Injuries that result from workplace accidents can take a physical, emotional and financial toll on you and your loved ones. Time away from work due to a disability can lead to significant financial strain and uncertainty for your family’s future. To add insult to injury, insurance companies often seek any reason to deny, delay and devalue your case, no matter how severe your injuries may be.
The Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo, Jr., PC has earned a reputation for successfully representing injured and disabled clients in workers’ compensation claims throughout the Atlanta and Marietta areas of Georgia. To learn how we can help you obtain the justice you deserve, please contact us today online or at 770-888-8901 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.
Please read the following sections for information that may apply to your claim:
- Understanding Georgia's Workers' Compensation Law
- What Qualifies as a Workplace Injury?
- Why Should I Hire a Workers' Comp Lawyer?
- What Should I Do If I've Been Injured on the Job?
- Common Workers' Compensation Claim Mistakes
- Construction Accidents
- Warehouse and Factory Accidents
- Restaurant Accidents
- Poultry Farm Accidents
- Carpal Tunnel and Repetitive Stress Injuries
- My Work Comp Claim Was Denied – Now What?
- Schedule A Free Consultation For Workplace Injury or Workers' Compensation in Atlanta
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault benefit mandated by state law. It provides a limited wage loss benefit for workers who are disabled as a result of a workplace injury. Every state has its own workers’ comp laws. Generally, if your employer has three or more employees and you suffered your injuries while performing duties that occurred during the course of your employment, you will be covered under Georgia workers’ compensation law.
In our state, workers’ compensation claims are handled by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, not the civil court system. Depending on the specific details of your injury, you may qualify to receive the following benefits:
- Medical Treatment: This covers all medical care recommended by your Authorized Treating Physician (ATP). Medical treatment may include medication, surgery and therapy. If your injury receives a “catastrophic” designation, you may be eligible to receive weekly compensation checks and medical care for life. Since the recommendation of your ATP is so influential in deciding the medical and financial future of your case, it is crucial that you never allow your employer or your employer’s insurance company to assign an ATP to you. Our attorneys can help.
- Permanent Partial Disability (PPD): These benefits help workers whose work-related injuries make it permanently impossible to perform their job duties. Benefits are generally based on reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) rating that range from zero to 100; zero signifying there is no disability and 100 designating permanent total disability. PPD is based on a formula that includes your percentage of impairment, the part of the body that is impaired and your compensation rate.
- Temporary Total Disability (TTD): In most cases, TTD benefits will provide an injured worker with two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage (AWW), calculated from a period of 13 weeks prior to the injury. Depending on your circumstances, you may still be eligible for TTD benefits even if you are able to return to light work duty or if your employer will not or cannot accept you back at work under the restrictions issued by the treating physician.
Workplace injuries come in a variety of forms. In Georgia, you may potentially receive work comp benefits for:
- Physical injuries
- Repetitive stress injuries (carpel tunnel)
- Occupational diseases
- Mental health injuries followed by a physical injury
Beyond establishing that you have an injury that qualifies for work comp benefits, you must prove that your injury actually occurred at work. This can be a highly complex task that requires the assistance of experienced legal counsel.
Although workers’ compensation is intended to benefit both you and your employer, insurance companies are notoriously difficult to work with, and frequently employ what we call the “three Ds of insurance defense”:
- Deny: An insurer or adjuster may flatly deny your payment by claiming your injury was pre-existing or your medical treatment is not reasonably required and not appear likely to affect a cure, give relief, or restore the employee to suitable employment.
- Delay: Often times, an insurance company will drag its feet and put off paying you what you are entitled for as long as they can. Medical providers want to get paid. When the insurance company doesn’t cover your bills, hospitals turn to you for payment or the ATP will stop providing you with medical care. This causes delay in your recovery.
- Devalue: Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and rarely offer a settlement that is in the best interest of an injury victim. That’s why it’s important to have someone on your side who understands what your case is worth and won’t settle for an insufficient offer.
The consequences of these actions can be alarming. The financial burden of mounting debt and time away from work can become too great to handle, and possibly lead to bankruptcy.
Do not surrender your rights. While a workplace injury settlement may mean the world to you personally, insurance companies see you as just another number. At the Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo, Jr., PC, you are our top priority.
You will have a better chance of obtaining the full benefits to which you are entitled if you have an experienced lawyer on your side. Our attorney can help you:
- Use the law to your advantage
- Explain your rights
- Help you get medical care
- Value your claim
- Help you avoid mistakes
- Negotiate for you
- Deal with preexisting conditions
- Handle social security issues
- Evaluate third party claims
Having spent three years as an insurance defense litigator and as a current member of the Atlanta Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Section, Humberto Izquierdo is intimate with Georgia workers’ comp law and the tactics of insurance agencies.
