for any permanent disability caused by your injury.

If you want to learn more about your right to workers’ compensation benefits after a serious injury, contact our Atlanta office. Since 1976, we have been enforcing injured workers’ rights throughout Georgia. Contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys today for a free consultation.

Protect Your Right to Workers’ Comp Benefits

At the law firm of Hilley & Frieder, Ron Hilley has been handling workers’ compensation claims since 1976. Whether he takes your claim to a hearing or you want to settle and move on with your life, you can rest assured knowing that attorney Hilley is using his years of experience working for you. We help you get:

  • Workers’ compensation benefits whether medical care or weekly income
  • Forcing payment of denied workers’ compensation claims
  • Getting catastrophic benefits for the severely injured
  • Pursuing all other rights for any workplace injury including suit against a company that caused the injury or the doctor that negligently failed to treat your injury.

Get the compensation you deserve by putting our skilled team in your corner.

Attorneys Representing You and Your Work Comp Claim

How an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer handles your work compensation claim will make a difference in what benefits you receive. Ron Hilley has a successful track record of achieving positive results for people throughout the Atlanta area and all of Georgia.

Our firm handles a broad range of workers’ compensation claims, including those involving:

  • Death on the job
  • All types of neck back and spinal injuries including those involving herniated discs which require either decompression or fusion.
  • Amputations of any part of your body
  • Injuries on production lines, plants, warehouses or factories
  • Injuries in the line of duty for deputies and police
  • Injuries on construction sites and on the road
  • Injuries suffered by nurses, CNAs and nursing assistants
  • Injuries involving carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel & arms/hands
  • Injuries involving loss of sight
  • Injuries that will end your career

Why Should I Call a Workers’ Compensation Attorney After I Get Hurt at Work in Atlanta?

A workers’ compensation insurance company is not on your side – even if you suffered a serious injury and cannot return to work. Insurance companies make a profit by paying claimants as little as possible to resolve their claims. You cannot trust an insurance company to treat you fairly, handle your case in good faith or offer a settlement that compensates you fairly for your losses. The only way to ensure you achieve a fair outcome is by calling a workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta.

Contacting a workers’ comp attorney can put your mind at ease. Your attorney can handle the legwork of your claim while you concentrate on healing from your work-related injuries. You can trust that your attorney is only doing things that will protect your best interests. Your attorney will act as your advocate during settlement negotiations with the workers’ comp insurance provider for the best possible results.

The right workers’ compensation lawyer in Georgia can investigate your work accident, collect evidence of carelessness, handle the claims process on your behalf, hire qualified experts to testify and take many other steps to give you the strongest possible claim to benefits. Your lawyer will make the recovery process efficient and effective, fighting for the compensation you deserve for past and future losses. In the unlikely event that your workers’ comp case ends up at trial, your lawyer can go to court for you, as well.

Protecting Survivors Rights to Compensation

If a wage earner has been killed, the children and spouse have the right to recover dependency benefits for the loss of financial support that was provided. Whether you are a surviving spouse or you are a divorced spouse supporting the children of a worker killed on the job, we will make sure you get the benefits that you deserve.

We fully understand how hard it can be to move forward after the loss of a loved one. Emotional and financial struggles are hard to handle. You do not have to face them alone. Allow our team to handle the legal issues while you focus on your family.

atlanta workers compensation lawyer

Advocates for Injured Workers in GA

Employees in Georgia are covered by workers’ compensation insurance that provides medical and disability benefits for wage loss for workers who are injured while on the job.

The Georgia workers’ compensation system requires employers to provide benefits even if you are injured in another state. Are you entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits? If so, where do you file your claim?

If you live in Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina or North Carolina, but are injured in Georgia, you may still have a Georgia workers’ compensation claim. If your Employer is based in Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina or North Carolina, but you are injured in Georgia, you may still have a Georgia workers’ compensation claim. You may have a choice of which system is the one for your case. You should look at each state where you can file a claim and decide which state’s workers’ compensation best is for you.

The amount of workers’ compensation benefits and how you get benefits is different in different states. If you have a choice of where to file, you should talk with a workers’ compensation lawyer for each state that you can choose before you decide. Usually, the state suggested by the insurance company is the best state for the company, not for you.

