If you were hurt on the job and need additional income benefits to handle medical treatments, you can speak to our workers’ compensation lawyers in Macon, GA, for free. No matter how much money you make, you deserve rightful benefits that cover all work-related injuries.
John Foy & Associates has experienced personal injury lawyers from Macon who have represented injured workers for 20-plus years. Our law firm has recovered over $1 billion for common work injuries and catastrophic injury claims.
Our extensive knowledge of insurance companies allows us to create compelling cases that win full recovery settlements. Get the advocacy you need beginning with a free case evaluation today. Learn more about how we expedite your worker’s compensation claims process.
Understanding How Georgia Work Injury Benefits Work
Workers’ comp laws in Georgia exist to protect employees injured in work-related accidents. This coverage ensures you have access to medical benefits and financial support after an on-the-job injury.
It pays for the damages of the injured employee without forcing them to file slow, expensive lawsuits. According to the Georgia State Workers’ Compensation Board, all employers with three or more employees must have a workers’ compensation insurance policy.
If you suffer a workplace injury, the insurance policy covers the financial costs of your injuries. Injured worker benefits aren’t a handout from the government or your employer. Your employer pays most of the cost of work comp insurance by deducting money from your monthly wages.
Many people wrongfully assume that these benefits work like a personal injury settlement from a civil claim does. This is just one of the aspects of a claim that can be confusing. Fortunately, our workers’ comp attorneys are here to answer any questions you have about your claim.
Get the strong arm
Do You Have to Sue Your Boss to Get Injured Worker Benefits?
You won’t have to sue your boss to get wage replacement benefits and other forms of compensation after a workplace injury.
Workers’ compensation in Macon, GA, completely replaces the ordinary system of lawsuits for these types of incidents. This means that you cannot sue your employer.
This rule has several advantages for injured employees like yourself, including:
- Workers’ comp can be resolved much more quickly than a personal injury lawsuit.
- Workers’ comp is more predictable and reliable than taking your chances at trial.
- You never have to go against your boss or claim your employer was at fault.
Our Macon, GA, workers’ compensation attorneys understand the concern that your boss will be upset if you submit a claim for benefits. The employer’s reaction is usually the opposite, as they have to carry workers’ compensation coverage and are glad the insurance is available to help you get back on your feet and back to work.
Does Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim Give Employers Grounds to Terminate You?
Unfortunately, many injury victims worry that if they file a compensation claim, they may lose their jobs. Under Georgia workers’ compensation laws, it is illegal for an employer to terminate or retaliate against an employee solely for filing a workers’ comp claim.
Here are some key facts about filing claims and job protection in Georgia:
Protected Rights for Injured Workers
Employees have a protected legal right to receive workers’ comp benefits for job-related illnesses or injuries without fear of retaliation under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-23.
Burden of Proof
If an employee is fired shortly after filing a claim, the burden is on the employer to prove the termination was for reasons completely unrelated to the claim. Court rulings like Davane v. Thurmond & Conner (1992) established the employer’s burden to disprove retaliation.
Presumption of Retaliation
Georgia Code § 34-9-23(c) creates a legal presumption of retaliation if an employee is terminated within 12 months of filing their claim. The employer must overcome this presumption.
Lawsuits for Retaliation for Injured Employees Filing for Workers’ Comp
Illegal termination of an injured employee entitled to workers’ comp is against Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 34-9-23 and § 34-9-1. Employees can sue for lost wages, job reinstatement, and legal fees.
It would help if you documented any suspicious words or actions hinting at retaliation after filing a claim. While other valid reasons for termination can still apply, Georgia law explicitly prohibits firing employees solely for exercising their comp claim rights.
Experienced attorneys in Macon, GA, specializing in workers’ compensation, can help you pursue legal action if this becomes an issue.
What Financial Losses does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Macon, GA?
Workers’ compensation should pay all the costs you’ve incurred due to your injury or condition. This includes paying you for the time you took off work to attend medical appointments and get the rest required to recover. In most cases, you can receive workers’ comp benefits for the following losses and inconveniences:
- Medical expenses incurred due to doctor’s appointments, hospital treatment, and diagnostic tests
- Cost of prescription drugs and medical equipment
- Occupational or physical rehabilitation expenses
- Skills training, if you need it to go back to work
- Travel expenses at 40 cents for every mile you must drive to get to and from healthcare providers
- A continued paycheck for as long as you are out of work
Your paycheck from workers’ comp benefits will likely not be as large as your typical paycheck, but you won’t have to pay taxes on it. You’ll also want to know that if your injury is permanent or you are left with a disability, you could receive additional money.
File Compensation Claims for Fatal Work Accidents
Compensation for death benefits could be recovered if you lose a family member in a work accident. Benefit packages may consist of funeral expenses, burial costs, and medical bills.
Although our workers’ compensation lawyers in Macon, GA, don’t believe money can compensate for the pain and devastating losses you’ve incurred, we understand that getting the damages you’re owed means you won’t have to deal with the stress of missed paychecks and medical expenses.
