When you go to work you should feel as though you are protected against any possible harm that could happen while on the job. In Georgia, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance when they have three or more employees. There are few exceptions to this rule. What happens if you get hurt at work and then find out that your employer does not carry the insurance required by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation? This is a circumstance that may require legal assistance from an experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney.
File a Georgia Workers Compensation Report
It may come as a surprise to you that your employer doesn’t have the required insurance. Nonetheless, you will need to seek medical treatment. While workers’ compensation insurance would typically cover these costs, you will need to visit the doctor using your own medical insurance or pay out of pocket. It is important to file a report with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation enforcement division. They will investigate the report and the company could face possible penalties for its failure to offer workers’ compensation. If the company knowingly disregarded the requirements for insurance, it could face misdemeanor criminal charges.
Request Compensation from Your Employer
Contact an attorney to assist you with the process. Your employer is generally responsible for medical payments, disability payments, and partial payment of your wages during recovery. Many times an employer is willing to pay for your medical expenses when they realize that they are responsible to do so. Your attorney will work with your employer to resolve the situation and help get you the money you are owed. In some cases, the employer is not willing to pay the employee for their injury.
Can I File a Lawsuit Against My Employer?
Typically, if you are covered by workers’ compensation insurance you are not allowed to file a lawsuit against your employer. However, when the employer doesn’t have insurance, it is a different story. An injured employee has the right to file a lawsuit but must meet the standards for a personal injury claim. Therefore, you must prove that the injury occurred at work and that the employer was negligent. In a lawsuit claim, you might be entitled to medical expenses, physical therapy expenses, travel costs, lost wages, money for pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Some employees are reluctant to file a lawsuit against their employer if they are still employed at the company; it can create a difficult situation at work. Also, lawsuits can take some time to resolve and may not be worth the expense.
The best thing to do is to discuss the situation with a skilled Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney. Your lawyer will review all of the issues and provide you with some alternatives. In many instances your attorney will be able to resolve the case quickly and effectively without having to go to court. Contact our Atlanta legal team at The Bader Law Firm for a free initial case review to talk about your work injury.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.