Any on the job injury, no matter how badly the employee is hurt, is a serious matter. An injured employee and his or her family may suddenly face lack of income, uncertainty about the nature of the injury, pain, frustration with available medical treatment, and confusion about the future. Immediate answers can be difficult to come by due to the competing interests of the injured employee and his or her employer. At The ORLANDO Firm, P.C., we represent injured workers only, never employers.
Commitment to Our Clients
The ORLANOD Firm, P.C. is committed to ensuring our clients are justly compensated for their on the job injuries and has a full division of attorneys and staff who dedicate their entire practice to representing injured workers.
Our workers’ compensation team:
- Emphasizes prompt help to understand your rights
- Takes immediate action to get appropriate medical treatment and commencement of benefits to which the injured worker may be entitled
- Works closely with the firm’s personal injury division to ensure that all aspects of an injured worker’s case are properly investigated and litigated
Don’t Be Fooled Into Thinking You have no Choice of Physicians
We are often told by our clients that their employers insisted the employee see a particular doctor. While injured workers are required, under the appropriate circumstances, to seek treatment from one of several physicians listed by the employer, this is not always the case. Further, some employees are told they must continue to work, despite their injuries. This also may be true in some instances, but often it is not. Any injured worker would be well served to consult with an attorney who has a demonstrated record of success in the field of workers’ compensation.
You Are Entitled to Representation
We hear that many employers tell injured workers that they do not need an attorney to assist them with their workers’ compensation case. Some employees tell us they are afraid to make waves. They express a concern that if they file a workers’ compensation claim, their employer may take action against them, including termination.
It is inappropriate for an employer to terminate an employee simply because the worker sustained an on-the-job injury. In our experience, an injured worker who is under the “protective umbrella” of The ORLANDO Firm, P.C. is less likely to be a victim of retaliatory action by an employer seeking to discourage an injured employee from maximizing benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation Act. Our lawyers are sensitive to the issues, concerns, and fears facing injured workers and will take appropriate steps to ensure that our clients and their families are not only well represented, but also well protected.
Know Your Rights and Benefits
With very few exceptions, if you have been injured on the job, you may be entitled to benefits provided by the Workers’ Compensation Act. The basic types of benefits fall into three categories:
- Provision of necessary medical treatment
- Weekly income benefits, which are a partial compensation for lost wages
- Weekly benefits for permanent partial disability
In order to receive any of these benefits, you must first report your injury to your supervisor or employer within thirty (30) days from the date of your injury. Normally, you must also file a claim for benefits with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Atlanta within one year of your injury. Otherwise, part or all of your claim may be barred, although there are exceptions.
Your attorney can help ensure that your legal rights are not forfeited. In some situations, our attorneys can help you negotiate a lump sum settlement of your case. Where necessary, we will ensure that appropriate ongoing medical treatment is part of your settlement.
Is Your Injury “Catastrophic”?
Other benefits, not addressed above, are for catastrophic injuries and death arising from employment-related accidents. A catastrophic claim only arises from an extremely severe injury. The guidelines for determining the catastrophic nature of an injury are relatively complicated, and are beyond the scope of this discussion; however, our attorneys have significant experience in handling catastrophic injury cases and can answer any questions you may have if you or a loved one has had the misfortune of suffering such an injury.
History of Workers’ Compensation Law
Workers’ compensation falls into the category of administrative law, and is governed by statutes enacted by the state legislature. While many think of workers’ compensation cases as “personal injury cases” — and they certainly do involve injuries — there are significant differences between third-party liability claims, such as car collisions, and on-the-job injuries. Of course, some cases involve both third-party liability claims and workers’ compensation claims. This scenario arises when a worker, acting within the course and scope of employment, is injured as a result of the negligence of someone who is not a co-worker or through the use of a defective product in connection with the worker’s employment.
Unlike third-party liability personal injury claims, workers’ compensation does not provide for payment of pain and suffering or punitive damages. Also, there are significant limitations on the amount of income benefits an employer might be obligated to pay. While this often creates a financial hardship for an injured worker, there are benefits to the Workers’ Compensation Act as well. First, an injured worker who qualifies for coverage under the Workers’ Compensation Act does not need to prove that his or her injuries were caused by the negligence or carelessness of someone else. This is very important, because even an employee’s own carelessness will not preclude recovery of workers’ compensation benefits. In other words, an injury does not need to be someone else’s fault in order for an injured worker to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Make Sure You Are Protected
This is an ever-changing and complex area of the law. We suggest that you not attempt to handle your own workers’ compensation claim without the assistance of an attorney who has a thorough understanding of workers’ compensation law.1
If you or a loved one has been injured in the course and scope of employment, we sincerely hope that you will allow us to put our expertise and experience to work for you. At The ORLANDO Firm, P.C., we will investigate all possible avenues of recovery for you. Our team can successfully guide you through this technical area of the law.
We invite you to call us for a free consultation at 404-373-1800 or toll free at 1-866-373-1800. Our early legal experience defending big insurance companies and self-insured businesses has equipped us now to represent you. We know how the other side thinks and promise to provide you with legal representation aimed at helping your through a difficult and painful time in your life. While we cannot guarantee the outcome of your case, we will do our best to make sure that you make the recovery to which you are entitled. There may be time limits on filing your claim, so it is important to seek legal counsel as quickly as you are able. Always remember, if we don’t win your case, you pay us nothing.
NOTE: You are not a client of The ORLANDO Firm, P.C. until you have executed an attorney-client contract for employment of the firm, and the contract has been signed by a member of the firm.
1The vast majority of workers’ compensation cases in which our firm provides representation stem from injuries occurring within the State of Georgia, or injuries to persons working for corporations based in Georgia. Thus, the provisions of law discussed in this section pertain to Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act.