The formula used to determine who qualifies for workers’ compensation in Georgia is simple. Companies in Georgia with three or more full-time, part-time, or seasonal employees are required to provide their workers with workers’ compensation. If any such worker sustains an injury, the victim is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
What You Should Know About Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a type of no-fault accident insurance that is provided by employers to its employees. It typically provides coverage for various medical costs and income losses that arise because of work-related accidents or injuries.
The main objectives of these benefits are to cover workers’ medical expenses and provide them with income while they are unable to work. This can help them recover so that they can get back to work as quickly as possible.
Workers’ compensation begins as soon as you join a company. The law requires companies that meet the minimum employment threshold to provide it, and you can check the status of your coverage with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SWBC).
If You Think You Partially Caused Your Injuries
Fault is not relevant to workers’ compensation cases. So, if you were hit by a work vehicle while on the job site while you were not paying attention to your surroundings, you could still collect benefits. Do not let your doubt keep you from filing a claim.
Reporting and Managing Accidents
You should report an on-the-job accident and injury immediately to your employer. At a minimum, you should do so within 30 days of sustaining or identifying an injury. Delays of more than 30 days may result in the forfeiture of your benefits.
Employers enrolled in a workers’ compensation program must provide employees with information on approved health centers or medical care providers from whom employees can seek treatment in the event of a workplace injury.
Authorized medical treatments for qualifying injuries or illnesses will be covered by your employer’s policy. This includes coverage for treatment, therapy, prescription drugs, and certain travel expenses. You may also be able to receive vocational rehabilitation. The rules and regulations of your employer’s policy will clearly outline coverage limits, the types of proof needed to submit a claim, and the kinds of accidents or injuries that are covered.
Receiving Weekly Benefits
If you qualify for workers’ compensation in Georgia and cannot work for more than one week, you are eligible for weekly income benefits. If you are approved for benefits, you should be sent a check within three weeks of the first day you missed work due to your work-related injury or illness.
Weekly benefits vary, but in most cases, you are entitled to two-thirds of your weekly wage up to a maximum of $675 per week. This can last for up to 400 weeks, or just under eight years.
If Your Injuries Affect Your Ability to do Your Job
If you can work but are unable to perform your regular duties or earn the wages you received before because of your injury, you can still qualify for weekly benefits at a reduced rate. These reduced benefits run for a maximum of 350 weeks from when the injury occurred. If you sustained catastrophic or life-altering injuries, you might be eligible for lifetime benefits.
Benefits for long-term injuries such as loss of limb, blindness, or facial injuries will vary based on the state’s rating guidelines. An authorized doctor will use a fixed rating guideline to determine the extent of permanent or catastrophic injuries.
For wrongful death or accidental fatalities that result from work-related injuries, qualifying dependents are entitled to compensation in the same amounts outlined above – two-thirds of the deceased’s weekly wage up to a maximum of $675 per week.
Qualifying dependents are usually a surviving spouse, children, or any dependent stepchildren. A widowed spouse who has no children can receive benefits up to a maximum of $270,000 unless he or she changes his or her marital status or living situation.
Workers’ Compensation Facts
Workers’ compensation is a very important safety net for workers because of the high incidence rate of work-related injuries. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were almost nine million work-related injuries in the United States in 2017.
Most of these injuries were caused by slips and falls, vehicle accidents, or being struck by an object. Work-related injuries include everything from broken bones and internal organ damage to carpal tunnel syndrome and nerve, muscle, or bone injuries.
Receiving benefits is contingent on meeting strict filing deadlines and proving that your accident or injuries resulted from work-related activities. In some cases, the company may dispute or outright deny your claim for damages or compensation.
Some employers may not have workers’ compensation coverage at all, even though they are required to carry it. In these situations, you may want to seek help from a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Retaining a Lawyer Can Reduce Your Stress and Allow You to Focus on Healing
Hiring legal representation can benefit your situation. This is because lawyers have knowledge, resources, and contacts you might not have. You could be confused about how to file for (or appeal a denial of) your claim for benefits. Your team can walk you through this process and offer direct support.
This can look like:
- Speaking with your medical team to gain an understanding of your injuries and recovery expectations
- Gathering information that supports your claim
- Investigating how you were hurt
- Researching your employer’s coverage
- Recommending your next moves
- Protecting your legal rights
- Standing with you in court, if necessary
The state Workers’ Compensation Board might have wrongfully denied or undervalued your claim. Let a lawyer take on the responsibility of securing fair benefits for you.
Call Bader Scott Injury Lawyers to Learn About Your Options
For assistance with a workers’ compensation claim, such as determining if you qualify for workers’ compensation in Georgia, please contact the Bader Scott Injury Lawyers team at (404) 888-8888.