Your employer pays for workers’ compensation insurance so you can have benefits if you are injured at work. These benefits include medical payments, lost wages, and an amount for the permanent damage that the work injury or accident may have caused. All of these benefits are provided with the ultimate goal that you will be able to return to work. If you cannot return to your previous job because of an injury, then you may also be entitled to retraining to help with changing your career or improving other job skills. Although workers are covered from the first day they start work, many employees don’t fully understand their benefits or how they can get them—and it’s easy to lose out if you don’t know what you’re doing. That’s where a Grayson workers’ compensation attorney can be very helpful.
John Foy & Associates has over two decades of experience helping workers get the benefits that they deserve after a work accident. Workers’ compensation is a benefit that is designed to help workers—not make them jump through all kinds of hoops to get the assistance they are entitled to receive. Our team can help you understand your benefits and ensure that you are getting every penny that you should. We know how frustrating and confusing being injured at work can be, and we want to help. Let us give you a free consultation. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What kind of benefits are available through workers’ compensation?
You can receive a variety of benefits through workers’ compensation. What is available to you will depend on the type of injury you have and how severe it may be.
- Temporary Benefits. This type of benefit is available while you are recovering from your work injury. Generally, it is provided because you cannot go back to your job for a short time. The amount of this benefit will vary because it is based on your average weekly wage before the incident. Georgia has a maximum weekly benefit rate that is adjusted annually based on inflation.
- Permanent Benefits. You can also get permanent benefits from workers’ compensation as well. These benefits are based on the permanent effect that your injury will have on your ability to work in the future. Permanency payments are based on a percentage of impairment that’s assigned by your doctor. The percentage will equal a certain number of weeks, up to 300 total weeks.
- Medical Payments. Your employer is also required to provide you with medical care for your work injury. This medical care includes every problem or condition that results from the work accident or illness. Although workers in the City of Graysonare limited to specific doctors, employees have some discretion in choosing who will treat them for their work injury.
- Mileage Reimbursement. In some situations, you will have to travel a great deal to make it to medical appointments or other treatment. Your employer should reimburse you for your mileage to get to these appointments and any follow-up treatment.
- Vocational Rehabilitation. If you cannot return to your job after a work injury, you may be entitled to receive vocational rehabilitation. During this process, you will receive assistance finding another job or retraining to learn how to pursue another career.
- Death Benefits. If a worker is killed on the job, their family will be entitled to receive death benefits. This type of assistance helps an employee’s spouse, children, or other dependents deal with the financial losses associated with losing their loved one.
- Funeral Expenses. A deceased employee’s family will also be permitted to receive funeral benefits up to a certain amount specified by Georgia law.
One benefit that is missing from the workers’ compensation system is any money for pain and suffering, which is common in personal injury cases that are tried in local courts. Although your experiences regarding your injury will certainly play a role in your case, the focus is more on your ability to get back to work in the future.
How do I get a doctor in workers’ compensation cases?
You cannot go to just any doctor if you’re claiming a work injury. Instead, your employer will give you a list of potential doctors that have been pre-approved to treat work injuries. The employer must post a minimum of six doctors for you to consider as your treating doctor.
An employer may also use a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization (WC/MCO) instead of choosing six doctors. When an employer uses this type of system, you coordinate your medical care with a managed care representative instead of selecting your doctor from a list. But, you will still have some options that will be provided to you from the WC/MCO.
With either option, you may be able to change doctors as long as the doctor to you go to next is also approved by your employer ahead of time. This is helpful in some situations, especially when you don’t get along with a specific doctor or you need someone who has specialized experience or training.
When will I start getting benefits after my injury?
You should be able to get your medical benefits almost immediately. If it is an emergency situation, go to the doctor right away. You can let your employer know what is going on afterward if necessary. In non-emergency situations, you should coordinate with your employer to set up an appointment with an approved healthcare professional.
You are entitled to lost wage benefits if you miss work for more than seven days. Your first payment should be mailed to you within three weeks of the date that you first missed work. You’ll also be paid for those first seven days if if you’re out of work for at least 21 days in a row.
Keep in mind that you must notify your employer of a work injury right away after it happens—and you should talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
Talk to a Grayson Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
Our attorneys have extensive experience dealing with the workers’ compensation system in Georgia. We can help you work with your employer or its insurance company to get you medical care, lost wage benefits, and more. If you are having a hard time getting benefits, or you just want to be sure that you are getting every benefit you should, give the team at John Foy & Associates a call. 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.