If you have a job and you live in Athens, Georgia, you are already covered by workers compensation. State law guarantees that all workers receive equal workers comp protection regardless of what position you hold, how long you worked your job, or what your pay rate may be. If you were injured on the job, you are covered.
That doesn’t mean the insurance company will make it easy on you. We routinely see cases where the insurance company tries to minimize the amount of benefits they pay out, get the injury diagnosed as something less serious than it is, or even try to pin the blame on the worker by saying it happened outside of the workplace. This can result in getting only a fraction of the care you need, or being forced to pay out of pocket for treatment. Don’t let this happen to you. If you have suffered any workplace injury, speak to a good Athens workers comp lawyer right away.
John Foy & Associates is here to help. We are one of the most experienced workers compensation law firms operating in Athens, Georgia. We are also one of the largest. Our legal team has been helping workers like you for over twenty years. We know that the insurance company has an army of attorneys, and we are here to balance the scales. Let us help you. We will sit down and discuss your case with you and give you our professional opinion—for free. Contact us at 706-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How does workers compensation work in Athens?
Workers compensation is a system designed to protect workers. It functions like a safety net so that if you are injured on the job in any way, your medical needs will be taken care of—at no cost to you. Any injury, from a minor sprain to a life-changing accident, is covered.
Workers comp was created with two goals:
- To give injured workers complete medical care
- To make sure you don’t need to file an expensive lawsuit
These benefits are funded in part by your employer, and in part out of your own paycheck. You are covered from your first day on the job. The actual benefits are handled by an insurance company, however, and insurance companies aren’t always quick to pay for the treatments you need.
What costs are covered by workers comp?
The benefits are robust. They are meant to provide complete care after an accident. Workers comp will pay for costs such as:
- Medical treatment. This includes hospital stays, doctor visits, tests and lab work, and any other direct medical expenses associated with your accident.
- Medicine costs. Any drugs you need as part of your treatment or ongoing recovery are paid for by workers comp.
- Physical therapy. Any kind of rehabilitative therapy you need to recovery from your injury is covered.
- Travel costs. If you track your mileage on trips to and from doctor appointments, pharmacies, etc., you will be reimbursed.
- Missed wages. You will not be left without pay while you recover. Instead you will receive a regular paycheck of up to 67% of your normal pay. This paycheck is tax-free.
- Vocational assistance. Some injuries may make it hard or impossible to return to your job. Workers comp will pay for any occupational training that can help you return to work or qualify for a new line of work.
If the injury leaves you with a permanent disability, you will also receive an additional payment. This money is meant to help offset the financial cost of your disability and its impact on your career.
What sorts of injuries are covered by workers compensation?
If the injury happened at work, it’s covered. Period.
Workers compensation is unlike many worker benefits and insurance plans because there is no specific list of conditions, no restrictions, and nothing you have to prove. If the injury happened on the premises at work, then you get full coverage—even if it was not directly caused by working. For example, if you slip on a staircase, your injury is covered.
Some types of injuries are more common than others. In the construction industry, the most common claims involve electric shock, falling, being hit by something that fell, or being caught in between heavy equipment. But office workers, waitresses, academics, nonprofit employees, and workers in all industries are equally protected.
What if the injury didn’t happen at the workplace?
You may still be covered. If the injury happened while you were “on the clock,” it’s covered even if it happened off-premises. This includes injuries that happen while:
- At an offsite meeting
- Running an errand that is part of your job
- Driving a company car
- Outside on employer-owned property such as parking lots, walkways, etc.
- Traveling for business
- Doing work on a laptop at an outside location
- Taking a business call on your cell phone at an outside location
The only exception is commuting. Although commuting is a necessary part of work, it’ considered off the clock. If you were injured during your commute you should speak to a lawyer about your options.
Do I have to sue my employer?
Absolutely not. In Athens-Clarke County, not only do you not have to sue your employer, you cannot sue your employer for a workplace injury. The workers comp system is meant to replace lawsuits, to save you time and money.
Instead, your claim is between you and the insurance company. You do not have to discuss any specifics with your employer. You don’t have to “blame” your employer and in most cases there is nothing to cast blame about anyway. Accidents are accidents. Workers comp is there to help you.
Remember, the cost of your workers comp policy has already been paid for—largely by your own wages. Your employer cannot hold it against you, and they have no reason to do so.
Talk to an Athens Workers Compensation Lawyer for Free
Workers compensation is your right. But there are tight deadlines to make your claim. In Athens, you have only 30 days to report your injury. If you do not report it to your employer within 30 days, you lose your right to treatment. If you have any uncertainty about your claim, you should talk to a lawyer immediately.
We can help. John Foy & Associates will give you a complete consultation on your case for FREE. This consultation is your opportunity to find out how the workers comp process works, whether or not you have a solid claim, and what pitfalls to watch out for. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Call us at 706-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.