I was injured at work in March of this year. Had injuries to my back and shoulder. I hired one lawyer who didn't do much or tell me much. There was no talking with this dude at all, no return emails, text, call, etc. I started Worker's comp with their doctor, then another. I hired an attorney, this is the one that doesn't help at all. I'm not looking for a million dollars, just my options. I have fired him and is looking for another attorney. My company Is extremely nice to be. I have been there for 4 1/2 years and I have missed quite a few days with back pain. Need to hire an experience lawyer who knows the IN'S and OUT'S.
You have already had some good answers to this question; I know many of the other attorneys who have posted, either personally or professionally by reputation, and they are qualified WC attorneys. As they have suggested, you would be well advised to consult with one or more of us to see who would be the best fit for you for a new attorney. As one of my colleagues posted, failure to return phone calls is a very common complaint one hears about other attorneys in the Workers' Compensation practice area, so you want to make sure that whomever you hire now will be responsive and keep in touch with you. The summary of WC benefits that another colleague posted is also a concise and accurate statement of what Georgia law allows; many times, I find that other WC attorneys do not explain the categories of benefits up front to a new or potential client. It is vital to understand what WC does and does not pay for, and I often find when I am hired by someone who had a former attorney that the former attorney did not explain these benefits at all.
It is very fortunate that your employer is being very nice to you, and hopefully that will continue. In my experience, the injured worker often finds that the longer he or she takes to recover, the less patient the employer becomes, although that is not always true. Like my colleagues, I would be very happy to speak with you to discuss the WC system and your injuries, treatment, and benefits. I have a selective practice, and maintain a manageable caseload so that I have time to talk with my clients whenever they need me. You are welcome to call my office at 404 236-0064 to discuss your case. Allow me to wish you the best of luck with your claim and your recovery from your injuries.
I get more clients because their first lawyer just would not return their calls. You were right to terminate him. It is not clear what you need at this point. Your comment about your company would indicate that you want to keep your job. Hopefully they feel the same way about you. Having the right doctor is essential for making sure you recieve the maximum benefits the law allows. So maybe that is the starting point for your new attorney. Feel free to call if I can help, 404-365-0102
I'm sorry you are experiencing the physical problems from your injuries, as well as the hassles of trying to navigate the workers' compensation system without any real guidance. I strongly encourage everyone that is injured on the job to schedule a meeting with an attorney experienced in workers' compensation to discuss your rights, as well as the insurance company's responsibilities. It is difficult to truly answer your questions without knowing the specific facts of your case, as well as where you are now in your medical treatment. But here is a quick overview in general terms about the 3 types of benefits you can receive under Georgia's workers' compensation system: (1) Wage benefits: if you are out and disabled for more than 7 working days by your authorized treating physician, then you are entitled to wage benefits. The amount is capped depending upon your date of accident, and it is 2/3 of your average weekly wages. (2) Medical benefits: the employer/insurer have to provide medical treatment which is medically necessary to effect a cure or provide relief to you for your injuries. (3) Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) rating: If you have some permanent impairment due to your injuries, the employer/insurer have to pay you an additional sum of money depending upon the degree of impairment. There is no provision for pain and suffering or emotional suffering under the workers' compensation act. You may also be entitled to a change of physicians or possibly a one-time examination with a doctor of your choice and the employer/insurer have to pay for it. There are far too many questions that I need to ask of you before I (or anyone) can give you direction on what your options are at this point. I encourage you to consult with an attorney that specializes in workers' compensation. It is not a good idea to try and take on the insurance company and their lawyers by yourself. If I can help in any way, please do not hesitate to call. All the best.
Gary Martin Hays
Check with the Georgia Trial Lawyers Asso. to find a local lawyer who will meet with you and has an experienced staff. You can go to any doctor on the panel of physicians posted by your employer and can change to another doctor on the panel one time. You may have used your change of physician. Now that your employer is on notice and your claim has apparently been accepted by the carrier, be sure to keep up you doctor visits so that your condition can be monitored.
The main question for any injured worker is will you be able to return to the work you used to do and be able to do the work to keep your job. WC provides medical care for your injuries and disability payments if you cannot work. The key to returning to work is to identify the nature of your injuries and have appropriate care. I suggest you go to our web site: hilleylaw.com which has a lot of information for specific questions.
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