Dealing with Insurance Companies
Atlanta Attorney Skilled in Workers’ Compensation Claims
The unfortunate reality of workers’ compensation systems is that they often result in conflicts between insurance companies and injured employees. On the one hand, there is an individual who is trying to obtain compensation for time off work and reimbursement for medical bills. On the other, there is an insurance company that is in the business of handling these claims for employers and earns a profit by collecting more in premiums than it pays out in claims. These two interests are often in tension with each other. Without proper representation, the injured employee may have his or her claim unfairly denied. Workers’ compensation lawyer Julie A. Rice understands the difficulties that individuals in the Atlanta area may face when seeking the money that they need to recover. She is familiar with the strategies of insurance companies and can help you fight back against their unwarranted denials or intimidation tactics.
Protections in Georgia for Individuals Injured on the Job
The Georgia workers’ compensation law requires that any entity that employs three or more individuals must carry this type of no-fault insurance. The benefits awarded through this system are used to cover medical and lost wages claims in the event that an employee is injured or becomes ill while on the job. Although some states provide insurance coverage to employers, Georgia requires companies to obtain it on the private market, or to apply to be “self-insured.” Obtaining self-insured status happens only in rare instances. Most employees will find that if they file a workers’ compensation claim, it is handled by their employer’s insurance company and its legal representatives.
Interacting with Insurance Companies
Straightforward claims may be paid out to employees with relative ease, but more complicated claims can quickly become mired in dispute. While it may seem obvious that a person has been hurt at work and thus deserves benefits, this area of law has many nuances. For example, some injuries exacerbate a pre-existing condition that was unrelated to the individual’s job. Benefits still may be available, but only to compensate for the harm that did not arise directly from the pre-existing condition.
In other situations, there may be a dispute over the type of workers’ compensation that should be paid to an injured individual. These benefits may be permanent and total, temporary and total, or partial, depending on the extent of the harm. Permanent and total benefits, which may last indefinitely, are intended to compensate an injured employee who will not be able to hold a job again because of the work-related accident or illness. By contrast, temporary and total benefits may be paid for a limited time to someone who can return to normal work once he or she has recovered. Partial benefits are often appropriate when a person can continue working, but only in a reduced capacity or in a type of job where he or she will receive a lower salary.
When there is any uncertainty or complexity surrounding a claim, insurance companies may attempt to intimidate employees or dissuade them from pursuing workers’ compensation by sending complicated legal documents that request medical records and information, or by drawing out the process as long as possible. However, they understand the nature of Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws and often eventually back down in the face of a legitimate claim, brought with the assistance of a qualified attorney. With the help of a legal professional, you can compile the medical evidence, statements from doctors, and personal affidavits necessary to establish the validity of your claim, which can go a long way toward reducing the stress of a courtroom battle.
Discuss Your Work Injury with an Experienced Atlanta Lawyer
Dealing with a workers’ compensation insurance company does not always need to be difficult or stressful. While insurers may have standard procedures or routines for denying certain workers’ compensation claims, or attempting to dissuade Atlanta employees from seeking benefits, work injury attorney Julie A. Rice understands these approaches and can explore ways to pursue a resolution that protects your rights. We represent employees at hurt at work in Marietta, Decatur, and Lawrenceville, among other communities in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett Counties. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, or online.