Injured workers in Georgia can file a workers’ compensation claim and be covered, first of all, for all medical expenses. This includes the cost of treatments, prescriptions, devices like wheelchairs and crutches and even traveling to and from the hospital. Next, victims may receive payment for disability leave. This could be either temporary or permanent disability leave, and the latter is further divided into total and partial disability leave.
A percentage of lost wages can be covered as well in a workers’ comp claim. This is assuming that the insurance company accepts the claim. Victims, then, have three choices: They can accept the payment plan offered by the insurer, opt for a lump-sum settlement or negotiate for a structured settlement. Settlements are usually ideal in cases involving serious injuries and the prospect of long-term medical care.
If employees go for a settlement, they will be engaged in negotiations with the insurance company. By this point, employees normally have hired a lawyer to represent them. The negotiations usually take into account things like the cost of long-term care, the likelihood of needing surgery, future lost wages and attorney fees.
If a reasonable settlement cannot be achieved, victims pursue a workers’ comp lawsuit. The danger is that the judge may wind up awarding less than what the negotiations would have ended in.
With so many options to consider, injured workers may want a workers’ comp attorney by their side from the very start. It may be, after all, that the employer will deny the claim by saying that victims were to blame for their accident or that their injuries are actually not work-related. With an attorney, victims may more easily navigate the filing process and mount an appeal when necessary. They may learn more about the settlement procedure, too.