  • We represented a worker who worked from Georgia but was injured in Tennessee. The insurance company started his claim in Tennessee. We moved the claim to Georgia and increased his weekly benefit from less than $155.00 per week to $500.00 per week going back to the date of injury. The increased weekly benefit helped support him while he finished getting treatment for his injury. Also, since any settlement is tied to weekly benefits, the tripling of his weekly benefit made a tremendous difference in the settlement that he received.
  • We represented a worker who lived in Alabama but worked in Georgia. The insurance company started his claim in Alabama where he was paid $212.00 per week. We moved the claim to Georgia where we raised his benefit to $500 per week going back to the date of the disability. The increased weekly benefit helped support him while he finished getting treatment for his injury. Also, since any settlement is tied to weekly benefits, the doubling of his weekly benefit made a tremendous difference in the settlement that he received.

In Georgia, the maximum weekly benefit for temporary total disability is $675.00 per week for injuries that occur commencing July 1, 2019. For injuries that occur prior to July 1, 2019 the maximum weekly temporary total disability benefit is $575.00.

Employees who are based in Georgia and suffer work injuries outside the state are entitled to Georgia workers’ compensation benefits. They should notify their employers of the accident within 30 days and file their claims in Georgia.

You can continue to receive Georgia workers’ compensation benefits even if you move outside the state.

Traveling Worker?

At the law firm of Hilley & Frieder, P.C., our workers’ compensation lawyers have successfully represented numerous traveling employees based in Georgia who suffered on-the-job injuries while in other states. We are highly knowledgeable about applicable laws and claims procedures, and how to overcome claim denials and premature termination of benefits by workers’ compensation insurance companies.

We successfully recovered dependency benefits for the dependents of a worker who had traveled outside of Georgia for work and was found dead in his hotel room.

If you have questions about your workers’ comp claim or any other aspect of the workers’ compensation system, contact our firm for a free consultation.

Are You a Georgia Employee?

Most activities of employees traveling outside the state are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, but there are exceptions. For the purposes of filing a workers’ compensation claim, you are considered a Georgia employee if:

  • The contract of employment (express or implied) was made in Georgia, or
  • Your place of residence is in Georgia unless the contract of employment was made expressly for work to be done exclusively outside the state.

As an injured employee, you have rights, and you should not hesitate to exercise those rights. If you have been injured while traveling outside Georgia, Hilley & Frieder, P.C., can represent you, seeking all of the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

Georgia’s No-Fault Workers’ Compensation System

If you are classified as an employee in Georgia, you may qualify for financial benefits after any type of accident that occurs while you are performing work-related tasks or activities. Georgia’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault program, meaning you do not have to prove anyone else is at fault for your accident or injury to qualify for benefits. It does not matter whether someone else caused or contributed to the accident. You are still eligible for financial compensation, regardless of fault.

Instead of having to prove fault, you or your workers’ compensation attorney will need to establish the following elements to file a workers’ comp claim:

  1. You are an employee. The circumstances of your position must make you an employee at your place of work, not an independent contractor. As long as you are an employee and your employer has at least three workers, you will be covered by Georgia’s workers’ comp system.
  2. You suffered an injury. You must have proof that your injury, illness or medical condition actually occurred. In general, this requires an official diagnosis by a physician. You can prove your injury using medical records and doctor’s notes.
  3. Your injury is related to work. You must have been performing job-related tasks at the time of your injury or illness to qualify for benefits. This does not necessarily mean you have to have been at your place of work. If you are working remotely or driving for work at the time of your accident, you will still qualify for benefits as long as you were participating in a job-related task.
  4. You did not cause your injury through horseplay. You may lose your eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits if you were injured while engaged in horseplay or willful acts of misconduct. You will only have to prove this if the insurance company tries to use the horseplay defense to avoid responsibility for your workers’ compensation claim.
  5. You filed within the time limits set by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. According to the Official Code of Georgia Section 34-9-82(a), the deadline to file a workers’ comp claim as an injured employee is one year from the date of the accident, with only a few exceptions. You must report the accident and injury to your employer, however, within 30 days.

