Common Questions About Workers’ Comp In Georgia
Q: My employer stated my injury wouldn’t be covered by workers’ compensation. What can I do?
A: If your employer has three or more employees, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, including lost wages, medical expenses and permanent disability.
Q: Can my employer tell me which doctor I must see?
A: An employer must provide a list of doctors to select from. The list must provide at least six names of doctors that are relatively easy to travel to. If they don’t offer this list or help you obtain an appointment, you can usually see your own doctor at their expense.
Q: Can my employer use my injury as a reason to fire me?
A: Unfortunately, yes. However, there are consequences for them doing so, depending on your work status. This is why it is so important for you to get an attorney early. Believe me, your employer hopes you won’t call my office at 912-217-6841.
Q: How do I know I need an attorney?
A: If you’re asking yourself this, the answer is you do! Remember, your employer likely already has an attorney working on your claim.
Q: I need to continue to have an income for my family. How much can I expect from workers’ comp?
A: Generally, you will draw two-thirds of your average weekly wage (with some exceptions) up to a maximum of $575 each week.
Q: I have a pre-existing condition. Does this disqualify me from receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
A: Absolutely not! If your condition has been made worse because you have been hurt on the job, you are entitled to the same benefits as everyone else.
Q: How long after an injury do I have to notify my employer I’m hurt?
A: You should do so immediately, though you have up to 30 days to let your employer know you have been hurt at work.
Q: What documentation should I bring when I meet with you to discuss my case?
A: Any paperwork you have been given by your employer, insurer (the adjuster) and medical providers, as well as a recent pay stub. But don’t worry; I can still start your claim and get these items later if they are not readily available.
Q: How long do I have to work to be covered under workers’ compensation?
A: You are covered on your very first day.
Q: When will I get my benefits?
A: You are entitled to receive weekly income benefits if you are unable to work for more than seven days. You should receive your first check within 21 days from the first day you missed work.
Q: I hired an attorney, but he won’t return my calls.
A: One of the greatest complaints I hear is from folks who say their lawyer will not return their phone calls. Like everyone these days, lawyers are indeed very busy. Often, they need blocks of uninterrupted time to prepare briefs, do research and participate in depositions and court proceedings. But, that is no excuse for your not knowing what is going on with your claim or getting the best answer from your lawyer. Day-to-day communications with clients must necessarily be carried on by trained paralegals in many instances. However, I work hand in glove with my paralegal, and I will promptly respond to any request for direct communication with any client.
Q: I have a lawyer but I’ve never met him!
A: Unlike many of the firms who do the most advertising these days, the Law Office of Brad S. McLelland is not a “mill” where claims are processed by nonlawyer personnel who simply try to get your claim settled as fast as possible so the attorney can earn a fee. On your initial consultation at my office, you will meet with me, and I along with a paralegal will handle your claim from start to finish. I will retain responsibility for your case through its conclusion, and I will consult with you at critical stages in the course of resolving your claim, but you are, and will remain, the ultimate decision-maker. In addition, I will never resolve your claim without your permission.