You've been injured on the job. You're in pain. You can't work. Your bills are piling higher and higher. What can you do? You may have a workers' compensation case. And you may be owed a significant amount of compensation for your damages.
If you believe you have a case, you should contact a qualified workers' compensation attorney in Atlanta today.
Understanding Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
If you are injured on the job in Georgia — and 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. There are exceptions for certain types of businesses — based on either the size or type of business — but 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 does that mean to you? Essentially, 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 you cannot recover for certain intangible things, such as pain and suffering, like you could in a personal injury or other civil suit.
There are numerous exceptions to these rules, 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. Thus, it is essential that you discuss your claim with an attorney to evaluate all possible options for recovery and resolution of your claim.The Purpose of Workers' Compensation Benefits
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.Weekly Workers' Compensation Benefits vs. Lump Sum Benefits
In almost every case, you will be given less money 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, not to replace your entire income. The goal of the workers’ compensation system is to attempt to return the injured worker to work once they have recovered, 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.Talk with an Atlanta Workers' Compensation Attorney Today
This is a very general overview of workers’ compensation law. 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.
To protect your rights and ensure the best results for your claim, we urge you to speak with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.
At McAleer Law, we have many years of experience in handling Georgia workers’ compensation claims. When you call us, we will be happy 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. Contact us online today, or call 404-622-5337 to schedule your free consultation.Find Out More About Workers Compensation: