When you’re hurt at work in Calhoun, you may be confused by the workers’ compensation process. In fact, you may not know much about it at all if your employer doesn’t tell you what you should be doing. Employees rely heavily on their employers to guide them through the process of getting medical care and benefits after a work injury. Unfortunately, employers and their insurance companies don’t always have your best interests at heart–because helping you get the medical care and benefits you need costs them money. It’s better to put your trust in a Calhoun workers’ compensation lawyer.
Navigating Georgia’s workers’ compensation system can be difficult, but John Foy & Associates is available to help. We have been assisting workers just like you for over two decades. We know the ins and outs of the system, and we have enough experience to give you a good idea of what you should be receiving based on the unique circumstances of your case. You deserve these benefits, and we can help you get them. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What Kind of Work Injuries Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits really aren’t determined by any particular type of injury. They aren’t just for serious injuries or minor injuries. They often cover injuries that have occurred over time as well as illnesses caused by work activities. But, the circumstances surrounding the injuries must meet specific requirements.
The Employer Must Have Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Nearly all employers in Georgia must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer has more than three employees, they are required by law to have coverage. If an employer is supposed to have insurance and doesn’t, that will often mean the employer will still have to pay for your medical bills and a portion of your wages as if they had the required insurance. They may also face fines and other penalties for not having workers’ compensation coverage.
Your Injury Must Have Been Caused By Your Work
To be a work-related injury, there must be some connection to work. In most cases, this question is an easy one. If the accident occurred while you were doing your normal job or on your employer’s property, then it’s likely work-related. The question becomes a bit more complex if you were traveling for work, running errands, or the injury occurred at lunch or on a break. Having a workers’ compensation lawyer in those situations is particularly important.
Fault Doesn’t Matter
Many people assume that their employer or someone else had to do something wrong for them to get workers’ compensation benefits. This isn’t true. Although it’s true in a normal personal injury case, workers’ compensation is unique because there is no determination of fault in almost every situation. In most situations, you should be able to get workers’ compensation benefits even if you were completely (or partially) at fault for the injuries and damage.
You Must Be Considered an Employee
Workers’ compensation only covers employees. It doesn’t matter if you are full time or part-time, or a minor or not, you should still get benefits after a work injury. But, workers’ compensation doesn’t apply to those who are considered independent contractors. Keep in mind, however, sometimes employers try to classify workers as independent contractors to avoid having to pay for things like insurance, benefits, and workers’ compensation. It certainly doesn’t hurt to talk with a lawyer about the possibility of getting benefits even if your employer doesn’t consider you an employee.
What Kind of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Available?
Perhaps the most important benefit is medical care. Your employer will pay for the medical care that you need to recover from your work injury. Unlike a normal personal injury case, you don’t have to front this cost and get paid for it later–your employer should actually cover the medical bills as they come in the door. There is no (or very little) waiting. Medical benefits may include:
- Doctors’ visits
- Rehabilitation treatment
Unlike with your normal health insurance, there are no co-pays or other out of pocket expenses that you need to address. But, you will not be able to use your own doctor in most cases. You will need to choose from a list of physicians provided by your employer or its workers’ compensation carrier.
The second major benefit is for lost income. If you cannot work because of your injury, you will be entitled to receive a portion of your average weekly wage from that employer. Although it doesn’t completely replace your pay, it gives you some security when you aren’t able to go back to work while you recover. Benefits will generally be about two-thirds of your average weekly wage; these amounts vary.
You should receive lost income for as long as you are unable to work, up to 400 weeks. But, for certain catastrophic injuries, you may be entitled to benefits for as long as you are unable to go to work, as determined by your treating doctor.
The workers’ compensation system also offers death benefits for workers’ families if the employee is killed on the job or their work injury leads to death.
How Do I Start the Workers’ Compensation Process?
You should report the fact that you were injured at work in Calhoun as soon as possible to your employer. In situations where you need to get immediate medical care, your employer will often know about the situation already, but not always.
Some workers hesitate to report what they think are minor injuries that will just pass on their own. This is a mistake. You only have a short period of time to report the accident (generally just 30 days), and if you don’t report it in time, then you may not be able to get benefits at all. Reporting the incident, even if it really is minor, will help you in the long run–especially if it turns into something more serious than you originally anticipated.
Talk to a Calhoun Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
You don’t have to go through the process of getting workers’ compensation benefits alone. And, you don’t have to trust your employer to tell you what to do, either. Let John Foy & Associates be your guide. We can help ensure that you get the benefits you deserve after a work injury or illness. Let us give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form and get your FREE consultation today.