Getting hurt in a workplace accident can harm many aspects of your life.
You might have expensive medical bills and be out of work during this difficult time.
According to data collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
- In 2017, there were 78,200 work-related claims filed by Georgia employees;
- Of these cases, 74,700 were for injuries and 3,500 involved illnesses from workplace conditions; and,
- In more than 40,700 cases, the employee suffered severe injuries, leading to days away from work, a job transfer, or a job restriction.
Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws protect injured employees. Whether you were hurt in a work-related incident or were denied benefits, you need legal counsel to help you.
For more information on your rights, contact Wade Injury Law.
Overview of Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws
Georgia’s workers’ compensation system says employees shouldn’t have to pay for losses from an on-the-job injury. Employers with three or more workers must have insurance to cover medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. If you’re hurt in a workplace accident or have a work-related illness, file a claim with your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company.
You don’t have to prove that your employer was negligent or at fault in causing your injuries. The SBWC has strict rules for the claims process, and you must follow them to get benefits. Please note that:
- You must report an injury-causing workplace accident within 30 days after the incident.
- When seeking treatment, you must choose from one of the doctors listed by your employer. If you visit a doctor that’s not approved, you must get an evaluation from a physician approved by your employer.
- You can file a claim for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits while getting workers’ comp payments. However, you cannot “double dip” to collect amounts under both programs.
- In most cases, workers’ compensation is the only solution by law. You cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer unless your situation falls under an exception described below.
- Workers’ comp benefits don’t cover amounts for pain, suffering, and other non-economic losses.
There are many other SBWC rules that may apply to your situation. Contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney to help you with the claims process.
Benefits for Injured Workers in Georgia
You must meet the eligibility requirements of Georgia’s workers’ comp laws and file a claim with your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. If you do, you’re can get a wide range of benefits until you can return to your job. Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to recover:
- All costs of medical treatment related to your workplace injuries. This includes illness, surgery, emergency care, physical therapy, and related expenses;
- Cash benefits for income you lose while out of work;
- Benefits for a temporary or permanent partial disability; and,
- Benefits for a temporary or permanent total disability.
Family members may be able to get death benefits for an employee who died or suffered fatal injuries in a workplace accident.
Why Hire a Georgia Workers’ Comp Lawyer When Filing a Claim
You are not required to have legal counsel to pursue a workers’ comp claim. However, there are many advantages to working with an experienced attorney. Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers can help with the claims process.
These companies are businesses, so they’re motivated by profits. They don’t have your best interests in mind. They may deny benefits for improper reasons, such as:
- Claiming that you weren’t hurt at work;
- Arguing the nature or severity of your injuries;
- Saying that you suffer from a pre-existing condition; or,
- Blaming you for the accident that caused your injuries.
If your employer’s insurance company denies your claim, take it to the next level. A Georgia workers’ comp lawyer can help you ensure you receive the benefits you deserve.
Exceptions to Georgia’s Workers’ Comp Laws
Filing a workers’ compensation claim is your only option in most cases. You may only file a lawsuit in court if:
- Your employer breaks the law by not having workers’ comp insurance to cover three or more employees;
- Your injuries weren’t caused by an accident, but on purpose; or,
- You suffered work-related injuries due to the negligence of a third party (vendor, business partner, contractor, etc.).
If any of these exceptions apply to your situation, you have the right to sue in civil court. You can get all monetary damages in a personal injury lawsuit, including pain and suffering.
Contact Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Today
This overview of Georgia’s workers’ comp system does not compare to the experience that a legal professional has. You put your rights at risk by trying to do it alone, so trust our team at Wade Injury Law to help with your claim.
Contact our office today to set up a free consultation with one of our workers’ comp attorneys in Atlanta.
We will explain how these claims work and help with the process after reviewing your case.