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Must I Hire an Attorney to Settle a GA Workers Compensation Case?3 minute read

Many people have questions about workers compensation settlements.  The information that you receive about what a workers compensation settlement is and how it work can be confusing.

I have written several articles that talk about workers compensation settlements to try to help provide information.  In this article, am going to address a question that I have been asked by several people:

Insurance adjusterDo I have to have a workers compensation attorney to settle my Georgia workers compensation case?

The answer to that questions is “No”.  Georgia law does not require you to have an attorney to settle your case.  You can reach an agreement with the insurance company to settle your case without having an attorney represent you.

The insurance company will probably have attorneys that work for them.  If you agree on a settlement amount with the insurance company, the insurance company’s attorney will send you some settlement documents.

These documents will likely have you agreeing to give up your workers compensation case.  Often, these documents may require you to agree to give up other potential cases that you could have.

Does a Georgia workers compensation judge make sure that my settlement is fair?

All settlements in Georgia do have to be approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. That means that a judge must review and approve any workers compensation settlement that you sign before that settlement becomes final.

The workers compensation judge does not necessarily review your case to make sure the settlement is fair.  The judge reviews the settlement to make sure it complies with certain workers compensation rules.  This means you could agree to settle your case for less than you should and the judge would probably still approve it.

Making sure you get a fair settlement is very important.  Once a settlement is approved by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation, it is final.  Because of this, you may want to consider whether you should settle your case without hiring or at least talking to a workers compensation attorney.

Will having a workers compensation attorney on your side help you get a better settlement?

When you are negotiating with a workers compensation insurance company, the person that you are negotiating with is generally going to be an insurance adjuster who specializes in handling worker’ compensation claims. That person usually has a lot of experience and training in dealing with Georgia workers compensation.  They will understand the workers compensation rules.

Many adjusters also have lots of prior experience negotiating other settlements that makes them a good negotiator. They are going to know what they should be willing to offer to settle your case and some tricks to make sure that they come out best in their negotiation with you.

Because of this, it is usually best to at least talk to an attorney before you start negotiating your own settlement.  Talking with an attorney will provide you with an opportunity to get information and answers to your questions.

Now, that does not mean that you have to decide to hire a workers compensation attorney after speaking with them.  You can make that decision after you have a consultation with the attorney about your case.

Couple worried about finances after work injuryWhat if I see if I can reach the settlement I want on my case and then talk to an attorney if that settlement does not work out?

I have talked to people who have done this in the past.  Unfortunately, this strategy can often cause problems in reaching a fair settlement.

One of the reasons that it causes problems is that your prior negotiations with the insurance company often affect the ultimate settlement.  If you try to settle your case and then talk to an attorney when the insurance company does not offer what you want, often those prior negotiations will result in the insurance company offering less money.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families.

To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

Brittney-lee orourkeBrittney-lee orourke
05:23 18 Feb 22
Amazing! Jason and his team were very helpful and had the best communication by far. Walked me though every step with great detail and had answers for any question I had. They handled my case better then I could imagine, it was a weird case and they stayed on top of it and kept me updated every step of the way! Highly recommend this Team! Thanks so much to Jason and his Awesome team!-Brittney
China JonesChina Jones
18:58 08 Feb 22
I absolutely love this group of attorneys, when I was at my lowest they did everything they could to help me get justice for my injury. I believe if I were to have never picked my phone up and called the amazing group that helped me I definitely would not have received my idea of rights. If you have an issue and are just not sure please understand that they will help you, stay in contact, answer any question you have, and for sure get you the justice you deserve I thank them from the bottom of my heart and I will definitely refer them to anyone who has been hurt because they most definitely care about their work and clients.
Luv LocsLuv Locs
16:08 15 Jan 22
The entire law office was attentive and responsive to all of my concerns dealing with my workers compensation case.
moombimoombi
21:14 02 Jan 22
If you must get a lawyer involved, you’d do well to work with Jason Perkins and his team at Perkins Studdard Law.They were thorough in gathering information and in sharing all the steps in the workers comp process specific to my case. Jason and the team were responsive to my bevy of questions and concerns.I appreciated the informative videos and consultations provided by Jason over video meetings and multiple phone calls.I hope I’m never injured on the job again. However, if I am and if my employer responds as my previous employer did, I’ll contact Perkins Studdard Law immediately to handle the case.
Dana BessDana Bess
23:57 10 Dec 21
Everyone at Perkins Studdard was kind and professional. They were always extremely responsive and answered all questions that I had and followed up to make sure I had an understanding of what was going on along with emailing videos to explain every step of my case so I would know what to expect and be prepared. Jason is a very genuine person and I trusted him with my case. He answered so many questions for me even before I retained him as my WC lawyer. I highly recommend him and his associates at Perkins Studdard.
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