Workers’ Compensation Overview
McAleer Law has many years of experience in handling Georgia workers’ compensation claims and are able to discuss your claim with you and advise whether you need legal representation to ensure you obtain the maximum medical and income benefits to which you are entitled under Georgia law.
If you are injured on the job in Georgiaand your employer is required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage, then you are entitled to certain benefits to compensate you for medical treatment, lost income, and related expenses. While there are exceptions for certain types of businesses based on either the size or type of business, most employers in Georgia are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
In Georgia, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for most work-related accidents. What this means is that, because you can recover medical expenses and weekly income payments for lost time through your employers’ workers’ compensation insurance, you cannot file a civil lawsuit against your employer for negligence and cannot recover for certain intangible things like pain and suffering like you could in a personal injury or other civil suit. There are numerous exceptions to these rules, however, and you may be able to recover against a third party responsible for your injury or accident, even if your only recourse against your employer is workers’ compensation. For this reason, it is essential that you discuss your claim with an attorney to evaluate all possible options for recovery and resolution of your claim.
In most cases, workers’ compensation will provide you a reduced amount of weekly benefits for any time lost from work due to your injury, as well as reimbursement for other related expenses such as mileage driving to and from doctors’ appointments related to your workers’ compensation case. Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries and the length of your recovery period, worker’s compensation will provide you payments for Temporary Total Disability or Temporary Partial Disability.The category of your payment depends on whether you are able to return to work at a reduced wage rate from your pre-injury wage or your doctor advises you not to work at all.
Workers’ compensation also provides for payment of a Permanent Partial Disability based on the percentage of loss of use of your body caused by the injury. This rating is usually given by an authorized workers’ compensation doctor when you have reached or are approaching the end of your medical treatment.
In almost every case, you will make less through workers’ compensation than you made through your regular wages at your job. This is because workers’ compensation is set up to provide a source of guaranteed income during your recovery period similar and not to replace your entire income. The goal of the workers’ compensation system is to attempt to return the injured worker to work once a recovery is made, or to attempt to resolve a claim through a settlement if the injured worker is unable to return to work with their pre-injury employer.
In lieu of receiving these weekly benefits and medical treatment, many injured workers choose to close their workers’ compensation claims and settle for a lump sum cash settlement. The amount of these settlements depends on the nature of the injuries involved as well as other factors.
This is a very general overview of workers’ compensation law, and in most cases an injured worker should consult an attorney to ensure that their rights are being protected and that they are obtaining all benefits to which they are entitled. Georgia workers’ compensation law is highly technical, and there are numerous defenses and exceptions that employers and insurance companies can use to limit the worker’s recovery and benefits. It is essential that you protect your rights and ensure that you obtain the most thorough and capable medical care and the benefits you deserve.