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Columbus Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Many workplaces require their employees to perform dangerous activities. But even in fairly mundane workplaces, there is a potential for people to get injured on the job. Whether an injury happens on a factory floor, in an office building, or on the road, if a person is injured while performing their work duties, they have the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Oftentimes, an insurance company may deny payment, or issue payment that is insufficient for the injuries suffered. In these situations, a worker has the right to appeal the decision to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation with the help of a skilled personal injury attorney. Columbus workers’ compensation lawyers represent individuals in these hearings to argue for the fair benefits that they deserve for their injuries.

Defining the Employee Insurance Program

Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that all employers with more than three employees are required to procure. This program protects both employees, by providing payments in the event of injury, and employers, since people hurt on the job cannot sue their employers for damages.

The program pays any worker who was hurt on the job for almost any reason. The only exceptions include if the worker was fighting, was drunk, or on drugs at the time of the incident. Short of these situations, all injuries are eligible for the program.

Workers’ Compensation Process

The first thing a Columbus workers’ compensation lawyer is seeking is emergency treatment. Safety is the most important thing. After this, the injured worker has 30 days to report the injury to their supervisor. This will allow the employer to investigate the claim and to refer the worker to a list of approved doctors for treatment. All employers are required to list no fewer than six doctors that can be visited for treatment.

This doctor will be responsible to both return the worker to health and provide an opinion as to that employee’s ability to return to work. Taking this opinion, the insurance provider will issue payments. If the worker accepts the insurance company’s findings, the case is over and payments will be issued. It is when the payments are insufficient, or denied entirely, that the process becomes more complicated.

What are the Potential Benefits?

The types of benefits that may be issued change with the severity of the injury. All medical costs associated with treating the injury will be paid by the insurance company as long as the worker visits the approved doctors. In order for any cash benefits to be paid, a person must miss more than seven days of work.

This payment will only be issued if a person misses more than 21 consecutive days of work. This is paid at a rate of two-thirds of the average weekly wage. These are known as Temporary Total Disability benefits. Other potential benefits include temporary partial disability, permanent partial disability, and death benefits. Temporary partial disability is issued when a person returns to work but at a limited capacity. Benefits are paid at two-thirds of the difference between prior wages and current wages.

Permanent partial disability is a lump sum benefits paid because of a permanent reduction in workability. Death benefits are for cases where the worker dies as a result of the accident, all payments are issued to their surviving family. This is paid at two-thirds the average weekly wage. Additionally, funeral expenses are also compensated.

Compensation Denial Cases

Most workers’ compensation claims are accepted by all people involved and payments are issued. However, an employee always has the right to appeal the insurance company’s findings with the help of a Columbus workers’ compensation lawyer. The State of Georgia maintains the State Board of Workers’ Compensation that hears all appeals of benefits.

In order to initiate this appeal, a worker must file the necessary paperwork within one year of the accident. At these hearings, the Board will hear the case from both the employee’s and insurance company’s perspective. In addition, all workers have the right to be represented by an attorney at these hearings, but in no situation, will one be provided for them.

Assistance From Columbus Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

Columbus workers’ compensation lawyers represent workers in these hearings to argue their cases and fight for the full compensation warranted by their injuries. If you have been injured on the job and denied workers’ compensation benefits or the benefits offered are too low for the severity of the injury, contact today for help.