Proving fault or causation is not a requirement to recover financial damages with a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia. This makes it easier to obtain the monetary benefits you and your family need to pay the bills and move forward. A third-party claim or personal injury lawsuit, on the other hand, requires you to prove fault. Although this makes it more difficult to obtain financial compensation, the amount available with a third-party claim may be greater than a workers’ compensation claim.

Third-Party Claims and Workers’ Compensation

You may have grounds to file a third-party claim if someone caused your accident and work-related injury in Atlanta. If, for example, your employer did not properly train you or equip you with the right protective gear, and this resulted in your injury, your employer may bear financial responsibility for your medical bills and other losses.

If you believe someone else caused your workplace accident, consult with an attorney about bringing a third-party claim before accepting a workers’ compensation settlement. In Georgia, once you say yes to a workers’ comp settlement, you cannot file a lawsuit against your employer, even if your employer caused your injury.

Accepting a workers’ comp settlement forfeits your right to hold your employer liable. You may still, however, file a lawsuit against a different party, such as a subcontractor, property owner or product manufacturer. If someone other than your employee caused your injury or illness, you may qualify for financial compensation through both a workers’ compensation and a third-party claim.

How Do You Recover Through a Third-Party Claim?

Winning a third-party claim requires proving that party is at fault for your accident. Proving fault generally means establishing negligence. In personal injury law, someone is negligent if he or she is careless, and this gives someone else an injury. You or your attorney must prove the defendant’s negligence as more likely to be the cause of your injury than not.

If your lawyer can fulfill this burden of proof, you may qualify for greater financial compensation than you would receive through a workers’ compensation claim alone. Benefits available through workers’ comp in Georgia include medical payments, physical therapy and rehabilitation, up to two-thirds of lost wages, disability benefits, and death benefits.

A successful third-party claim, on the other hand, could compensate you for past and future medical expenses, disability accommodations, 100 percent of your lost wages, death benefits, and pain and suffering. You may also be eligible for punitive damages if the defendant was reckless or guilty of gross negligence. An attorney in Atlanta can help you determine which type of case is right for you: a third-party claim, workers’ compensation claim or a combination of both.

How Do I File a Work Injury Claim in Georgia?

If you suffer an injury, illness or another health condition while performing job-related duties in Atlanta, Georgia, file a work injury claim as soon as possible. Although the legal process can seem daunting, it can be made easier with assistance from a workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta. An attorney can take care of all the steps of filing a claim on your behalf, making sure you do not make any mistakes or hurt your chances of financial recovery.

Filing a work injury claim in Georgia requires the following steps:

  1. Report your injury to your employer. The workers’ comp program requires you to report an accident that happened on the job to your supervisor or employer within 30 days. if you wait longer than this, you may lose your benefits.
  2. Collect evidence. Before leaving the scene of the accident, if you believe negligence is to blame, collect evidence. If you slipped and fell because of an unsafe floor surface at work, for example, take photographs before leaving the scene.
  3. Go to the hospital. Ask your employer which physician to see. Your employer must provide at least six doctors that you can choose from for your medical care. If it is an emergency, however, you can go to any emergency center in Atlanta.
  4. Cooperate with your employer. Once you report your accident, it is your employer’s responsibility to fill out the correct forms and submit them to the company’s workers’ comp insurance provider. Work with your employer to properly fill out the paperwork and describe your accident.
  5. Wait for a response. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation will evaluate your claim and either reject or accept benefits. From there, a work injury attorney can help you negotiate for compensation or file a personal injury lawsuit in Atlanta, depending on your case.

You may qualify for financial benefits that can help you get your life back on track after a work-related accident in Georgia. Recovering the compensation you deserve, however, takes fulfilling the necessary steps to file a work injury claim. If you need assistance with these steps or wish to have an attorney review your claim before submitting it for the first time, contact Hilley & Frieder, P.C. We offer free initial consultations in Atlanta.

Contact Our Atlanta Law Office Today

For a free consultation about a workers’ compensation claim, contact the personal injury lawyers at Hilley & Frieder, P.C. We represent clients throughout Georgia from our Atlanta offices. Call us at (404) 233-6200, via email using our contact form or through a website chat.

Ronald Hilley was the contributing attorney to this content.