Almost all employers in Lithonia are legally required to carry workers compensation insurance for their employees. That means, if you are injured at work, you are likely entitled to these benefits. The problem is that sometimes, getting enough compensation for the costs of your injuries is more difficult than you’d think. If you need help getting the money you need to cover your expenses and get better, it’s time to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in Lithonia.
Our workers’ compensation lawyers at John Foy & Associates have been representing injured workers in Lithonia and all of Georgia for 20 plus years. We can help you communicate and negotiate with the insurance company for a settlement you actually deserve. Contact us to get started with a FREE consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online today.
How to Know if You Have Workers’ Compensation Benefits
Anyone who regularly employs three or more individuals in their business must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This includes those who are part-time or seasonal workers, as long as they are regularly employed. The only exceptions to these requirements are businesses like U.S. Government agencies, railroad carriers, domestic servants, and farm laborers.
If the business is incorporated, any officers are considered to be employees of the business, as well. (Officers can waive workers compensation coverage for themselves, but they would still count towards the three or more employees requirement.)
So, most employers in Lithonia are required to carry workers’ compensation. There’s a good chance that you are covered if you were hurt while fulfilling work duties. Most work-related injuries happen on your employer’s property, but you may also qualify for benefits if you were hurt while running an errand for your employer or traveling for business reasons.
How to Check if Your Employer Carries Workers’ Compensation
The best way to know if your employer carries workers’ compensation is by asking them. However, you can also search for coverage verification through the State Board of Workers’ Compensation website.
What You Need to Do to Receive Benefits
After you were hurt at work, you will need to notify your employer as soon as possible after the accident (Georgia Code section 34-9-80).
This is the most important first step, as you may not be entitled to recover any medical costs you accrue until you let your employer know about the injury. You can also lose any right to recovery if you do not notify your employer within 30 days of the accident.
You will also need to show that:
- You were employed by your employer when the injury happened
- Your employer carries workers compensation
- The injury happened while you were at work or performing work duties
Your injury does not necessarily need to have happened while you were performing actions for your job. As long as the accident happened at work, you should be covered.
After reporting the injury, your employer is supposed to help you with the next steps for getting your benefits. That includes letting you know which doctors to see so that your treatment qualifies for compensation. If your employer does not provide you with this information, contact a Lithonia workers compensation lawyer right away.
When if an Employer Says They Don’t Have Workers’ Compensation?
Although most employers are legally required to carry workers’ compensation, it’s surprisingly common for a business to not carry it—even when they should. This is serious, as there are huge penalties for not carrying the required workers’ comp insurance. Any business found to not have the necessary coverage can face up to a year in prison and $5,000 per violation.
If your employer tells you there is no workers’ compensation after a work accident, call a workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. You may be able to get more money for your injuries if your employer is found to have been non-compliant, as it means you can probably bring a personal injury claim against them and demonstrate their negligence in not carrying coverage you were entitled to have.
Workers’ Compensation Is a No-Fault System
Unlike other types of personal injury cases—where someone is negligent in the accident and responsible for damages—workers’ compensation claims do not consider fault at all. You cannot sue your employer directly in a workers’ compensation case, and they can not blame you for the accident. When a work injury happens, you should be automatically covered under workers’ comp.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation
There are several types of benefits available under workers compensation coverage, including:
- Medical care
- Disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
Medical care is the benefit you will likely receive first. Under workers’ comp, your employer’s insurance company should cover any costs of treatment for your work injury. Even if your medical costs are very high, you should not have to pay for any of them.
Many work injuries prevent you from working for a certain period of time. If you are unable to work for at least seven days, you typically qualify to receive temporary disability benefits as you’re away from work.
Temporary disability benefits are usually two-thirds of your average weekly wage—up to $575 per week and 400 weeks or until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). If your work injury results in a permanent impairment, you may be able to receive permanent partial disability payments. You can receive these for a certain number of weeks based on the percentage of impairment you have (which is dictated by a doctor).
Very serious work injuries can leave you with a permanent and total disability. This would mean you are unable to go back to work at all. Depending on your circumstances, you might be entitled to receive weekly compensation for life.
Vocational rehabilitation is designed to help those with physical or mental disabilities gain skills and training that allow them to get and keep a job. In some cases, your work injury may require this type of rehabilitation or job training to prepare you for a new type of work.
Workers’ compensation should cover these types of services if your injury prevents you from doing the type of job you had before.
Talk to a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Lithonia for Free
In an ideal situation, you would receive the workers’ compensation benefits you need to fully recover from your injuries and damages. However, insurance companies that provide workers’ comp are not always entirely fair or reasonable. If what they offer you isn’t enough to cover your losses, or you need help with any other aspect of your claim, it’s time to talk to a Lithonia workers compensation lawyer.
This is how we can help at John Foy & Associates. Our lawyers know what it takes to get you the benefits you deserve, and we don’t get paid unless we win your case. Contact us today and we’ll get you started with a FREE consultation. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to set up your FREE consultation now.