When you get hurt at work, you may be unaware of what to do or how to proceed. Most workers are protected under the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Employers with three or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees. If you get hurt on the job, you have some rights and responsibilities. Georgia law (O.C.G.A. 34-9-81.1) provides complete rules and regulations that govern workers’ compensation.
Georgia Employee Workers’ Compensation Rights
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights provides rights for employees. These include:
- Medical, rehabilitation and income benefits if injured on the job. Dependants may also be eligible for benefits.
- An employer must provide and post a panel of physicians that the employee may use for the treatment of workers’ compensation injuries.
- Employees are allowed to change doctors one time without permission.
- Doctor, hospital, rehabilitation, and prescription medication costs will be paid if the injury happened while at work.
- Workers are entitled to benefits if they are out of work for seven or more days due to an injury that happened at work.
- An on-the-job accident is classified as catastrophic or non-catastrophic. Employees receive ⅔ of their average weekly wages when they cannot work.
- Employees will receive benefits for up to 400 weeks in non-catastrophic cases.
- If an employee is unable to perform his original job due to the injury, he is entitled to benefits that provide the difference in pay.
- If the employee does not receive payment when it is due, the insurance company or employer must pay a penalty to the employee.
- If a worker dies due to an on-the-job injury, the beneficiaries will receive burial and funeral expenses and ⅔ of the worker’s pay.
Responsibilities of Workers Under Workers’ Comp
Employees must also abide by the responsibilities set forth by law.
- Employees must follow the safety rules and other policies and procedures of the company.
- Employees must report an accident immediately to the employer. The report must be within 30 days of the incident.
- Employees must accept treatment by the physician and follow the treatment guidelines that the doctor provides.
- Employees must work with the insurance provider to ensure that documents are up-to-date.
- Employees must seek approval by the physician for job reinstatement, even if the job has lower pay than the original position.
- Employees must file a claim within a year if they think the compensation they received is not fair.
- Employees must submit to drug testing after an accident. If they refuse the test, the employer’s insurance company may determine that the accident was caused by drug or alcohol use.
While laws are in place to protect employees, you must follow them precisely or you could jeopardize your benefits. It is helpful to seek assistance from a qualified Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney. We have years of experience helping our clients obtain the benefits they deserve for their work injuries. Contact the Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for a free case review.
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.