Did you or a loved one suffer a work injury or illness?
Our law firm delivers real answers, results and compensation to injured workers.
577 Mulberry St, Suite 600
Macon, GA 31201-8242
8:30am – 5:30pm (M-F)
Closed Saturday & Sunday
Attorneys available on weekends by appointment
If you or a loved one were hurt on the job, you may be feeling overwhelmed, confused and lost. While this is understandable, we want you to know that you’re not alone.
For starters, many other hardworking Georgians like you are in a similar predicament. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Georgia’s private industry employers reported 77,500 nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in 2018, meaning that roughly 2-3 full-time workers out of 100 were injured on the job in the state. Of those reported cases in 2018, over half (40,900) were of a more severe nature, involving days away from work, job transfer or restriction—commonly referred to as “DART” cases.
In addition, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation — the government agency responsible for overseeing Georgia’s workers’ compensation system — reported that over 36,000 indemnity claims and over 100,000 medical claims were filed in 2018 alone.
While these statistics help show just how common workplace accidents, injuries and illnesses really are, they don’t help you know what to do when it’s you who gets hurt on the job and it’s your future on the line.
This is where we can help.
At the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, our Georgia attorneys have assisted hundreds of injured workers with their workers’ compensation claims, including the coordination of all their benefits. We can assist you throughout the entire process, beginning with evaluating your claim, filing paperwork, attending hearings, and, if needed, appealing a denial of benefits. Our workers’ comp practice covers the full range of issues, from temporary disability to permanent conditions. We have the experience and commitment to help you see your claim through to the end.
Types of workers’ compensation cases we specialize in
If you were hurt on the job in Georgia, we can help you with all aspects of your workers’ compensation claim. We specialize in the following types of work-related injury cases:
Workers’ compensation claims involving catastrophic work-related injuries are more complex and often contested by insurers. When the stakes are this high, you need the best legal representation.
If you were injured in a serious car or truck crash while driving for work, you should still be covered by workers’ compensation. The key is proving that your errand was job-related.
Was your claim denied or rejected? Our attorneys can help you find out why and challenge a denied claim. If necessary, we’ll request a hearing. You don’t have to accept an insurance denial.
Workers’ compensation may not be your only option for financial recovery after an accident. We can explain other benefits you may be eligible for, such as Social Security Disability payments.
If your spouse, partner or other close relative suffered a work-related death, we can help you pursue additional workers’ compensation benefits for funeral and burial expenses.
Workers’ comp doesn’t only apply to on-the-job injuries. It also applies to certain job-related diseases and illnesses. The trick is proving that the condition was related to your job.
If you were hurt on a construction work site, even as an independent contractor or subcontractor, you have rights. We can help ensure that your rights are protected.
Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are some of the most serious types of workplace accidents. Treatment may be long-term and expensive.
Injuries to the spine are often severe, sometimes resulting in partial or full paralysis. If your spinal cord injury happened on-the-job, you must know your rights.
When a job-related accident causes neck and back injuries such as whiplash, the injured worker can experience pain that makes it difficult to do their job.
A broken or fractured bone might not seem serious, but what if it makes it impossible to do your prior job? In such cases, a claim for disability might be possible.
Muscle strains, sprains and overuse injuries are common in the workplace. Dislocations and other orthopedic injuries may be covered by workers’ comp.
Severe second and third degree burns can cause permanent scarring, disfigurement and immense pain. If you were burned at work, you don’t have to face recovery alone.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can be a painful condition that is common in both office settings and construction sites alike. Wherever you work, CTS can qualify for workers’ comp benefits.
Not all workplace injuries happen because of a sudden or tragic event. Some injuries are caused by repetitive stress and motion of the shoulder, wrist, back or other body part.
Working in an office isn’t generally considered a dangerous profession, yet employees can suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries.
Your employer’s insurance company may contest or deny liability for a claim if they believe the accident didn’t happen at work. Find out what to do if this happens to you.
What to do after a workplace accident in Georgia
The steps you take after a work-related injury are crucial to receiving the compensation you are entitled to. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer near you to find out what actions you should take.
In general, here’s how to file a claim and secure your workers’ compensation benefits if you were hurt on the job in Georgia:
- Get emergency treatment. If your injury is critical and catastrophic, seek medical attention immediately by going to the nearest hospital or emergency room. Your health and well-being is your top priority. We can figure out how that impacts your workers’ compensation claim later. If, however, your injury doesn’t constitute an emergency but nevertheless requires treatment, move onto the next step.
