All workers are covered by workers’ compensation in Gainesville, Georgia. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been on the job one year, ten years, or if today was your first day – you’re covered. State law requires that all employees receive full workers’ compensation coverage, no matter your job title or your pay rate. If you are injured while working, you get benefits.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean the insurance company wants to pay up. John Foy & Associates can help. We have been helping workers in the Gainesville area for over 20 years, and have some of the most experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in the state.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in Gainesville, GA?
Workers’ compensation is a system designed to protect workers who are injured on the job. It’s a safety net that makes sure you get free medical care. Any kind of injury, from minor muscle strain to serious accidents, is covered by this program.
The costs are paid for in part by the workers themselves – the money comes out of every paycheck you earn. You are guaranteed the benefits by law. There are two reasons workers’ compensation was created:
- To make sure that every worker gets medical care for on the job injuries
- To resolve injuries without the need for an expensive lawsuit
Even though workers’ compensation is your right, it is not handled by the government. It’s handled by a private insurance company, and this is where many of the problems come in. Insurance companies don’t want to pay a penny more than they have to, and they will work to minimize the amount of treatment and compensation you get.
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What Does Workers’ Compensation Pay for?
Workers’ compensation will pay a variety of costs, similar to the same kinds of damages you can receive in a personal injury case. Workers’ compensation will pay for:
- Doctor/hospital bills. All medical treatment related to your injury is covered. This includes doctor visits, the ER, surgery, and seeing a specialist.
- Lab work and tests. Any tests required to treat your injury are covered, such as MRIs and X-rays.
- Medication. All prescription drugs are covered.
- Rehabilitation. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and other forms of rehabilitation are covered.
- Travel. You can be reimbursed for your mileage traveling to and from doctor appointments and pharmacies.
- A paycheck. You will receive a paycheck equal to two-thirds of your normal pay, up to $550, until you are able to return to work.
- Disability. If you are left with a long-term disability or cannot return to work, you will receive additional money.
As you can see, the costs of getting injured on the job can pile up quickly. That’s why accessing your employer’s workers’ compensation system is such an important right.
What Injuries Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Gainesville, GA?
Workers’ compensation is unique among employee benefits because it covers everything, period. There is no list of conditions that quality, and it doesn’t matter how the injury happened. It could be an injury directly related to work (injured by equipment) or a total accident (tripping on the stairs).
The most common and serious claims involve electrical shock, being struck by a falling object, or getting caught in between something. But workers in all industries can and do file workers’ compensation claims. We have seen claims for carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress injuries, and many other kinds of accidents.
Whether the injury is immediate, or one that builds over time, if it happened because of your job, then you have a chance at filing a successful workers’ compensation claim. Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Gainesville are ready to help you.
Why Are Workers’ Compensation Claims Denied?
All too often, we see workers being denied their benefits, or given substandard care or too little money, because an insurance company is worried about its bottom line. Don’t let them treat you this way. If you’ve been injured at work, talk to a Gainesville workers’ compensation attorney to argue your case.
In some cases, the insurer will try to get the injury diagnosed as something less severe than it really is, approve only the most basic treatment, or even call the worker a liar and claim that your injury didn’t really happen at work.
Occasionally, a denial happens for a good reason. For instance, injured employees have deadlines to report their injury to management and to the insurer, as well as seeing a doctor. Your Gainesville workers’ compensation attorney can keep you on top of these deadlines so your claim isn’t denied on a technicality.
What If the Injury Didn’t Happen at Work?
It’s possible that you’re still covered. If the injury happened while you were doing the required work for your job, it doesn’t matter where it happened. This includes injuries:
- At meetings out of the office
- While running an errand assigned by your employer
- While driving a company vehicle
- On employer-owned property like the company parking lot
- During business travel
- Working at a third party location on your laptop or phone
If you’re not sure whether your injury would be covered, you should speak to a workers’ compensation attorney in Gainesville and explain your situation. With many people working from home these days, getting hurt in your house may still qualify.
Are Psychological Conditions Covered by Workers’ Compensation?
They can be, but only if there is an accompanying physical injury. For example, if you are experiencing potential PTSD related to a physical accident at work, your PTSD treatment is covered.
If you’re experiencing something like burnout that hasn’t escalated to physical illness, you should take care of that if you can. Your employer may let you take FMLA leave to take care of your mental health before it becomes physical and affects their insurance premiums.
Do You Have to Sue Your Company if You Get Hurt on the Job?
No, never. In the City of Gainesville, you don’t even have a legal right to sue your employer over an injury on the job. The workers’ compensation system is meant to completely replace lawsuits so that neither side has to get involved in a contentious court battle.
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you are not blaming your employer. Your claim doesn’t affect their reputation, and it doesn’t cost them anything. Also, your employer is not allowed to treat you any differently because of your claim, and they have no reason to – the cost of your benefits is covered by the insurance company, and your paycheck helped fund it.
Your claim is a 100% private process between you, your lawyer, and the insurance company. However, you have only 30 days to report an injury from the time of your accident. If you have questions about the claim process, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Can Your Employer Retaliate Against You for Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Unfortunately, there are some employers who retaliate against people who file a workers’ compensation claim. Too many sick workers will cause the insurer to raise their premiums, or perhaps they don’t want the hassle of accommodating a recovering worker.
If you believe you have been fired, or are being harassed to quit, by your employer after filing a workers’ compensation claim, call us immediately to get advice on what to do in this situation.
Speak to a Gainesville Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
We have grown from a small local law office to one of the largest, most respected firms in the country. Let us sit down with you for a 100% free consultation and discuss your legal options. You deserve the workers’ compensation benefits you’re owed.
You have a right to full medical care and a paycheck while you recover from your injury. At John Foy & Associates we’ll help you get it. Let us sit down with you and give you a complete consultation to discuss your claim – for FREE. Call us or use our contact form to get your consultation today.
404-400-4000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form