Almost all workers in Cartersville, regardless of income or job type, are covered by workers compensation. This system was set up in most U.S. states, including Georgia, by the 1920s and is a form of insurance that provides wages and benefits to injured employees. Although all workers should be guaranteed this coverage if they are hurt on the job, it can be surprisingly hard to receive these benefits you’re entitled to.
Insurance companies are for-profit, even when it comes to workers compensation that is slightly different from other types of insurance claims. That means they won’t want to pay out a lot, even if you are clearly injured. But don’t let an insurance company question the legitimacy of your injuries and prevent you from getting coverage. Instead, talk to a Cartersville workers compensation lawyer as soon as you can after a work injury.
Our attorneys at John Foy & Associates have been helping injured workers get the coverage they need from workers compensation for more than 20 years. We understand how this system works, and we’re committed to pursuing a full financial recovery for you. You shouldn’t have to bear the burden of medical bills and other costs after getting hurt at work. Let us start with a FREE consultation where we’ll listen to your situation and discuss how we can help. Call us today at 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to your right for your free consultation.
What Is the Process for a Workers Compensation Claim?
Workers compensation (or workers comp) under Georgia law should provide you with benefits and income to assist you in recovering after getting sick or becoming injured as a result of a work-related accident. The purpose of these workers comp benefits is to help you return to work—or, if you die, some benefits may be available to your dependents.
To make a workers compensation claim, the process is a little different than that of other insurance claims. Here’s what you need to do.
Report the Injury Immediately
Right after the injury happens, let your supervisor know. This is extremely important, as you could lose your chance to receive benefits if you wait even a month too long. This will also allow your supervisor to create a report of the accident and how you were injured.
Complete the Appropriate Form
After filing this form, send a copy to your employer and the insurance company that provides their workers’ compensation policy. You can have a workers compensation lawyer help you with this.
Find Out Which Doctors You Can See
You’ll want to get your injuries checked out as soon as possible, but the doctors you can see for reimbursement might be restricted to certain providers. Ask your employer about this. They may give you a list of specific doctors of clinics to choose from.
Don’t delay getting medical treatment, though, even if your options are limited. Seeing a doctor will create a record of your injuries and show that you were actively seeking treatment. Plus, waiting too long to make an appointment can delay your benefits.
Know that Fault Does Not Matter
This is the main area where workers comp insurance differs from a personal injury claim: fault is never even considered. You cannot sue or blame your employer for the accident under workers compensation, and all claims are handled through the workers’ comp insurance provider. In addition, your employer cannot penalize you in any way for making the workers’ comp claim.
How Much Income Can I Receive Under Workers’ Compensation?
If your injury prevents you from working for more than seven days, you are eligible to receive two-thirds of what you normally earn—up to $575 per week as of 2017. You will continue to receive these benefits until either 400 weeks have gone by or you’ve reached the “maximum medical improvement,” which is when the doctor under the workers’ comp policy finds your condition has improved as much as it can with treatment.
If your injury has left you disabled, you will be evaluated for a permanent disability at this point.
Are All Workers Automatically Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
Most workers are, although there are exceptions. Any business in Cartersville with three or more workers, including workers who are regular part-time, must have workers compensation insurance.
If the business should carry workers comp but doesn’t, they can be considered guilty of a misdemeanor. So, while you can’t sue your employer under a workers comp claim, you can take legal action if they were supposed to have this insurance and never got it. If you were hurt at work and your employer says there’s no workers comp, talk to a good lawyer right away, as this could be illegal.
What Happens If I’m Not Able to Return to Work?
As mentioned above, after your medical treatment has been completed, you’ll be evaluated for a permanent disability. If you are found to be permanently and totally disabled and unable to return to work, you’ll continue to receive weekly payments under workers comp for the rest of your life.
Permanent total disabilities include injuries like loss of a limb or damage to your eyes. If you are found to have a permanent partial disability, you may also be eligible for more benefits under workers comp.
The insurance company that provides the workers’ comp may try to prove that you can work. They might hire their own doctor to examine you and provide an opinion about your physical capabilities, for example. To ensure your rights are upheld and that information is presented accurately about your inability to work, talk to a workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible.
Speak with a Cartersville Workers Compensation Lawyer for Free
It’s your legal right to receive benefits if you are injured at work. Don’t let the insurance company or your employer disregard your injuries and prevent you from getting the coverage you truly need to keep supporting yourself and your family. Talk to one of our workers’ compensation lawyers at John Foy & Associates today. We have 20+ years of experience with workers comp claims, and we know how to help you. Contact us today for a FREE consultation to get started. Call 404-400-4000, or fill out the form to your right for that free consultation.