If you are employed in Monroe, workers’ compensation benefits are your right from the first day on the job. Workers’ comp insurance should cover your medical costs and provide supplementary income if your injuries keep you away from work for a certain period of time. However, many workers struggle to get the full benefits they deserve from the insurance company—and they need help from a workers’ compensation lawyer in Monroe.
From helping injured workers with their workers’ comp claims over the past 20 plus years, we’ve seen how greedy insurance companies can be. They will look for ways to pay out as little as possible. Our workers’ compensation lawyers in Monroe (and all throughout Georgia) know how to fight for your rights and stand up to the insurance companies.
We’d love to give you a FREE consultation to talk over the details of your injuries and how we can help your case. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your FREE consultation today.
How Workers’ Compensation Works in Monroe
Workers’ compensation is a concept that has been around, in some capacity, for more than a hundred years. Before the Workers’ Compensation Act was adopted in 1920, employees who were hurt on the job did not have guaranteed benefits from their employers. When employees tried to seek recovery in court, they had little luck, and lawsuits were lengthy and expensive.
Today, workers’ compensation is provided and regulated by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC). There are two main goals of workers’ compensation:
- To ensure that injured workers have access to medical care and compensation, replacement of a portion of wages, vocational rehabilitation services, and other benefits and
- To avoid expensive and lengthy trials between worker and employer
It’s actually impossible to sue your employer through workers’ compensation because it doesn’t matter who or what caused the injury. You cannot blame your employer for the injury, and vise versa. Workers’ compensation is your right if you were injured at work.
Georgia Workers’ Compensation Insurance Laws
Any employer or business in Georgia with three or more regular workers is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. This includes full-time, part-time, and seasonal workers as long as they are considered “regular.”
If a business is incorporated, the employer and its officers are also counted as employees towards the minimum. While up to five officers can opt-out of workers’ comp coverage for themselves, they still cannot be excluded from the minimum requirement.
If your employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance when they should, it’s a misdemeanor crime. They can face a penalty from the Board of between $500 and $5,000 per violation and possible imprisonment for up to 12 months. You’ll want to contact a Monroe workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible if your employer tells you there is no workers’ comp coverage.
Benefits You Can Receive Through Workers’ Compensation
There are several benefits employees can file a claim for under workers’ compensation after a work-related injury. The purpose of workers’ comp benefits is to help you recover and return to work.
All of the following medical costs should be covered for a work-related injury:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Prescription medications
- Physical therapy
- Travel to and from medical appointments
You might also be entitled to receive medical rehabilitation.
To receive medical benefits, you will need to see an authorized physician. Your employer must post information about the medical care providers you can use, either through:
- A Panel of Physicians with at least six different doctors OR
- The name of a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization (WC/MCO) that has been certified by the SBWC
The insurance company providing your workers’ comp coverage should pay for all medical costs as long as the injury happened on the job and treatment was provided by an authorized physician.
If you’re unable to work for over seven days, you can begin receiving income benefits. These are equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to $675 per week. If you can return to work but have to get a lower-paying job because of your injuries, you can receive a reduced income benefit of up to $450 per week.
The first check with your income benefits will be mailed to you within 21 days from the first day of missed work. If you end up having to miss over 21 consecutive days of work, you’ll also be paid for the first seven days.
Sometimes, work injuries are catastrophic and make it hard for you to get another job. You might be entitled to vocational rehabilitation benefits that help you get or learn to do another type of job.
When a worker dies as a result of an on-the-job injury, workers’ compensation should provide benefits to their dependents. These income benefits are two-thirds of the deceased worker’s former average weekly wage up to $675 per week.
Any Work-Related Injury is Covered
Any injury that happens while on the job should be covered by workers’ compensation. It doesn’t matter whose fault the injury was, how the injury occurred, or whether or not the injury was directly related to your job duties. For example, if you are injured from falling down the stairs at work, it should still be covered.
Although more dangerous jobs understandably have work-related injuries, anyone can file a workers’ comp claim if they are hurt at work—even office workers.
Situations That Do Not Apply to Workers’ Compensation
There are some circumstances that are in a gray area or are not necessarily covered by workers’ compensation.
If you were hurt while traveling for business, operating a company vehicle, attending an off-site work meeting, or running an errand for your boss off-site, your injuries are likely still covered. However, other injuries that happen off of the premises are not typically covered—such as while you’re driving home from work or driving into work.
Speak with a Workers Compensation Lawyer in Monroe, GA for Free Today
At John Foy & Associates, we are dedicated to helping injured workers get the money they need and deserve after a work injury. Call us today and we’ll give you a FREE, no-risk consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started for FREE.