- Notify your employer. Be sure to report the work-related injury, illness or accident to your employer (such as a manager, supervisor or a human resources (HR) person) as soon as possible. Telling a coworker or your spouse doesn’t count. Your employer should provide you with the forms and resources you’ll need to file a claim, including a list of “authorized” doctors (known as the “panel of physicians”). Georgia statute clearly says that if you suffer a workplace injury, you must report it to your employer within 30 days.
- See a doctor. Schedule an appointment with a doctor listed on your employer’s Panel of Physicians. Be sure to tell them honestly how and when the injury or illness arose, and be truthful about how it is impacting your life. Follow any treatment recommendations and take any prescriptions they give you.
- File a claim. You’ll need to fill out and submit a WC-14 “Notice of Claim” form with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Your employer should be able to provide this form to you, but you can also access the form here. You’ll need to send a copy of the completed form to your employer and their workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Take the time to complete this form accurately because the information provided here will be used to approve or deny your claim. You must complete and submit your WC-14 form within 1 year of the accident that caused your injuries, or from the date you were first diagnosed with an occupational illness.
When to consult a Macon workers’ compensation attorney
If you encounter any problems while filing a work injury claim or if you have questions about the process, consider consulting an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer at the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson.
We can help you:
- If your benefits were denied
- If you wish to demand a hearing
- If your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation coverage
- If the settlement offer is insufficient to cover your expenses
- If you need immediate financial assistance
- If you missed a deadline
- If your injuries are severe or catastrophic
- If you want to sue a third-party
- If you wish to change workers’ comp doctors
- If you need legal guidance or advice
Workers’ compensation FAQ: common questions and answers
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation (sometimes referred to as “workers’ comp,” “workman’s compensation” or “workman’s comp”) is a set of laws designed to provide medical and wage benefits to workers who are injured or become ill on the job or while performing a job-related activity without the need for litigation.
According to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation:
Workers’ compensation is an accident insurance program paid by your employer which may provide you with medical, rehabilitation and income benefits if you are injured on the job. These benefits are provided to help you return to work. It also provides benefits to your dependents if you die as a result of a job related injury.
What workers’ comp benefits can I get in Georgia?
Georgia workers who are injured during job activities or who become ill as a result of their work are generally entitled to financial benefits that provide reimbursement for the following expenses:
- Medical bills. Workers’ compensation should cover all of your necessary medical expenses related to treating your occupational injury or illness, including surgery, exams, hospital/doctor visits, therapy, treatment, medication, etc. Most employers in Georgia have a list of 6 approved doctors (the “panel of physicians”) that the injured worker must receive treatment from.
- Lost wages. Generally, wage loss (indemnity) benefits compensate an injured worker for up to two-thirds of their weekly salary before the injury occurred. When a worker gets hurt on the job, they typically fall into 1 of 4 categories of disability under Georgia law:
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) — when a person can return to light work or a modified version of the job they worked before an accident
- Temporary total disability (TTD) — when a person is unable to work for at least 7 days
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) — when a person is injured with permanent damage but has some capacity to still work
- Permanent total disability (PTD) — when a medical professional declares that your medical treatment is complete and nothing else can be done to correct the damage connected to your workplace injury
- Travel reimbursement. If you need to travel in order to receive medical treatment, workers’ compensation benefits should cover these costs as well.
- Vocational training and rehabilitation. In the event that you’re so seriously injured that you’re unable to return to your previous work, you may be entitled to benefits to help pay for job placement and career retraining services.
- Death benefits. If your loved one was killed in a workplace accident or due to an occupational illness, then you may also be entitled to fatal workers’ compensation benefits to reimburse you for funeral and burial expenses.
Is workers’ compensation required in Georgia?
Workers’ compensation requirements vary from state to state. In Georgia, most employers with 3 or more full-time, part-time or seasonal employees are required to have workers’ compensation insurance. For incorporated or LLC businesses, the corporate officers or members are included in this count of 3 or more employees.
Employers must also post a notice that they are compliant with state laws in a place that is prominent and easy to see. They must also clearly display the State Board of Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights for injured workers as well as a list of approved doctors so that injured workers can easily see where to get treatment.
