If you have been injured while working in Georgia, workers’ compensation benefits can help cover costs such as medical expenses and lost wages while you recover from your injuries. Workers’ compensation may also compensate you for any permanent and temporary disabilities you may have suffered.
Just like any other government program or an insurance policy, some rules and procedures must be followed that may have an impact on your claim and the amount of monetary compensation you may receive.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance for you and other workers who may be injured while on the job. In Georgia, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation administers the program, and it can provide medical rehabilitation and income benefits while you are recovering.
In Georgia, to receive any workers’ compensation benefits, you must report your injury to your supervisor immediately and seek out medical attention as soon as possible after the injury occurred. You must also follow all of the treatment plans, and other instructions were given to you by your medical professional.
Seven Facts About Georgia Workers’ Compensation
Below are seven facts you should be aware of as they pertain to Georgia’s workers’ compensation law. They include:
- If you are responsible for your accident and injury, you can still receive workers’ compensation benefits. However, if your injury occurred due to misconduct such as fighting, using drugs and alcohol, roughhousing, etc. while on the job, you will not be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.
- If your employer fires you, are you still eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia? The state of Georgia is an at-will employment state. This means that your employer has the right to fire you for any reason or no reason at all. However, if you are fired after your injury, you usually can receive any workers’ compensation benefits you may be owed.
- Do Workers’ Compensation benefits cover pain and suffering? As a rule, Georgia’s workers’ compensation law does not allow you to receive benefits for pain and suffering. However, you may be able to collect monetary compensation for pain and suffering by filing a personal injury claim. The Atlanta law firm of Seth Bader can advise you of your rights regarding pain and suffering and help you file a claim.
- Can you see your doctor about your workers’ compensation appointment? In the event you are injured on the job, your employer is required to provide you with a list of medical professionals that can treat you for your injuries. This list must include a panel comprised of at least six doctors or a Managed Care Organization, (MCO) that gives you more options. You may choose your medical treatment provider from that list, but you cannot see a doctor outside of the list unless, for some reason, the panel is invalid.
- Workers’ Compensation and Lump Sum Payments: There isn’t a way in the state of Georgia for you to go to court and seek a lump sum payment because settlement in Georgia’s workers’ compensation is voluntary. That being said, each party involved can agree to lump sum payment settlement, which would then require you to give up any rights to future benefits for that injury.
- Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia if Your Go Back to Work: There are specific situations where you may be able to return to work and still receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia. They include: If you have suffered a permanent partial disability or if you are back to work but making less money than your pre-injury weekly wage.
- Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Your Employer for Your Injuries: Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws, you may be able to file a lawsuit against any third parties whom you believe are responsible for your injuries. However, you cannot directly file a lawsuit against your employer because workers’ compensation is your only recourse.
In the state of Georgia, you have the right to represent yourself in your workers’ compensation matters. However, by hiring a workers’ compensation attorney such as Seth Bader in Atlanta.
The Bader Law Firm can help you make the most out of your workers’ compensation claim by making sure you have the correct evidence, and that Georgia law and the State Board of Workers’ Compensation rules and regulations are adhered to.
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.