Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) allows workers to receive benefits for injuries and illnesses that occur as a result of work-related tasks. This means that if you become injured while performing your job, your employer’s workers’ compensation policy may cover your medical expenses and some lost wages.
Based on this definition, the types of injuries covered in a Georgia workers’ compensation policy can include everything from head, brain, neck, and back injuries to carpal tunnel syndrome, pinched nerves, broken bones, and long-term chronic illnesses. Workplaces can be dangerous, and any injury you suffer that meets the criteria outlined above will likely be compensable under your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were almost nine million work-related injuries reported in the United States in 2017. About 25% of these injuries were caused by slips, trips, and falls. In terms of fatalities, 25% of work-related deaths occurred due to motor vehicle accidents.
Many other types of injuries can occur in the workplace as well that fall under workers’ compensation. These injuries include:
- Burns, toxic chemical exposure, and respiratory illnesses.
- Eye, dental, and facial injuries.
- Cuts, lacerations, and disfigurement.
- Long-term poisoning, such as asbestos exposure or exposure to carcinogens.
- Amputations, paralysis, and death.
As long as you do not suffer these injuries during non-working hours or while you were performing unassigned duties, you can seek compensation for them. Furthermore, injuries or damages you sustain during your regular commute to or from work usually do not fall under workers’ compensation coverage.
As long as there is a causal relationship between your work and a disease or illness you developed, you can likely file a compensation claim for it. Normal illnesses not developed or acquired because of the kind of work you do are not covered.
There are limits on the benefits you can request when it comes to preexisting conditions. If you aggravate a preexisting condition and the aggravation prevents you from working, it may also meet the criteria for compensation. Once the aggravation subsides or you return to your original level of health, then your benefits will stop.
The SBWC classifies the loss of a limb, severe burns, blindness, and similar injuries that prevent you from being able to work as catastrophic injuries. Employers enrolled in workers’ compensation programs must appoint medical professionals with expertise in catastrophic cases. These professionals can help you manage and recover from your catastrophic injury and hopefully get back to work, if possible.
You can file for temporary total disability benefits if you are unable to return to work. Once you return to work, these benefits will cease. If you cannot hold the same job you had before your catastrophic injury, you may be able to file for permanent partial disability benefits. The amount of benefits you qualify for will depend on the disability rating you receive from the panel doctor.
Heart Attacks and Strokes
Heart attacks and strokes are usually not classified as work injuries and are, therefore, not covered by workers’ compensation. However, if you can provide credible evidence such as the testimony of a medical expert that your heart attack or stroke was directly connected to the work you performed as part of your job duties, then you may be able to file a claim.
For a free legal consultation, call (404) 888-8888
Your employer’s insurer will determine your workers’ compensation benefits based on the extent of your injuries and the evidence you have in support of your claim. A formula-based rating scale is used to calculate your benefits.
The salary or wages you earned before your injury, the nature of your injuries, and how long your injuries are expected to affect your life or your ability to work will come into consideration. However, the SBWC caps benefits at $675 per week.
File a Claim Today
To learn more about the types of injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation in Georgia, contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers today. We can offer help with collecting evidence to support your claim and fighting for the benefits you need.
The Bader Scott Injury Lawyers team handles personal injury cases and workers’ compensation cases starting with a free consultation. Get in touch now at (678) 562-5595.