Frequently Asked Questions

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is a “Free consultation”?
It is a potential client’s opportunity to speak with an attorney about their legal situation so that they can ask questions and determine 1) if they need an attorney and 2) if the attorney they’re speaking with is the right attorney or right fit for them. The Free consultation should be used as an opportunity to attempt to learn more about your legal situation through that attorney and to inquire to that attorney how they will handle the claim moving forward if you select them to be your attorney. I would also ask do I need an attorney right now where my claim is, and if the answer is no can you tell me a time when I might need an attorney.

If I call, with whom will I speak?
You will speak with someone from our office and they will likely set up a phone conference or consultation with you to speak with the attorney right away. The reason for scheduling the conference call is to set dedicated time aside so that the attorney can give you the personal attention that your questions need to be answered. There will be no interruptions during that phone consultation.

If I send an e-mail, who will read it and who will respond?
If you send an e-mail to the attorney’s e-mail address the attorney will read the e-mail and if additional tasks need to be done or information needs to be gathered there is a possibility that the attorney will forward the e-mail to his legal assistant in order to get the information answered or returned back to the client. If the e-mail has sensitive information, the attorney will type and create a completely new e-mail without the sensitive information and request that the legal assistant help provide the answer or get the information. Please note attorney-client privilege is with both the attorney and the legal assistant who are handling your claim.

How long will it take to hear back?
If you contact our office in the morning or at the beginning of the day you will hear back – first of all you will likely have a consultation if you are a new caller scheduled on that telephone call. If, however you are following up with our office we have multiple ways of communication which include e-mail, text message, and phone call. We pride ourselves in getting back to you the same day. If we are unable to get back to your telephone call on the same day, we will reach out to you potentially via text message.

Is the initial consultation confidential?
Yes.

What information will be requested of me during the initial conversation?
Knowledge about your claim and the ability to answer questions specific to what you have experienced up to the point of speaking with the attorney. If you have any paperwork that is always helpful as it can help the attorney determine several facts and could reduce the amount of questions you have to answer.

What happens after the initial consultation?
After the initial consultation, both parties will decide 1) if there is a need for counsel and if there is a need for counsel if the potential client is ready and wants the attorney to represent them and if the attorney believes that they can help the potential client and want to represent them then a fee agreement must be signed. The fee agreement will be gone over prior to signature with details and facts depending upon the legal situation.
Due to the current state of the nation do you offer videoconferencing?
Yes, we offer both Zoom and Face Time videoconferencing for those who would like to see the attorney as he is speaking. We also offer phone consultations depending upon what the potential client’s needs.

I’ve seen a lot of websites that seem like they might be able to handle my case. What’s the difference about Ty Wilson Law?
We have made workers’ compensation claims the focus of our practice. We have podcasts, we have written special reports, and we have hundreds of videos on the web all in order to help provide helpful free information. At the end of the day, we believe you should speak with at least three attorneys. We are confident after you speak with us as one of those three attorneys, you will see the effort and the attention we provide and that will demonstrate how much we care and want to represent the clients who are the right fit for us.

Worker’s Compensation Questions 

  1. What is workers’ compensation, and am I entitled to it as an employee?

Workers’ compensation is an administrative-based program available to certain employees.  If your employer has three or more full-time employees, they are required under Georgia law to maintain workers’ compensation insurance coverage.  As an employee, if you are hurt on the job and NOT under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or horseplaying, you are entitled to workers’ compensation coverage.  Please note this does not apply to independent contractors.

  1. How do I report a work-related injury to my employer?

You provide notice to your boss or supervisor as quickly as possible.  It is recommended you advise your boss/supervisor that you were hurt on the job AND that you need medical treatment for your injuries.  Please note there are notice deadlines that are currently as short as 30 days to report your injury and need for medical care. 

  1. What should I do immediately after a workplace accident?

Immediately notify your supervisor/boss and seek medical attention.  Please note if it is an emergency you should go to the hospital, if it is not an emergency you should find out if your employer has a posted panel of physicians also known as a list of medical providers you can see if you hurt on the job.

  1. Can I choose my own doctor for treatment, or do I have to use the one my employer suggests?

This depends upon if your employer has a legally valid posted panel of physicians.  You should get a copy of the panel and contact a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.  Our office offers a free panel review.  We will take a look at the panel and let you know our opinion on if the panel is valid or not.  If not you can choose who you wish to treat with as long as they accept workers’ compensation and are relatively close by.  There are always exceptions so speak with a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.   

  1. Will workers’ compensation cover all my medical expenses related to the injury or illness?

Workers’ compensation will cover work injuries as a result of your injury.  They will also cover prescriptions and medical equipment needed for your care.  They will also cover aggravations of pre-existing conditions.  These are a bit trickier so reach out to a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney for help.

  1. Do I need to inform my employer before seeking medical treatment?

It is recommended you inform your employer first, however, emergencies could make that difficult.  If you do not notify your employer, they may deny any medical care you obtain as not authorized.

  1. How long do I have to file a workers’ compensation claim after the injury occurs?

You have as short as 30 days to provide the employer notice of the injury and that you need medical care.  The formal statute of limitations is a bit trickier.  It is typically one year after the last authorized treatment or two years after last TTD benefit check, however, these deadlines could change rapidly, please contact and confirm with a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.

