Georgia has state-wide workers compensation laws that apply to nearly every employee in the state. If you are injured on the job, then you are likely entitled to workers compensation benefits. These benefits help you deal with lost income while you recover from your accident and cover your medical expenses. While workers compensation is a great benefit for employees in Canton, it is not always easy to get benefits. Employers and insurance companies may question your injury, your medical care, or other aspects of your benefits. In those circumstances, you need a Canton workers compensation attorney to help you protect your rights.
John Foy & Associates has over 20 years of experience in workers compensation cases. We have seen it all—and we can help with your situation. Many insurance carriers will try to give you less benefits than you’re legally entitled to. Most workers assume that they are only allowed to what their employer or its insurance company offers, but this is rarely the case. Level the playing field by getting the team at John Foy & Associates on your side. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
Who can receive workers compensation benefits in Canton?
Georgia law requires that any business in the state that has more than three employees carry workers compensation insurance. That includes businesses that have even three, regular part-time workers. That requirement covers nearly every business in the state, so chances are that your employer is required to abide by Georgia workers compensation laws.
You can check to see if your employer has the required workers compensation coverage by visiting www.sbwc.georgia.gov. Or, a good lawyer can do the research for you and get you an answer. And, even if your employer does not have workers comp coverage, that doesn’t mean you can’t get benefits. Some employers don’t carry coverage even when the law says they should. If that’s true in your case, you can still seek benefits through the local courts.
Virtually every worker who suffers a work injury will qualify for benefits. There are situations when you may not be covered because you were not engaging in a work activity at the time of the accident, but those circumstances are rare. Generally, you should be entitled to workers comp benefits as of your first day on the job.
How do medical benefits work under workers compensation?
Employees are entitled to medical care for the injuries that occurred because of their work accident—and the employer must pay for it. The State of Georgia allows you some limited choices in picking who you would like as your doctor after the injury.
Your employer is required to give you information about your medical options after a work injury. They should post this information in an area where employees are likely to see it. The employer can do this in one of two ways:
- List specific doctors or healthcare providers. The employer should list at least six options for medical professionals in your area. You must use one of these doctors if you want the employer to pay for your medical care (and you do!). These physicians may refer you to specialists that are on the list of providers as well. Nonetheless, you are allowed to change a doctor once without permission from your employer.
- Provide information about a WC/MCO. Instead of providing a list of doctors, your employer may choose to give you information about the Workers Compensation Managed Care Organization (or WC/MCO) that they use. The WC/MCO will work with you to help you get the medical care that you need. It will help you make initial appointments with the doctor of your choice, usually out of a few options, and continue to follow up with you regarding your medical care.
If you do not follow the medical care guidelines that your employer sets out, you may risk not being reimbursed for your care. Treatment under workers compensation must be “authorized” by the employer before they will pay for it. In this way, your employer controls your medical care to a certain degree. If the doctor you see is not authorized, you may be stuck paying the bill yourself, at least initially. There are circumstances where workers compensation law would force an employer to reimburse you for these expenses later.
In emergency situations, you (or your employer) may have little say in which doctor you see for urgent care. Generally, emergency services will still be covered under workers compensation even if they were not included on the employer’s list of authorized doctors or WC/MCO. In other words, if you were taken in an ambulance or went to an emergency room after the accident, that should be covered no matter what.
Which medical expenses are covered under workers compensation?
Your employer should cover all of your medical treatment and expenses as long as it relates to the work injury. These expenses often include:
- Doctor bills
- Physical therapy
- Medical devices (such as crutches, back braces, etc.)
- Emergency services
- Necessary travel expenses
It’s essential to track all of these expenses and provide them to your employer or its insurance company for payment. Many hospitals and clinics in the Canton area will send the bills directly to the workers compensation carrier once they realize that you are there for a work injury, meaning you won’t have to handle it yourself—but this does not always happen. If you have any type of bill, send it to your workers compensation attorney to forward to the employer for payment right away.
What are other types of benefits available through workers compensation?
In addition to medical benefits, you may also receive:
- A weekly paycheck while you recover from your work injury
- Benefits related to the permanent loss of your body or ability to work
- Death benefits for a spouse and/or dependent children if their loved one passes away from a workplace accident or injury
The amount of benefits you receive will depend on your unique situation.
Talk to a Canton Workers Compensation Lawyer for Free
Workers compensation is designed to provide employees who are injured on the job with immediate benefits. It’s supposed to be easy and straightforward, but like anything that involves insurance companies, it often isn’t easy at all. Don’t miss out on the benefits that are your legal right. Let John Foy & Associates give you a FREE consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.