All workers in Augusta are automatically eligible for workers compensation. It’s a right you have from your first day on the job. If you’re injured on the job in any way, workers comp will provide benefits including free medical care and a take-home paycheck until you’re able to work again. This system is meant to protect employees so that a single injury does not become financially devastating—and it’s paid for in part by the workers themselves. Nonetheless, employers in Augusta still look for ways to avoid paying workers comp claims or to minimize how much they do pay. That’s why you should speak to a good Augusta workers compensation lawyer.
John Foy & Associates understands the pitfalls of the workers comp process. We know that this process has complicated rules, and that the insurance company will use those rules against you if you don’t have legal guidance. For over 20 years, John Foy has been helping workers and their families get the care they need after accidents. We know that an injury can threaten not just tomorrow’s paycheck, but your entire career. Let us help you. Contact us at 706-400-4000 and get a free consultation today.
What is Workers Compensation?
Workers compensation is supposed to do two things:
- Get workers the care they need after injuries
- Avoid the need for expensive lawsuits
To do this, workers comp provides standard benefits to every worker injured on the job. These benefits include:
- Medical treatment. All of your medical treatment is paid for by your employer’s insurance. This includes doctor appointments, hospital stays, tests and scans, and more.
- Take home pay. If you miss a week or more of work due to your injury, you will receive some pay for the entire duration of your recovery. The amount is not your full paycheck but it is completely tax free. The exact amount will be two-thirds of what you normally take home, up to $550 max. If you have a permanent injury, you may qualify for an additional payment.
- Physical therapy. Some injuries will require physical therapy or some other form of rehabilitation. This will also be covered by your workers comp.
- All prescription medicine is covered.
- Travel expenses. You can be reimbursed for the cost of traveling to and from all doctor visits and other necessary trips. The reimbursement rate is 40 cents per mile.
Some rare situations may include other benefits. If you will be returning to work with a disability, you qualify for vocational rehabilitation, which helps you learn to do all your job duties. If your recovery leaves you with a partial disability, you may also qualify for an additional disability payment.
What sorts of injuries are covered by workers compensation?
If you were hurt at work, it’s covered. This is true no matter what kind of injury it is.
But there are some kinds of injuries that are more common than others. Many workers compensation claims relate to the construction industry. Electric shocks, falling or having something fall on you, or getting caught in between equipment or vehicles are the most common in that field. But we also routinely see workers comp claims in white collar settings, restaurants, and every other kind of business.
The most common causes of workers comp claims include:
- Back and neck injuries
- Loss of hearing
- Joint pain
- Fractured bones
- Accidents that happen during business travel
- Accidents with machinery
Are emotional or psychological injuries also covered?
If emotional trauma is related to a physical accident at work, then it can be covered under your claim. But you must have a physical injury to file a claim in the first place.
Does the injury have to happen on the premises of my work?
If you are required to go somewhere for your work, then the injury is covered no matter where it happened. This can include:
- Business travel
- Going to an offsite meeting
- Driving a company vehicle
- Working remotely
- Going on an errand for your employer
The one exception is commuting to work. Legally, your commute is considered your time, not your employer’s. In most cases, workers comp coverage doesn’t start until you step into the company parking lot or onto the work site.
Do I have to sue my employer?
No, no lawsuit is involved—ever. In the City of Augusta, you actually cannot sue your employer for an on the job injury. The entire worker’s compensation system is designed to get you appropriate care without the need for a lawsuit.
Claiming your workers comp benefits does not mean you’re blaming your employer for what happened. We see many workers who don’t want to cause a fuss or alienate their employer. This is completely fair. We will never put you in an adversarial relationship with the company you work for, because with worker’s comp there is no need to. Your claim is between you and the insurance company.
Remember, the cost of your workers comp is already paid for—both out of your paycheck and by the employer. Getting your benefits is your right. Your employer is not allowed to fire you or take any action against you because of your claim.
Is there a time limit to file a worker’s comp claim in Augusta?
Yes, there are two very strict deadlines:
- You have just 30 days to report your injury to your employer. We recommend reporting even injuries that seem small, such as a pulled muscle or minor pain. This way there’s a record of it if it turns out to be more serious than you thought.
- You must then file your workers comp claim within 1 year. This is not as much time as it sounds like—and the earlier you file, the more evidence there will likely be to support your claim. Memories of coworkers and supervisors fade as time goes by.
Never delay when your health is on the line. If you think your injury may require medical treatment, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.
Talk to an Augusta Workers Comp Lawyer for Free
At John Foy & Associates we believe in siding with the worker. We’ve helped hundreds of people like you navigate the workers comp process and get their benefits. And we offer a free consultation, so you can sit down and get the professional legal opinion you need, at no risk.
Let us help you. Call us at 706-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.