How Workers’ Compensation Works in Georgia

injured at work

Workers’ Compensation is an insurance program that states require employers purchase to provide compensation to employees who experience a work-related illness or injury. Workers are compensated for any out-of-pocket medical expenses and any wages lost while the worker undergoes treatment and recuperates.

Generally, an employee who is injured on the job can successfully apply for workers’ compensation benefits without regard to who may have been at fault—the employee, employer, coworker, or customer. The compensation paid may be considered in lieu of damages the worker may be entitled to if he or she were to sue in court.

Benefits in Georgia

In Georgia, employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, which provides medical, income, and rehabilitation benefits to employees injured in work-related accidents. It also can provide death benefits to an employee’s beneficiaries if the employee dies due to a work-related accident.

You cannot sue your employer or co-worker, even if you waive your rights to workers’ comp. The law exempts employers and other workers who may be responsible for the accident from lawsuits for injuries that result. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault, exclusive remedy against the employer or co-worker.

In Georgia you must report a job-related injury to your employer within 30 days of the injury occurring. You must file a claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the date of your accident. You are not permitted to sue your employer in court to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but you will get a hearing before an administrative body.

You may receive medical, rehabilitation and income benefits. Your authorized doctor bills, hospital bills, rehabilitation in some cases, physical therapy, prescriptions and necessary travel expenses will be paid if injury was caused by an accident on the job. You are entitled to weekly income benefits if you have more than seven days of lost time due to an injury.

Catastrophic injuries

Accidents are classified as catastrophic or non-catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries

involve amputations, severe paralysis, severe head injuries, severe burns, or blindness. If your injuries are catastrophic, you can receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to the maximum allowed for as long as you are unable to return to work. You also can receive medical and vocational rehabilitation benefits.

If your injuries are non-catastrophic, you can receive two-thirds of your average weekly

wage but not more than the maximum allowed under the law for a job-related injury. You can

receive weekly benefits as long as you are totally disabled, but no longer than 400 weeks.

If you are not working and it is determined that you are capable of working with restrictions, your weekly income benefits will be reduced to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, but no more than the maximum allowed, not to exceed 350 weeks.

When you are able to return to work but can only find a lower paying job due to your injury, you can receive a weekly benefit for up to 350 weeks.

The lawyers of Angell Law Firm are personal injury attorneys who are experts in personal injury law, which is the only kind of case they handle. If you have hurt and injured in an accident while working you may be entitled to Workers’ Compensation. To receive benefits you must file a claim in a timely manner. The Workers’ Compensation program is a tremendous benefit, but the regulations are complicated and subject to changes. The Angell Law Firm can help you apply and qualify for benefits. Call (770) 217-4954 today to discuss your case.

The Angell Law Firm is located in Atlanta and serves Chatham County, including Savannah; Clarke County including Athens; Cobb County, including Marietta; DeKalb County, including Decatur and Stone Mountain; Fulton County, including Atlanta, College Park, and Roswell; Gwinnett County including Buford, Lawrenceville, and Norcross; and Oconee County, including Watkinsville.