Workers' Compensation in Georgia
Workers' compensation (also known as workers' comp, work compensation or workmans' comp) in Georgia supplies medical care and replacement income for injured, ill, or dead employees whose injuries or deaths occurred as a result of or on the job. Workers' compensation does not insure independent contractors, but employers in Georgia must have workers' compensation insurance. Claims for work-related accidents should be filed with the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation within a specific time frame.
Not all workmans' compensation issues can be resolved without legal representation. For instance, in particular, you should hire a Georgia workmans' compensation lawyer if your employer refuses to cooperate, is underinsured, not insured, or if your injury is severe and long term or if your claim is denied or debatable. Additionally, any injuries resulting from the use of a defective product may provide a claim for the worker against the manufacturer of the product. Speak to a Georgia work compensation lawyer about any questions you have regarding your claim, or the claims process.
Illnesses and Injuries Covered Under Georgia Workers' Compensation Law
Accidental Physical Injuries
- Accidental injuries that are work related. These include falling, slipping or tripping at the workplace, among other injuries.
- When a worker's injury occurs on the job, but is the result of his own misconduct, or abuse of alcohol or drugs, his injury is not covered by the employer's workman's compensation insurance.
- Continuous repetition or exposure to detrimental conditions in the workplace that result in permanent injury (i.e., hearing loss, exposure to asbestosis, tennis elbow and carpel tunnel syndrome).
- Payments to an employee's dependents when the employee's injury or illness results in his death.
The Georgia Worker's Comp Claims Process
- Tell Your Boss
- Inform your boss of your injury soon after the injury. Failure to report your injury promptly may result in the delay or loss of your workers' comp benefits.
- Get Medical Help Promptly
- File a claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation (SBWC): Complete and file a WC-14 form with the SBWC after your injury. The statute of limitations for workman's comp claims is one year. Beginning the filing process after one year will result in your being barred from recovery (i.e., no lost wages, disability compensation, or medical benefits).
- Get in touch with a Georgia work compensation attorney if you need assistance with your claim, or if your claim has been denied.
Benefits Received in Georgia Under the Workers' Compensation Program
It is recommended that you speak to a workman's compensation lawyer about available kinds of workman's comp benefits. The following kinds of work compensation are available in Georgia:
- Medical Treatment: Your hospital and doctor's bills, and other medical treatment will be paid directly to your health care provider.
- Wage Reimbursement: Your employer or employer's insurance company must, under Georgia law, pay the worker for lost wages resulting from time spent in physician's examinations, at the hospital, or in SBWC hearings.
- Funeral: Reasonable funeral expenses will be paid up to $7,500.
- Death: A worker's family or other dependents are entitled to death benefits if the employee dies of his work injury. The amount of benefits varies based on whether the dependency is partial or complete.
- Vocational Rehabilitation: Possible when a worker must be retrained for a new job because his injuries prevent him from returning to his old job.
- Income Benefits: There are several kinds of income benefits in Georgia:
- Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD for short): When your injury or illness results in your total disability to work.
- Amount: 2/3 of your pre-tax gross regular wages per week. No more than $500 a week after July 1, 2007.
- Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (or TPD for short) Payments to an injured worker whose earning capacity is impaired and who may not be able to return to his old job, but who may be able to return to some other kind of work.
- Amount: Two thirds of the difference between the workers' pre and post injury average weekly wage. But, never more than $334 per week.
- Permanent Total Disability Benefits (PTD for short): The injury or illness you suffer at work becomes permanent and you cannot work.
- Amount: You will receive TTD benefits for as long as you remain disabled, but for no more than 400 weeks.
- Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD for short): Your benefits depend on the extent of your permanent physical injury and disability after you have reached your maximum point of improvement.
- Amount: Your weekly benefit will depend on your percentage of impairment.
Why Hire A Georgia Workers' Comp Lawyer?
Because the outcome of your workers' compensation claim can have a major impact on your future, you should seriously consider hiring a Georgia workman's compensation lawyer. A knowledgeable attorney can help you navigate workers' comp procedures, strategize, help you to meet deadlines, and argue your case before the Georgia Board of Workers' Compensation. If a third party had something to do with your injury or accident, a Georgia workers' comp attorney may also be able to help protect your rights and take into account all your compensation options, and the length of time involved to recover.
Georgia Workers' Compensation Code
The following Georgia statutes are relevant to workman's comp law:
- Employers Subject To Workers' Compensation
- Labor and Industrial Relations, Tit. 34, Chp.9, Art. 2.
- Covered Employees
- Labor and Industrial Relations, Tit. 34, Chp.9, Art. 2.
- Labor and Industrial Relations, Tit. 34, Chp.9, §§ 261-265.
- Claims Procedure
- Labor and Industrial Relations, Tit. 34, Chp.9, §§ 80-86.