Disabled in Work-Related Accident in Georgia: What Now?


January 10, 2011

Each year many employees suffer serious injuries on the job that result in the employee needing medical treatment, rehabilitative therapy, and compensation for their lost wages and permanent disability. Under Georgia Workers' Compensation Law, employees must report the accident to their employer, and are sent by the employer to an approved physician on the employer’s panel. Since the employer determines which doctors are included on the panel, the physician has a potential conflict of interest between the interests of the employee, and interests of the employer who made the referral to the physician. As a result, an employee who is unaware of his or her legal rights may receive much less in the way of medical care and disability benefits, and ultimately a settlement, than someone who consults an attorney. Sometimes, there is even a denial of the claim, resulting in the unfortunate situation where the employee gets no compensation whatsoever.

When someone is injured on the job in Georgia and that employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance (which applies to most employers with three or more employees), the employee must treat with physicians who are designated on a list or panel that the employer is required to post on the job site. Treating with doctors who are not on the approved list will create a risk to the employee that his or her medical bills will not be covered. Of course, in an emergency, the employee is entitled to go to the closest emergency care hospital or clinic. However, after the initial emergency has passed, the employee is required to treat with authorized physicians on the panel.

Failure to consult an attorney can be a mistake that has a devastating financial impact on you and your family. If you are injured at work, you should immediately contact a workers’ compensation lawyer who can provide legal advice on your options regarding possible compensation for lost wages, permanent disability benefits, and obtaining quality medical diagnosis and treatment.

If you are hurt at work due to the negligence of someone other than an employee of your company, you also may have an additional negligence claim against the party who caused your injury. On this account, it is critical to have your claim evaluated by an experienced workers' compensation attorney to determine all of the claims you may have arising from your injury at work. It is important to note that a negligence claim can result in compensation for “pain and suffering” and other elements of compensation that are not available under workers’ compensation law.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing Georgia residents injured on the job for over 25 years. We have experienced, battle-tested attorneys who practice exclusively in the area of workers’ compensation. Our attorneys will fight hard for your rights and to get you the compensation you deserve.

Under Georgia's workers' compenation laws, if you suffer a workplace injury you are required to inform your employer of the injury as soon as possible. Whether you report your injury to your employer personally or in written form, it is extremely important to disclose ALL symptoms and injuries no matter how minor they may seem at the time. Also, if additional symptoms occur shortly after the accident date, it is important to supplement your report to the employer reporting additional symptoms as they appear. Listing all injuries is critical in order to avoid a situation where the workers’ compensation insurance company later claims that the injuries are not the result of a workplace accident or condition. You should also be as specific as possible in describing the incident that caused your workplace injury. It is also important that you keep a written copy of any accident report and provide it to your workers’ compensation attorney.

You will also typically be steered in the direction of a specific doctor or medical provider. These medical providers often work regularly with insurance companies for employers and may tend to minimize your diagnosis while being overly optimistic in their prognosis for your recovery. An experienced Georgia workers' compensation injury attorney can many times help you obtain a second opinion so that you benefit from an accurate diagnosis and evaluation of any long-term disability that may result from your workplace injury. You should disclose all symptoms to the treating doctor because any symptom not disclosed may be discounted later even though it may have been the precursor to a serious condition.

If you consult an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who handles worksite injuries routinely, the attorney will also advise you regarding your potential eligibility for Temporary Total Disability or Permanent Disability benefits. These disability benefits are based on the severity of your injuries and the length of time you are unable to work as a result of your worksite injury. If you qualify for disability benefits, you may receive monetary compensation for a specific amount of time in the form of weekly payments or even a lump sum settlement.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we represent those who suffer work-related injuries throughout Georgia, including those who may be entitled to Temporary Total Disability, Temporary Partial Disability, or Permanent Partial Disability. Our experienced Georgia worksite accident attorneys and Georgia workers' compensation attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.


Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.