If you were injured at your job in Griffin, you have the right to workers’ compensation (also known as workers’ comp) benefits. The purpose of workers’ comp is to provide benefits to workers who are hurt while on the job. Workers’ comp should protect you, as a worker, from suffering a financially devastating injury when working. Unfortunately, some employers will try to reduce their financial obligations and avoid paying workers’ comp claims. If you were injured on the job and are struggling with receiving workers’ compensation, it’s time to speak with a Griffin workers’ compensation lawyer.
At John Foy & Associates, we understand the complicated process for workers pursuing workers’ comp benefits after an injury. For over 20 years, our attorneys have been helping workers get the personal care needed to recover—physically and financially—and continue supporting themselves and their families. Working with us is risk-free (we don’t get paid unless you get money) and we’ll offer you a FREE consultation to get started. Just call 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right for your free consultation with us.
I was injured at work. What do I need to know?
You should know that most workers are automatically covered by workers’ comp. There are exceptions, but in most cases, employers are legally required to carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy for their employees and workers. This policy covers you for injuries suffered at work.
If you were injured while at work or while doing your job, you’ll need to find out if your employer carries this insurance. If they do, here’s what you’ll need to know:
- When you file a claim for workers’ comp, the insurer is the one paying—not the employer.
- For this reason, it’s impossible to sue your employer in a workers’ compensation claim. You’ll still have to go through an insurance process when seeking compensation, but there is no lawsuit needed.
- You’ll likely be restricted in what doctors or clinics you can use based on the workers’ compensation policy. If you go to a doctor that isn’t on the approved list, you might not get reimbursed for your bills and expenses.
Benefits covered under workers’ comp include:
- Medical treatment, including doctor visits, tests and scans, hospital stays, prescription medications, and more.
- Physical therapy, if your injuries require it.
- Travel expenses for going to and from your doctor visits and other trips necessary for treatment (in Georgia, the reimbursement rate for travel is 40 cents per mile).
- Pay for work time missed if it’s a week or more. This pay will not be your full paycheck, but it will be two-thirds of what you’re normally paid (up to a max of $550) and will be tax-free.
In some rare situations, you may be able to receive more. For example, if you’ll have a disability from your injuries after you return back to work, you’ll qualify for vocational rehabilitation. This helps you re-learn how to perform your job duties with the disability.
Any injury that happened at work is covered by workers’ comp, but here are some of the most common injuries in workers’ comp claims:
- Back and neck injuries
- Joint pain
- Broken bones
- Loss of hearing
- Burns or lacerations
- Accidents involving machinery
- Accidents that occur while traveling for business
Emotional distress related to the injury can also be covered under your claim, but it must accompany a physical injury
Does it matter whose fault the injury was?
Generally no, it does not matter. In fact, even if you were injured at work and you were at least partly at fault, in most cases you are still entitled to workers’ comp insurance through your employer.
The insurer told me I don’t have a valid workers’ compensation claim. What do I do?
Sometimes employers, who are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance, never actually get it. If you were injured and then told your claim wasn’t valid or that no workers’ comp exists, speak with a good workers’ compensation lawyer. They’ll look at the facts and find out whether or not your employer is being lawful about their coverage. If you find out the employer never got the workers’ comp insurance they were supposed to have, then you can take legal action against them.
It’s also important to know that the deadlines for filing a workers’ comp claim are very strict:
You MUST report your injury to your employer within 30 days
We recommend our clients report any injuries that happen on the job—even ones that seem small or minor. This is because some injuries like minor pain or a pulled muscle can turn out to be more serious than they initially seemed. Reporting the injury creates a record of it just in case.
If you’re worried about upsetting your employer for small injuries, you should know that claiming workers’ comp benefits is not you blaming your employer for the injury. Any claim you file is between you and the insurance company providing the workers’ comp (as long as your employer provides it as they’re required to).
After reporting your injury, you must file a workers’ comp claim within 1 year
The sooner you file your claim, the better. Not only do you want to make sure it’s still valid, but you also want to ensure your evidence is as strong as possible. Memories from coworkers and supervisors who were there can become more foggy over time, and some employees might not even be at the company in a year. And it can be a lengthy process.
Talk to a Griffin Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free
Fighting for workers’ comp can feel awkward, but it can save you a lot of financial and emotional stress if you were hurt on the job. Make sure those who owe you coverage are held accountable. At John Foy & Associates, we can help. For a FREE consultation to discuss your claim, contact us today. Call 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right to get started today.