All workers in Augusta are automatically eligible for workers’ compensation. It’s a right you have from your first day on the job. Nonetheless, employers and insurance companies still look for ways to avoid paying workers’ compensation claims.
That’s why you should speak to a good Augusta workers’ compensation attorney. John Foy & Associates understands the pitfalls of the worker’s comp process. We know that an injury can threaten not just tomorrow’s paycheck but your entire career. Let us help you.
What does Workers’ Compensation Do?
Workers’ compensation is supposed to do two things:
- Get workers the care they need after injuries
- Avoid the need for expensive lawsuits
To do this, workers’ compensation provides standard benefits to every worker injured on the job. These benefits include:
- Medical treatment: All your medical treatment is paid for by your employer’s insurance. This includes doctor appointments, hospital stays, tests and scans, and more.
- Take-home pay: If you miss a week or more of work due to your injury, you will receive some pay while you recover, which is 2/3rds of what you usually take home, up to $550 max. If you have a permanent injury, you may qualify for an additional payment.
- Physical therapy: Some injuries will require physical therapy or some other form of rehabilitation. This will also get covered by your workers’ compensation.
- Prescriptions: All prescription medicine is covered.
- Travel expenses: You can get reimbursed for the cost of traveling to and from all doctor visits and other necessary trips. The reimbursement rate is 40 cents per mile.
Some rare situations may include other benefits. If you return to work with a disability, you qualify for vocational rehabilitation, which helps you learn to do all your job duties. If your recovery leaves you with a partial disability, you may be eligible for an additional disability payment.
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Why do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me With My Claim?
While most workers’ compensation claims can resolve with relatively no issues, there are times when the insurance company or your employer may not be cooperative in the process. Instead of resorting to settling for less, you can instead hire a lawyer to assist you in getting fairly compensated.
The Augusta workers’ compensation lawyers here at John Foy & Associates can help you by:
- Consulting with various experts and witnesses to get supporting testimony for your claim.
- Gather evidence and essential medical records to establish the severity of your injury.
- Represent your best interests on your behalf while you recover from your injury.
- Handle all communications and ensure that you don’t put your claim at risk.
Workers’ compensation law is very complex. If you don’t have any background in law, it’s best to leave it up to professionals.
What Injuries Allow for Workers’ Compensation Coverage?
The State Board of Workers’ Compensation makes it very clear that all businesses in Georgia with three or more employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. If you got hurt at work, it’s covered. This is true no matter what kind of injury it is. But some types of injuries are more common than others.
Many workers’ compensation claims relate to the construction industry. Electric shocks, falling or having something fall on you, or getting caught in between equipment or vehicles are the most common in that field. But we also routinely see workers’ compensation claims in white-collar settings, restaurants, and every other kind of business.
The most common causes of workers’ compensation claims include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Joint pain
- Fractured bones
- Accidents that happen during business travel
- Accidents with machinery
Regardless of how your injury happened, as long as it happened on the clock, you can file a claim to receive compensation for them. So, don’t just assume that your injuries won’t qualify.
How Much Is the Average Settlement for Workers’ Compensation Claims in Augusta?
The average workers’ compensation claim fluctuates greatly depending on the circumstances of each case. For example, a slip and fall that results in a broken arm may result in roughly $5,000 in compensation. In contrast, a construction accident that leaves you disabled can get you a settlement of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you want an accurate estimation of how much your settlement value is, you need to get in touch with one of our lawyers as soon as possible. It can be challenging to calculate your damages, but our Augusta workers’ compensation lawyers know exactly what to look for and will ensure nothing gets overlooked or left out.
Do Emotional or Psychological Injuries Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?
If emotional trauma is related to a physical accident at work, it can be covered under your claim. But you must have a physical injury to file a claim in the first place. Keep in mind that your emotional or psychological injury must have resulted from a physical injury.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation won’t cover damages like pain and suffering or mental anguish on its own. If you have these damages and wish to receive compensation for them, you will have to show how they’re related to your physical injury.
Do Injuries Have to Happen in the Workplace?
If you are required to go somewhere for your work, the injury is covered no matter where it happened. This can include:
- Business travel
- Going to an offsite meeting
- Driving a company vehicle
- Working remotely
- Going on an errand for your employer
The one exception is commuting to work. Legally, your commute is considered your time, not your employer’s. So, in most cases, workers’ compensation coverage doesn’t start until you step into the company parking lot or onto the worksite.
Do I Have to Sue My Employer?
No, no lawsuit is involved – ever. In the City of Augusta, you actually cannot sue your employer for an on-the-job injury. The entire worker’s compensation system is designed to get you appropriate care without the need for a lawsuit.
Claiming your workers’ compensation benefits does not mean you’re blaming your employer for what happened. We see many workers who don’t want to cause a fuss or alienate their employer. This is completely fair.
Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Augusta will never put you in an adversarial relationship with the company you work for because with workers’ compensation, there is no need to. Your claim is between you and the insurance company.
Remember, the cost of your workers’ compensation is already paid for. Getting your benefits is your right. Your employer is not allowed to fire you or take any action against you because of your claim.
Is There a Time Limit to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia
Yes, there are two very strict deadlines:
- You have just 30 days to report your injury to your employer. We recommend reporting even injuries that seem small, such as a pulled muscle or minor pain. This way, there’s a record of it if it turns out to be more serious than you thought.
- You must then file your workers’ compensation claim within one year under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 34-9-82. The earlier you file, the more evidence there will likely be to support your claim. Memories of coworkers and supervisors fade as time goes by.
Never delay when your health is on the line. If you think your injury may require medical treatment, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.
No Upfront Fees and Dedicated Service for a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Augusta
You won’t have to pay anything upfront when you hire one of our Augusta workers’ compensation lawyers. We don’t want to be an additional source of financial strain on your situation. Our primary goal is to get you the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. If we can’t do that, you don’t have to pay us anything.
Our lawyers have more than two decades worth of experience handling even the toughest of cases. We always strive to get the best settlements for our clients. Our client testimonials speak for themselves and show our dedication to every case that we accept.
Talk to an Augusta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
The Augusta workers’ compensation attorneys at John Foy & Associates believe in siding with the worker. We’ve helped hundreds of people like you navigate the workers’ compensation process and get their benefits.
We offer a free consultation so that you can sit down and get the professional legal opinion you need. Let us help you. Call us or fill out the form to your right and schedule an appointment today.