Although the workers’ compensation system is specifically designed to help workers in Acworth, many employees don’t fully understand or appreciate their rights to benefits after a work injury. Because workers don’t know any better, they often end up being forced to do what their employer tells them after getting hurt at work. Unfortunately, sometimes what your employer tells you to do after a work injury really isn’t in your best interest. To really understand what benefits you should be getting and whether you are receiving everything you deserve, you need to speak with an Acworth workers’ compensation lawyer.
Our team of lawyers at John Foy Associates has been helping work injury victims in Acworth for over 20 years. We know how confusing it can be to work through getting the right workers’ compensation benefits and medical care after a work injury. We can help you get in touch with medical professionals that have your best interests in mind—not just saving an employer or insurance company money. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What kind of benefits am I supposed to get under workers’ compensation?
The type and amount of benefits that you should get under workers’ compensation will depend on the specific kind of injury or illness that you experienced. But, most cases should involve the following benefits:
- Medical care: Your employer is required to give you medical care to address your health needs after a work injury, including accidents, long-term or repetitive injuries, and chronic illnesses or medical conditions.
- Unlike personal injury cases, you are entitled to get medical care right away after your work injury. You should also receive reimbursement for any miles you have to drive to get to doctor’s appointments or follow up medical treatment. Your employer will let you know which doctors you can see after a work injury. If they don’t provide you with that information, you should get an Acworth workers’ compensation attorney involved to help you get the care you need.
- Weekly income benefits. Employees who have been unable to work for at least seven days are entitled to receive weekly income benefits. These payments are meant to replace some of your income while you recover from your work injury. Unfortunately, they won’t cover your full wages, but it’s money you can use to get by until you are ready to go back to work. If you can go back to work, but you cannot work as many hours, you may be entitled to additional benefits than what you are being paid by your employer as well.
- Permanent partial disability benefits. In addition to the weekly benefits that you receive while you cannot work, you may also be able to get benefits that compensate you for the permanent loss of your earning capacity. That is, if your work injury results in the decreased use of your body part and that affects your ability to earn a living, you will receive benefits to account for that reduced use. These benefits are based on a specific number of weeks of benefits that vary depending on the body part you have injured.
- Job training. In severe work accidents, you may be entitled to receive job training. In cases where job training is permitted, you generally cannot go back to your pre-injury job, but you can continue to do some work if you get additional education or training.
In cases where you have lost a loved one because of a work injury, you may also be able to get death benefits for those who are dependent on the worker for support. Burial expenses are also included up to a specific amount as well.
Can my employer fire me after I was injured at work?
Georgia is an at-will state. That means that an employer can terminate your employment for virtually any legal reason. But, firing you just because you got hurt or just because you filed a workers’ compensation claim is not a legal reason. If you have been terminated because you reported an accident or because you requested workers’ compensation benefits, you may have a wrongful termination claim.
Even if you lose your job after you start your workers’ compensation case, your employer is still required to pay you all of the benefits that you’re entitled to receive. If your employment ends because you cannot physically or mentally continue doing your job due to the accident, then the benefits you receive from your employer may be significantly higher. It’s especially important to talk to a workers’ comp lawyer in those situations.
Can I get workers’ compensation benefits even when I’m at fault for the accident?
There’s no real measure of fault in most workers’ compensation cases. That means that even if you caused the injury or accident, you should still be able to get benefits. This is unlike a personal injury case where your fault would decrease the amount of money you can get for your claim. In workers’ compensation, fault is usually not a focus of the case.
But, there are some limitations to this general rule. If your injury was the result of any of the following actions, you might have a harder time getting benefits.
- Situations where you deliberately harmed yourself
- Using drugs or alcohol while on the job
In most cases, the employer has to prove that you engaged in any of these activities before they can deny benefits. You should usually still try to get benefits even when you think you may have been partially at fault. Your Acworth workers’ comp attorney can help you work through these issues.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Acworth for Free
You don’t have to go through the workers’ compensation system alone. We can help you ensure that you’re getting the right medical care and the full amount of benefits that you are entitled to receive. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.