When you’re injured on the job, getting the compensation you deserve is very important. It’s helpful to know the basics of how workers’ compensation operates.
Your case may have unique issues that aren’t covered here, and we always recommend that you work with our experienced attorneys who specialize in this area. However, here are answers to some of the most asked questions about workers’ compensation in Atlanta.
Basic Information About Workers’ Compensation
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a state law that creates a benefit system for workers hurt on the job. Injured workers may receive no-cost medical care, replacement income, and other benefits. Employers must have insurance to cover their obligations.
Does Atlanta have workers’ compensation laws?
Yes. Georgia workers’ compensation laws apply in Atlanta and throughout the state.
Are Atlanta employers required to have workers’ compensation insurance?
Atlanta employers must have workers’ compensation insurance if they have three or more employees. Part-time employees count.
Use this search feature to see if a Georgia employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
How do you get workers’ compensation in Atlanta?
To get workers’ compensation in Atlanta, you must be injured in the course of your employment. You must report the injury to your employer, seek medical care, and file a claim for benefits.
Is a workers’ compensation claim the same as a personal injury claim?
There are a few major differences between workers’ compensation and personal injury claims. While both cover your accident-related medical expenses and lost wages, workers’ compensation benefits do not cover intangible losses such as pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment.
During a personal injury claim, proving liability on part of the defendant is very important. However, with a workers’ compensation claim, this is not necessary.
Is proving your employer is at fault required to get workers’ compensation?
No. Georgia’s workers’ compensation system is no-fault. Proving negligence or other legal fault of the employer is not required.
Can I sue my employer for my injuries?
You cannot sue your employer if you file a claim for workers’ compensation. Because workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, your employer’s role in your workplace accident and injuries will not be considered. By claiming workers’ compensation benefits, you waive your right to sue your employer for your losses.
Only if you were injured due to your employer’s malicious actions may you pursue additional damages by filing a personal injury claim. You will need strong evidence that your employer intended to injure you.
Workers’ Compensation Rights and Benefits
What benefits can I get from workers’ compensation if I’m injured on the job in Atlanta?
Benefits that may be available to you from workers’ compensation for an on-the-job injury in Atlanta are:
- Medical treatment – Reasonable and necessary care
- Physical therapy
- Mileage reimbursement for travel to medical care
- Temporary total disability benefits – if you cannot work at all after the injury
- Temporary partial disability benefits – if you can work in a reduced capacity
- Permanent disability – compensation for permanent injuries that remain after treatment
- Death benefits
- Funeral expenses – up to a maximum amount
How much will I be awarded in damages?
This will depend on the specifics of your claim. The benefits that you receive will depend on factors such as your medical expenses, the extent of your injuries, your earning history, your lost income, and your future earning capacity.
Your workers’ compensation lawyer will be able to estimate the potential value of your recovery by assessing these factors above. Severe injuries may cost more to treat and may have more detrimental, long-lasting effects. Your compensation is then likely to be more. If you cannot return to work due to permanent disabilities, you may be able to include the loss of future earning potential as part of your claim.
Are pain and suffering awarded in Atlanta workers’ compensation claims?
No. Pain and suffering are not awarded in Atlanta workers’ compensation claims.
What medical care is paid for in workers’ compensation?
An injured worker in Atlanta may receive paid medical care for all treatment authorized by the treating physician as reasonable and necessary. Care may include doctor visits, physical therapy, prescription medication, and mileage reimbursement for travel to medical appointments.
How long can I receive medical care in the Georgia workers’ compensation system?
Generally, there is a 400-week limit to medical care in Georgia workers’ compensation cases unless the injury is catastrophic or the person receives prosthetics devices or durable medical equipment.
How long do you have to be off work to get workers’ compensation?
If you miss seven or more days of work, you receive weekly income benefits. If you miss 21 or more consecutive days, you also get paid for the first seven days.
What is temporary disability in a Georgia workers’ compensation claim?
Temporary disability is compensation if you are unable to work following an on-the-job injury. The payments make up for the income that the injured person cannot earn because of their injuries. Temporary disability may be total or partial, depending on whether the person can work in a limited capacity.
How much can I get in replacement income with workers’ compensation?
