WTVM Legal Break – Workers’ Comp
Injury & Accident Attorney Serving Nearby Areas of Columbus & Fort Benning, Georgia and Phenix City, Alabama
Gary Bruce discusses work-related injuries and how to should proceed if you are injured on the job. Injuries that occur at work may be similar in nature to other injuries, but the coverage works differently. Your employer should have a list of doctors and treatment facilities available to you in the event you are injured at work and should work to get you care immediately upon notice of an injury. Make certain to let someone know as soon as an injury occurs or symptoms start to arise.
Unlike other cases, fault is not an issue in worker’s compensation cases – it does not matter whose fault the injury was. The primary concern is getting the injured person healthy and back to work. Gary Bruce advises that if your employer is paying your medical bills, paying for your time off of work, etc. there may not be a need for a lawyer in the process. Sometimes things start off well, but issues later arise. For that reason, there are times a lawyer can help you through the process of recovering for a work-related injury – even if you do not need a lawyer at the time you call.
If you have been hurt on the job and have questions on what you should be doing now, in the long term, or just about getting your medical bills or PTO paid, we are happy to help with a no obligation consultation to discuss your options. Please contact the Law Offices of Gary Bruce if you have questions about how workers’ comp cases are handled in our legal system, or check out our Frequently asked workers’ comp questions.
Maureen: Hello there and welcome to Legal Break, I’m Maureen Akers, and with me today our guest, Gary Bruce, of the law offices of the Gary Bruce, right here in Columbus. Thank you so much for joining us.
Gary: Good to be here again.
Maureen: Yes, every Wednesday. And today we’re answering a viewer question, so real quick we’ll tell our viewers too, if you’d like to submit a question, it’s real easy to do. You can just type in the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get your questions. So, this one concerns workers comp, or workman’s comp. If you’re injured and receive treatment by a doctor, can that doctor or that provider terminate your treatment?
Gary: First I want to say this, if you have a question sometimes we don’t use them on the air but we do try to answer them, so right feel free to send the questions in. As for workers comp, yes the doctor can quit seeing you, you know. And a lot of times they do, but the issue is, is that your last resort? And in workers comp, you’re entitled to a second opinion. So, if you don’t agree with what’s happening medically, if you need- or if you feel like you need to have somebody else check you out, then you’re entitled to have that done.
So, you have to petition for that sometimes and you can always ask. And they’re supposed to do it, they don’t necessarily tell you, the adjusters won’t necessarily tell you, but you’re entitled to that. If they refuse, or they delay it, or they won’t get things set up for you, then sometimes that’s when people come to a lawyer. They say, “look I’ve got to have some help on this.” So, sometimes they do- people do get cut off, and they don’t think- and that nobody offering to do anything else, and a lot of times that is when we get involved.
Workers comp is not like a lawsuit case, it’s an administrative proceeding in Georgia anyway. And we petition to resolve issues. So, you don’t have a jury trial, you don’t have pain and suffering, you don’t have those things. But if your medical care is cut off, if you’re not receiving the time off from work benefits that you should have, then a lot of times we are able to petition to court. That’s what we do, and ask the court for relief. And then things move along from there.
Maureen: And you can go from there. But you do have that right if you’ve been cut off from treatment and you’re not quite sure that that’s what you thought should have happened and you can petition fpr that?
Gary: Yeah, generally if you’re hurt on the job, what the statutes allow for is that your medical is going to get taken care, if you’re going to be paid for your lost earnings to a certain degree, and then hopefully you get back to work quickly. If some part of that falls apart, that’s when people call lawyers. And we don’t like to get involved if we don’t need to be, but sometimes, obviously, it’s necessary.
Maureen: Sometimes you do, Yeah. So, if you still need to use a brace, or some other medical items to perform your duties on your job, what do you do then?
Gary: Well generally if you have some limitation on your ability, your doctor will note that, and then your employer has an obligation to accommodate that. Those are some of the issues that come up, and we’re happy to answer questions about it if you have some.
Maureen: Very good, well thank you so much, so very much for joining us today, and I look forward to seeing you on the very next Legal Break.