In addition to the skill and knowledge of our attorneys, we have earned the respect and reputation among adjusters as being aggressive but reasonable. This healthy working relationship will benefit your case.
The moments following a workplace injury can be hectic and confusing, but the immediate actions you take are important. If you’ve been harmed while performing your work duties, you should:
- Report your injuries to supervisor: There are some cases where supervisors have tried to talk an injured worker out of reporting an injury. This is illegal. If your employer is trying intimidate you into not reporting your claim or says it occurred outside of work, contact legal counsel immediately.
- Ask for medical treatment from your employer’s posted panel of physicians: Not only will a visit with a medical professional ensure you receive important medical care, it will document your injuries and necessary treatment. It is crucial that you ask for medical treatment from your employers posted panel of physicians. This panel of physicians should be posted in a noticeable location on the premises of your employer. Failure to seek treatment from the posted panel of physicians often results in the employer selecting the treating physician, which could potentially jeopardize your claim.
- Contact the Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo, Jr., PC: By contacting us immediately, we are able to initiate your claim with the insurance company and with the state board of workers’ compensation. We can immediately advise you on your rights and necessary next steps.
You have one year from the day of your injury to file a claim with the state board of workers’ compensation. Failure to meet the statute of limitations will destroy your case. It is critical to your claim that you hire an attorney quickly as possible.
By making unfortunate mistakes that harm their own claims, far too many injured Georgia workers miss out on their full and fair workers’ compensation benefits. Some of these common mistakes include:
- Failing to report your injury within the appropriate time frame
- Not seeking professional medical treatment
- Making sloppy errors on your workers’ comp incident report
- Misrepresenting your injury in any way
- Failing to contact a qualified lawyer
While a workplace accident can occur in any line of business, worker’s compensation cases are more frequent in blue collar professions. Below are some of the most common types of accidents we see at our firm.
A construction site can harbor a number of potential safety hazards, including volatile chemicals, large machinery and power tools. Safety measures should be in place to protect workers from harm, but every year construction workers are injured or killed on the job.
Common construction accidents include:
- Falls from ladders or scaffolding
- Structural collapses
- Barricade accidents
- Trench cave-ins
- Severe burns
- Lifting heavy materials
- Motor vehicle accidents
In its heyday, the stretch of carpet mills and floor covering outlets along I-75 between Atlanta and Chattanooga claimed to produce nearly half of the world’s carpets. While those golden days have diminished, carpet factory and other warehouse jobs still account for a substantial number of worker injuries. These jobs involve a variety of potentially dangerous roles, such as loaders, material movers and machinists. Many warehouse and factory-related injuries involve forklifts.
Severe injuries and fatalities may occur in warehouses and factories for reasons such as:
- Operating in dangerous areas
- Lack of training, supervision and safety standards
- Forklift defects
- A load falling on a worker
- Colliding with a worker
- A forklift tipping and rolling over
The restaurant field is fast-paced environment that often results in employee-injury. Whether you work in a four-star restaurant or a fast-food establishment, there are several risks you face, including injuries that result from:
- Lifting or balancing heavy trays or containers of dirty dishes
- Burns from stoves, dishwashers, ovens or other appliances
- Slips and falls
- Electrical appliances or poor wiring
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals, toxins or exhaust fumes
- Auto accidents while delivering food
As part of the “poultry belt”, Georgia is home to some of the busiest poultry farms in the country. With ever-increasing production demands, poultry farms are consistently working to improve efficiency, often at the risk of their employees. Common accidents at these facilities include:
- Injuries from knives, saws and other machinery
- Conveyer belt accidents
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
- Tendonitis and damaged nerves
- Slips and falls
- Injuries from lifting heavy objects
Not all job-related accidents occur in big manufacturing plants or on construction sites. Repetitive stress injuries are among the most common workplace injuries today. These injuries can include:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Complex residual pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Reflex sympathetic dystrophy (RSD)
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Thoracic outlet syndrome
- Cubital tunnel syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome is the most common of these conditions, but all can be difficult to prove since they develop over the course of several months or even years. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the complexities of these cases.
There is never a guarantee that your claim will be accepted. The insurance company may decide that there isn’t enough evidence to back your claim or that it was the result of a preexisting condition rather than a workplace issue. Humberto Izquierdo worked as an insurance defense litigator for three years, and understands the ways insurance companies try to deny, delay and devalue your case.
If your work comp case was denied, the appeals process begins with a hearing scheduled within 30 days of the administrative law judge receiving your file. After hearing both sides of the case, an administrative law judge will either deny your claim or issue you an award. In some cases, you can continue to appeal even after your claim has been denied again.
If you have questions surrounding your workplace injury, please contact the Law Offices of Humberto Izquierdo, Jr., PC today by completing the form on this page or calling 770-888-8901 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our experienced work comp lawyer. We help injured workers from Atlanta and Marietta, Georgia