Replacement income in Atlanta worker’s compensation is two-thirds of the person’s average weekly wage before the injury. There is a weekly maximum and minimum amount. If the person can work for reduced wages, they receive two-thirds of the difference in pay up to a maximum amount.
What death benefits are available for workers’ compensation in Atlanta?
Dependents of the deceased worker may receive compensation equal to temporary total disability benefits. Payments continue for as long as the recipient is dependent. For a spouse, if there are no other dependents, benefits are capped at $270,000.
Can you lose Atlanta workers’ compensation benefits for failing to attend a medical appointment?
Yes. Always be sure to attend your medical appointments and follow any restrictions put in place by your care providers.
Can you get fired for getting workers’ compensation?
Your employer cannot fire you because you file a worker’s compensation claim. They cannot lawfully retaliate against you for requesting the benefits you deserve. However, your employer may terminate you for a lawful reason.
Workers’ Compensation Laws and Procedures for Injured Atlanta Workers
What is the Georgia workers’ compensation law?
Georgia’s workers’ compensation law is O.C.G.A. Title 34, Chapter 9. Many articles in the law cover subjects such as administration, insurance, compensation amounts, and case processing procedures.
What is the form for a Georgia workers’ compensation claim?
The form to begin a Georgia workers’ compensation claim is WC-14 Notice of Claim. In addition, be sure to notify the employer immediately when you are injured.
What do I do if I’m hurt on the job in Atlanta?
If you’re hurt on the job in Atlanta, inform your employer immediately. Seek appropriate medical care from the list of care providers given to you by your employer.
How long do you have to file a workers’ compensation claim in Atlanta?
You have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim in Atlanta following the date of injury. However, be sure to report the injury to your employer immediately.
What happens after I report an on-the-job injury in Atlanta?
Once you report an on-the-job injury in Atlanta, your employer should provide you with a list of authorized medical care providers. You may choose from the list and seek medical care. The insurance company has 21 days to investigate the injury and file a report. If they accept the claim, they should start to pay benefits.
What if I disagree with the insurance company’s determination of my workers’ compensation benefits?
If you disagree with the insurance company’s determination of workers’ compensation benefits, you may file Form WC-14 and request a hearing. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation will conduct an administrative hearing to determine your right to benefits.
Can you appeal an Atlanta workers’ compensation decision?
If you disagree with a workers’ compensation decision in Atlanta, you can appeal the case to the Appellate Division of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. You have 20 days to make the appeal.
How do you win a workers’ compensation hearing in Georgia?
To win a workers’ compensation hearing, you must present evidence and arguments that prove your right to benefits. Be prepared to present medical documentation and other information needed to address the issues in the case.
How long will it take to start receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
This will depend on the complexity of your case and the strength of your evidence. If there are gaps in evidence, the insurer may try to dispute your claim to avoid a large payout. This could prolong the proceedings.
Your lawyer can, however, help you to gather strong evidence to back up your claim and try to mitigate disputes. Your recovery time may also influence how soon you can expect to receive benefits.
Your lawyer may advise you to wait until maximum medical improvement before accepting a settlement offer because you may require additional medical treatment if you do not yet know the full effects of your injuries. This will ensure that all medical expenses, past and future, are included as part of your claim.
Can I have a workers’ compensation attorney in Atlanta manage my case?
Yes. In fact, you should always have an attorney in a workers’ compensation case. Getting the compensation you deserve is extremely important. By handling the case on your own, you may not know what to do. It may not be clear if you are receiving the correct benefits or if the insurance company is telling you misleading things. You have the right to an attorney, and our law firm can represent you from start to finish in your case.
Answering the FAQs in your Workers’ Compensation Case
These FAQs are a brief guide to workers’ compensation in Atlanta. There may be more specific issues and questions that are important in your situation. You may also have additional questions.
We know the process can be daunting. At Moebes Law, we pride ourselves on our effective representation. Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers aim to secure fair compensation for our clients.
Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our skilled Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers. This will allow you the opportunity to discuss your case with someone who understands the claims process, ask any questions you may have, and learn what common mistakes to avoid when filing a claim.
We can be reached at 404-354-5432 or via our online contact form.
Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Employee Handbook
State Board of Workers’ Compensation, Home, Frequently Asked Questions