Worker’s Compensation Benefits in Georgia
In Georgia, any business with three or more employees must have comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance. This pays injured employees’ medical costs and partial lost wages associated with a workplace accident. For help getting workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia, call attorney John Morrison. We will deal with any challenges that arise or any defenses the insurer uses to deny you benefits.
What does workers’ compensation in Georgia cover?
Georgia workers’ compensation benefits cover:
- A portion of your weekly wages (disability benefits)
- Medical treatment
- Mileage to and from treatments
Disability Benefits under Georgia Workers’ Compensation
There are three types of disability benefits under the Georgia workers’ compensation laws.
- Total temporary disability (TTD) pays benefits when you cannot work due to your injury. The amount of the disability benefits you will receive for lost wages is calculated based on a formula. It is equal to two-thirds of your usual pay, or the $550 per week maximum in 2015.
- Total partial disability(TPD) pays out when you are earning less due to the accident. If you are released to return to work on light duty or with other restrictions, benefits are paid based on two-thirds the difference between your pre-injury wages and current wages.
- Permanent partial disability (PPD) pays benefits to those who suffered permanent damage that impairs full function. It is important to note that PPD benefits begin only once TTD or TPD has ended. Once you are have completed rehabilitation and are cleared to return to work, the doctor should give you a PPD rating so that you can receive benefits. The formula takes into account the body part or function that is impaired and the rating issued by the doctor.
Medical Benefits under Georgia Workers’ Compensation
Medical benefits from workers’ compensation pay for your treatments related to your work injury. The benefits typically expire after 400 weeks, unless the doctor deems your injury “catastrophic.” A catastrophic injury entitles the injured worker to lifetime coverage. These injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Some amputations
- Some neurological issues
Statutes of Limitations for Workers’ Compensation Claims
There are two time limits you should be aware of under the state’s workers’ compensation statutes. First, you have 30 days to report any workplace accident or injury to your supervisor. Secondly, you have one year from the date of the accident to file a Form WC-14, which is the form used for these claims in Georgia.
If you wish to pursue compensation for a worsening work-related condition, you must file within two years of the last time TTD or TPD was paid. And to apply for PPD, you must do so within four years of last receiving TTD or TPD.
Can my employer or the insurer deny my workers’ compensation claim?
In most cases, the insurance company cannot deny your workers’ compensation claim even if you were being careless when you were hurt. Unless you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol or breaking the law, they typically should not deny your claim.
But insurers may use other grounds to argue that you are not entitled to benefits. These grounds might include:
- Your injury is not work-related.
- Your injury is not as severe as you claim.
- Your injury is pre-existing and not worsened by a work exposure or accident.
- You are not an employee who is entitled to workers’ compensation.
Can I file a lawsuit against my employer for my injury?
Georgia workers’ compensation laws also make it impossible to file suit against your employer even if its negligence led to your injury. If a third party was responsible for the accident, however, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover additional compensation for medical treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Let Us Help You Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits
At the Law Offices of John Morrison, we encourage anyone injured on the job to call us as soon as possible. We will help you address any challenges or defenses that the insurance company or employer raises to prevent you from getting compensation.
Call us today at 770-951-8900 and schedule a free consultation discuss your case.