  1. What if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?

If your claim is denied you have to decide if you still want to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.  You should immediately speak with a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney and discuss what options you may have moving forward.

  1. Can I receive wage replacement benefits while I am unable to work due to the injury?

Yes, in Georgia they are called either TTD -temporary total disability for when you are out of work completely by an authorized treating physician and TPD – temporary partial disability for when you are on light/limited/modified/sedentary duty and your employer cannot accommodate your light/limited/modified/sedentary duty restrictions.

  1. How is the amount of wage replacement benefits calculated?

The preferred way to calculate it is to take 13 weeks prior to your work injury to average the gross amount of income and that is your average weekly wage, then you take 2/3rds of that or 67% of that number and that is your “comp rate”.  Please keep in mind if you were injured after July 1, 2023, the rate is as high as $800 per week.  Your maximum comp rate will depend upon your injury date.

  1. Will I be compensated for permanent or partial disability resulting from the injury?

If the doctor determines you have a permanent impairment they will review the AMA guidelines for permanent impairment and provide you a disability rating.  For more specifics, it is recommended you look on the back of a form WC-2 for a more full and complete explanation.

  1. Can I sue my employer for the injury in addition to receiving workers’ compensation benefits?

No, in Georgia we have the “exclusive remedy rule”, which means you must go through workers’ compensation and cannot file a personal injury action against your employer.

  1. Can my employer retaliate against me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

In reality that is a possibility.  However, if you are seriously injured you may not have a choice.  In order to have your expensive medical bills paid you likely will have to file a workers’ compensation claim.  That said you should look at other people who were hurt at your company, that could provide you evidence of how they may handle you based upon your work injury.

  1. Is there a time limit for receiving workers’ compensation benefits?

Georgia provides for 400 weeks of medical benefits for a non-catastrophic claim(most claims).  If your claim is not catastrophic, then at the end of 400 weeks your benefits will stop.  You should reach out to a Georgia work injury lawyer quickly if this is the case to see what can be done.

  1. Can I return to work before I am fully recovered, and will my benefits continue?

If you return to work your income benefits will likely stop.  You still have medical benefits until your 400 weeks runs out (for non-catastrophic claims)or you settle your claim.

 

How long do I have to work at my job in order to be covered by Georgia workers’ compensation?
We have represented people who were injured on their first day of work. So, there is no time deadline so long as you are an employee and not an independent contractor.

How much work must I miss in order to receive workers’ compensation checks?

You must be taken out of work completely for more than seven days or placed on light/limited/modified/restricted duty and the employer cannot accommodate your light/limited/modified/restricted duties.

How long can I get weekly benefits?
If your claim is a what is called a non-catastrophic claim, you can receive income benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks. If your claim is a catastrophic claim, then you can receive income benefits for life. A catastrophic claim is a very serious injury and Georgia law has deemed that there are certain injuries which automatically make your claim catastrophic and then there is a what we call a catch-all provision in which you could possibly prove another injury that was initially catastrophic by proving it to an administrative law judge. For more information on catastrophic versus non-catastrophic claims please contact a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.

Is there a maximum weekly benefit?
Yes, currently $800 per week is the maximum weekly benefit. Please keep in mind that this amount is subject to change. For more details on how this is calculated for your specific injury, contact us below. 

Is there a minimum?
The minimum is $50.00 per week. However, with a lot of things in law there is an exception if someone’s average weekly wage is below $50.00 per week, so you should always speak with a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney if your wages average below $50.00.

How are benefits calculated?
Benefits are calculated by taking 13 weeks of wages prior to your work injury. When you average out the 13 weeks you come up with what is called your average weekly wage. This is the gross amount of your pay before anything is taken out. Then, in order to determine your workers’ compensation rate you do a calculation of taking two-thirds of your average weekly wage and that is what is known as your comp rate. Currently the comp rate is capped at $675.00 meaning if your average weekly wage and the subsequent two-thirds or 67% calculation for your comp rate is above $675.00, then you will only be paid $675.00 per week.

What is the difference between total disability and partial disability?
Temporary total disability means that you are totally disabled and unable to work per your authorized treating physician/doctor. Whereas temporary partial disability means that your authorized treating physician/doctor has released you to light, limited, modified or restricted duty for work. In a temporary partial setting if your employer can accommodate your light duty work restrictions there is a possibility that you will be working and possibly receiving both income from the employer and income from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

Are workers’ compensation benefits taxable?
No.

Can my children obtain payments while I am disabled?
If you are only disabled your children cannot obtain payments. If your injury results in the death of an injured worker there is a possibility that your dependent children could receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are multiple factors to consider such as they age of your children and the dependency of your children. If you have any specific questions about a workers’ compensation death it is very important that you speak with a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney.

Is there a deductible for medical payments?
No.

Can I choose my own doctor?

If the employer has a legally valid posted panel of physicians, you must choose from their list.

If there is no panel or an invalid panel, you may be able to select a physician of your choosing as long as they accept workers’ compensation. Medical care is one of the most important factors in a workers’ compensation claim, therefore you should speak with a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney about what options you have if there is no panel, or an invalid panel.

 

 

 

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