When you are injured at work in Fayetteville, you want to assume that your employer is looking out for your best interests by telling you exactly how to get back to work the fastest and easiest way possible. Unfortunately, employers and their insurance companies don’t always give you good information because they want to save money when it comes to your workers’ compensation claim. They may not give you the information you need or may even bad directions on how to get benefits. In some situations, you may not realize that you are entitled to additional benefits. Having a Fayetteville workers compensation lawyer help with your claim significantly increases your chances of getting everything you are entitled to receive after your work injury.
Workers compensation is a benefit that you should get after you are injured at work. John Foy & Associates wants to make sure that you get the full value of that benefit. We have been helping workers get money after work injuries for over 20 years. We never work for insurance companies, but we know how to deal with them. We can put that knowledge and experience to work for you. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
Can I still get workers compensation if the injury was my fault?
In most situations, yes! Workers’ compensation in Georgia is based on a no-fault system. That means that there is no evaluation of who is to blame or what went wrong for you to get benefits. In a regular personal injury case that would go to your local court, you would have to show that another person was at fault for your injuries. Thankfully, you don’t have to make that showing in workers’ compensation. As long as you were injured while you were doing a work activity, you should still get benefits. This even applies when you may not have been following your safety protocol as instructed.
There are some exceptions to this general rule. These include situations where:
- You are intoxicated or on illegal drugs at the time the injury occurred
- You willfully injured yourself
- You were engaging in horseplay or part of a practical joke when you were hurt
- You were involved in a fight with a third-party at work
Although you should be mindful of these exceptions, they rarely actually apply in practice.
How do I get medical care after a work injury?
It’s important to report your work injury or accident to your employer as soon as possible. Generally, you have 30 days to report the injury, but the sooner you report the incident, the better. If you wait too long, your employer may try to argue that you weren’t really hurt at work and you harmed yourself outside of work. Delays in reporting also delay your ability to get medical care as well.
Your employer should have information regarding how to get medical care after a work injury posted in your workplace. Your employer will have two options for you to get medical care:
- Panel of approved physicians. A listing of no less than six doctors should be provided by your employer. You can choose any of the six options, but it’s a good idea to pick a doctor that has experience with your unique type of injury.
- Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization (WC/MCO). If your employer doesn’t use a panel of physicians, it must utilize the services of a WC/MCO. The employer contracts with this entity to provide you with approved medical care. If your employer uses this option, it should post a 24-hour toll-free number that you can use to get in touch with the WC/MCO. The provider will help you schedule an appointment with an approved provider of your choice.
If it’s an emergency, you should get medical help right away. Follow your employer’s protocol if you’re able, but if you need to go to the emergency room to get care—do it!
What medical care does my employer pay for after a work injury?
Your employer is required to pay for all of your medical expenses related to the incident after the work injury. They should even cover your transportation expenses for getting to and from your doctors’ appointments and other treatment. Potential medical care may include things like:
- In-office appointments with doctors or other medical professionals
- Lab work and testing expenses
- Physical therapy
- Medical devices and equipment
Communication with your employer to set up appointments is important. It is also vital that you tell every doctor or other medical professionals that you are being seen for a work injury, so they know that the bills should go to your employer and not you.
What happens if I can’t go back to work after my work injury?
In most situations, employees will be able to go back to their job after a work injury. It may take some time and medical treatment, but most people are able to work again. But, there are situations where you may not be able to go back, or you cannot go back to the same job that you had when you were hurt.
If you go back to a lower paying job or cannot work as many hours, you may be able to get workers compensation benefits for the difference between your new pay and your previous pay. You can receive this benefit for up to 350 weeks, and the maximum benefit amount cannot be more than $383.00.
In most situations, your benefits are limited to 400 weeks total. But, if you suffered a catastrophic injury, and you cannot return to work at all, you might be able to get workers compensation benefits for the rest of your life.
In severe injuries, you might also be able to get retraining or help getting another job from the state of Georgia as well. The idea is to get you back to work, even if that means letting you learn how to do something else that isn’t as physical as your pre-injury job. An award of benefits for the rest of your life is rare, and the State of Georgia would much rather have you working in another position instead of getting benefits outright, if at all possible.
Talk to a Fayetteville Workers Compensation Lawyer
Have you been hurt at work? Are you unsure of what to do next? Give John Foy & Associates a call. We can examine your case and ensure that you are getting all of the benefits you’re entitled to receive. Let us 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.