GEORGIA WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW FAQ’S
No one wants to be hurt, especially at work, but it happens a lot. Fortunately, employers have certain obligations that they must meet. If you sustained a serious injury at work and cannot return, the thought of losing money while being hurt is overwhelming. Rent and bills need to be paid, and your family needs support. We understand your challenges and know you likely have many unanswered questions. See the common questions below, and contact us for more detailed information.
If you are injured on the job, all medical expenses and bills related to the work injury should be covered by the workers’ compensation carrier. In fact, it is also responsible for mileage reimbursement or to provide reasonable transportation to the injured worker to and from the medical appointments. As with everything else, documentation is key. If you receive a medical bill or incur a covered expense, it is vital that you provide documentation to the insurance carrier or to your attorney.
You may receive weekly indemnity (income) benefits if you miss seven (7) consecutive days of work because of an occupational accident.
Generally, injured workers receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage up to the statutory limit, up to $725.00 if the accident occurred on or after July 1, 2022. For more information or accidents occurring before July 1, 2022, call our office today at (770) 637-0105.
If you want the insurance company to pay for your medical care and your employer has a valid panel of physicians posted in a prominent place on the employer’s premises, you are restricted to being treated by one of the physicians listed on the panel of physicians. If there is no panel of physicians, you may have a choice to see your own doctor, but the insurance company will likely contest payment and will often disregard that doctor’s opinion.
You will be able to receive a reduced amount of benefits in this case. You would be able to receive up to $483.00 a week if the accident occurred on or after July 1, 2022.
Unfortunately, yes. Georgia is an employment-at-will state. However, you may have legal recourse outside workers’ compensation if you have an employment contract or are discriminated against because of your disability.
If there is a valid panel of physicians and you have not changed from one doctor to another within the panel, you may change to another panel physician once as a matter of right. We recommend you choose wisely as sometimes the second doctor may not be as good as the first.
Ambulance and emergency medical care are generally covered as long as it is truly an emergency and treatment is medically necessary.
In many circumstances, you can seek vocational and medical rehabilitation. These are handled on a case-to-case basis, and it is important to speak with an attorney about your specific situation.
Georgia workers’ compensation laws do not provide for pain and suffering. It also does not provide access to a jury trial. Recovery is based on an employee’s need for related medical treatment and inability to return to work.
If you are injured on the job, you are entitled to medical treatment, rehabilitation sessions, and income benefits. Generally, these benefits are provided to injured workers so you may make a safe return to work if possible.
If the deceased employee has dependents that rely on the worker for financial stability, then the dependents may receive workers’ compensation benefits and funeral and burial expenses.
Unfortunately, it is legal for insurance companies to videotape and watch you as long as they do not violate the standards of a reasonable expectation of privacy. These insurance companies will scrutinize your social media postings and learn everything they can about you.
The Georgia workers’ compensation system requires the insurance carrier to reimburse you for necessary travel expenses, including mileage to and from doctor visits, as long as the reimbursement request is within one year of the date of medical service. Currently, the mileage reimbursement is $0.40 per mile.
- Report the accident to your supervisor, and ask for medical care.
Virtually every employer requires an employee to notify the manager or supervisor of a work accident or injury. Therefore, report the accident. Since we believe that the worker’s health is the most important factor to consider, we urge you to seek a doctor immediately. If the employer refuses, take it upon yourself to go to the local emergency room or see your own doctor.
- Take pictures, take notes, and keep documents.
Documentation is the key to success. Take pictures of the accident scene, your injured body part, or even the people involved. Write down or record whom you spoke to and what information or instructions they gave you, and keep copies of whatever documents they made you sign or showed you. These documents can be beneficial if you are required to go to court.
- Contact Ramos & Law to discuss your case.
Once the insurance company knows about your injury, it will assign an insurance adjuster or field agent to secure information they can use against you. By contacting our firm, we can short-circuit their plan and advise you of your rights under the law. The insurance adjuster or operatives do not have your best interests in mind and will attempt to trick you into signing forms or giving recorded statements. These tactics help them, not you. Once you talk to us, we will equip you with a deeper understanding of your rights and the confidence to move forward.