Injuries that Are Ineligible for Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation was specifically created for workplace injuries. So, if your injury didn’t occur at your place of employment, it won’t get covered. However, there are exceptions to the rule.
You could still be eligible for workers’ compensation if you were hurt while you were:
- Traveling for work.
- Driving a company car or truck.
- Running an errand for your job.
- Attending a work-related meeting at another location.
- Working from home.
If you were injured while commuting to or from work, your injuries are probably not covered. But your injury may be covered if it happened on your employer’s grounds. Our workers’ compensation attorneys in Macon, GA, can investigate your circumstances to determine if claims of compensation can be made.
Is Mental Health Covered Under Work Compensation?
You may wonder if workers’ compensation covers damages like mental health issues or pain and suffering. Whether or not non-economic damages like these get covered will depend highly on your circumstances.
Work comp benefits mainly pay for losses related to physical injuries. Therefore, if you were physically hurt and suffered emotional trauma as a result, the benefits you receive should pay for your physical and mental health treatment expenses.
That said, workers’ comp does not pay for emotional injuries that don’t also have a physical component. So, if you suffered emotional trauma because you witnessed a tragic accident, you wouldn’t receive coverage. Our experienced lawyers can provide further information on the losses covered by workers’ comp.
Can You File a Workers’ Compensation Claim If Your Injuries Are Your Fault?
If you believe your work-related injury was partially your fault, you might wonder if you’re still eligible for maximum benefits. Luckily, if your injuries happened at work, you can seek coverage from your employer’s workers’ comp insurance, despite the “no-fault” system.
No matter what types of injuries you’ve sustained, the following statements will apply to your work-related accident claim:
- It doesn’t matter whose fault it is.
- It doesn’t matter how it happened.
- It doesn’t matter if you weren’t performing a job duty when the accident occurred.
- You don’t have to blame anyone or prove who caused the accident.
The workplace can be an extremely dangerous place. Dangerous jobs in various industries, from construction to relatively safe jobs in an office setting, cause thousands of injuries each year.
Remember, employees in any business or industry can get hurt on the job, even if they work remotely. We have seen claims from retail employees, restaurant employees, delivery drivers, and many other occupations.
The Pros of Hiring a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Macon, GA
If you’ve been hurt in a workplace accident, filing a claim for workers’ comp benefits on your own could result in mistakes that cost you the compensation you need to recover from your on-the-job accident.
Working with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney from Macon, GA, will give you the advantage of having a professional who specializes in personal injury suits, helping you navigate the rules of the compensation state board, and more.
Having a skilled advocate by your side will dramatically increase the likelihood that you’ll receive fair benefits for your work-related injury claim. Don’t leave weekly benefits on the table.
A Macon, GA, workers’ comp lawyer can help you:
- Gain clarity on the complex claim process and get answers to your compensation questions.
- Receive guidance on properly filing your legal claim for benefits.
- Maximize awards to cover physical therapy, lost wages, and additional damages.
- Expedite comp claim resolutions through proven negotiation tactics.
- Have experienced legal representation solely focused on getting you maximum compensation.
- Level the playing field against employers or insurers trying to deny valid injury claims.
- Ensure you receive every penny you’re legally entitled to from your work accident.
While you are overcoming physical pain and creating a sense of normalcy, our top-rated legal team will be hard at work, filing your paperwork before deadlines expire, compiling additional evidence to strengthen your case, and working alongside experts who can assess additional personal damages owed to you.
Why Injured Workers Should Not Trust the Initial Settlement Offer
Unfortunately, you may have difficulty collecting the compensation benefits you’re legally entitled to if you get injured at work. The insurance company may want you to settle with little investigation quickly. While convenient, they will only offer you the bare minimum for your injuries without considering how bad they are.
Insurers make bigger profits when they don’t pay claims. As a result, they may question the extent of your injuries, dispute facts on how and where your injury occurred, or send you to a doctor who isn’t genuinely interested in your recovery. Our qualified work injury attorneys won’t let the insurer take advantage of you.
Georgia’s Filing Deadline for Work Compensation Claims
Standard personal injury claims typically have a two-year statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for workers’ comp claims in Georgia is even shorter. You only have one year from the date of your injury to prepare and file a claim.
Since there’s a strict filing deadline, you’ll want to start your claim as soon as possible. The first step you’ll want to take is to hire an attorney. They’ll gather the required evidence and documentation, calculate how much compensation you should receive, and work hard to get your claim filed on time.
In addition, the longer you wait to get started on your claim, the less likely the insurance company will believe your injuries are severe. Reaching out to an experienced attorney from our team today will ensure your claim goes as smoothly as possible.
Talk to a Macon Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
After sustaining injuries on the job, you have a right to workers’ compensation benefits. At John Foy & Associates, our firm’s Macon workers’ compensation lawyers want to make sure you get the fair compensation you’re entitled to, no matter what the insurance company says.
Contact our personal injury firm to schedule a free consultation. You’ll meet with a trusted lawyer who will talk to you about your case and help you determine your best course of action. If they agree to work with you, they’ll do everything they can to get the results you need to get your life back on track.