Exceptions to this rule are rare. Only railroad carriers, U.S. government agencies, farm laborers and domestic servants are exempt from this requirement.
What if my employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation?
If your employer doesn’t carry workers’ compensation insurance, they can be held both civilly and criminally liable.
The State Board of Workers’ Compensation may fine the non-compliant employer $100 to $1,000 per violation and assess civil penalties, as well as a 10 percent increase in compensation for the injured employee. If the employer lied about having workers’ compensation or made false statements in order to mislead an injured employee about the benefits available to them, they can also be fined $1,000 to $10,000 per violation. In addition, employers can be fined $500 to $5,000 (per violation) for intentionally failing to offer coverage to employees as directed by the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Not only do employers who fail to provide workers’ compensation coverage face civil penalties, but they can also be criminally prosecuted. Failing to provide workers’ compensation when directed by law is a misdemeanor offense in Georgia, punishable by up to a $10,000 fine and 1-year prison sentence.
Just because your employer didn’t provide workers’ compensation coverage like they were supposed to doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily stuck paying the bills without an income. In such cases, you might be able to sue your employer to recover from the cost of your workplace injury or illness — including medical expenses and lost wages. In addition, you may be able to sue for emotional distress such as pain and suffering due to your job-related accident. Lastly, you might be able to get punitive damages from their employer to punish them for willfully endangering their employees by not providing workers’ compensation coverage.
Also, if you’d like to learn more about your legal options when it comes to suing your employer, consult our top-rated Georgia workers’ compensation attorneys immediately. Suing your employer in court is a much more complex and lengthy process compared to normal workers’ compensation claims. We can help you calculate the total costs and determine what’s the best move for you and your family.
Is there a deadline to file a workers’ compensation claim?
Yes! Unlike Georgia personal injury cases, which must be filed within 2 years, most workers only have 1 year to file a workers’ compensation claim. After this deadline, your ability to receive benefits will likely be barred or denied. The clock starts ticking from the date of the accident, or from the date your work-related injury/illness was discovered.
Workers’ compensation resources and links
- Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation
- Georgia Workers’ Compensation Employee Handbook
- Enjuris Guide to Workplace Accidents in Georgia
- The danger of working with electricity
- How to file a workers’ compensation claim in Macon, GA
- Georgia workers’ compensation laws, rules & regulations
- Georgia workers’ compensation benefits
- Why workers’ compensation claims are denied
- What to do if your workers’ compensation was denied in Georgia
- Georgia workers’ compensation FAQ
- Compensation for agriculture workers
- Compensation for injured truck drivers
- Compensation for automotive workers
- Compensation for industrial workers
- Compensation for construction workers
- Compensation for independent contractors & freelancers
- Workers’ compensation mistakes to avoid
- Most common myths about workers’ compensation
- A brief history of workers’ compensation in Georgia
“Great staff. Very professional and knowledgeable. Staff went out of their way to accommodate us in every way possible. Made the whole process less painful. They made sure we understood everything that was going on and would answer any questions a hundred times over if needed.”
The resources needed to win
Unlike some work injury attorneys who settle all of their cases, we are not afraid to appeal a denied claim if needed. Our firm has the resources needed to thoroughly prepare, try and win complicated cases.
We are dedicated to doing everything legally and ethically possible to obtain the best results for our injured clients. Hard work and dedication have allowed us to recover millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients in workers’ compensation and personal injury claims.
Injured on the job? Get answers from our Macon work injury lawyers.
Workers’ compensation can be a confusing and convoluted process. We understand the challenges that many injured individuals face when seeking the benefits they are owed. Hostile employers, heartless insurance companies, mounting medical bills, confusing forms and deadlines — these are just a few of the many obstacles injured workers face.
At the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley & Hinson, we can help you overcome these challenges and more. We invite you to learn more about your legal options by meeting with our professionals. If you decide to enlist our services, we offer a “No Fee Unless We Win” promise. If we don’t secure benefits for you and your family, then you won’t pay us a penny. It’s that simple.
If you need help getting your workers’ compensation benefits, give us a call or contact us online for your free consultation with a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer. From offices in Macon, Albany and Warner Robins, we help injured workers throughout Georgia. Don’t settle for less, get more.