Powder Springs residents work hard for their money—and your employer is required under Georgia law to provide you with workers compensation benefits if you are hurt at work. Unfortunately, getting the benefits that you deserve as a worker is sometimes a lot harder than it needs to be. If you have been injured at work, you need to take action to get the benefits that you are entitled to receive. In most cases, that means providing notice to your employer, and they should do the rest. When that doesn’t happen, or if you’re worried that your employer’s insurer doesn’t have your best interests at heart, you need a Powder Springs workers compensation lawyer to step in.
We have represented victims of work injuries in Powder Springs for over 20 years. John Foy & Associates never works for insurance companies—we always fight for victims. If you are having trouble getting medical care or workers compensation benefits after a work injury, you need the strong arm of John Foy & Associates team to help. Let us give you a free consultation and put our experience and knowledge to work for you. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
How do I know if I should be getting workers comp benefits?
Under Georgia law, most workers are entitled to receive work comp benefits if they were injured on the job or while engaging in an activity that benefits their employer. Most work injuries will occur on your employer’s physical property, but not always. In some cases, you may be on an errand or traveling on behalf of your employer when you are injured. In those situations, you will likely still be able to get workers compensation benefits.
To receive benefits, you must show that:
- You were an employee of the employer when the injury occurred
- Your employer carries workers compensation insurance
- You were injured at work, or you have a work-related illness
Nearly every employer in Georgia is required to have workers compensation insurance. But, there are certain industries in Powder Springs where workers compensation coverage may not be required. Your attorney will be able to tell you whether you fit into one of these small exceptions.
Your employer is supposed to tell you how to get benefits when you are injured at work. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. If you think you should be getting medical care and benefits, the first step is to talk to your employer about it. They should help you get medical care right away. If they don’t, or they won’t talk to you about workers comp at all, you need to call John Foy & Associates.
What happens if my employer doesn’t have workers compensation insurance?
To get workers compensation benefits, your employer must have workers compensation insurance. Most employers are legally required to have this type of insurance. The penalties are steep, so situations where an employer doesn’t have coverage are few and far between. But, it does happen.
If your employer doesn’t have workers comp insurance, but they should, you may actually be able to get more money for your work injury than you would under the workers compensation system.
Workers comp is a tradeoff—employees get virtually immediate medical benefits based on a no-fault system. Employers get to avoid lawsuits that are costly and often disrupt their business. But, when an employer doesn’t get workers compensation insurance as they are required to do, they waive this “trade-off.” That means that the employee can bring a personal injury claim against their employer in their local court, instead of through the workers compensation court. That also means that getting immediate medical benefits is likely not an option for an injured worker, however. But, you can claim damages for pain and suffering through a personal injury case. That type of damage is not available through workers compensation.
If you know your employer doesn’t have workers compensation insurance, but they should, you can report them to the state. They may have to pay civil and criminal fines and deal with penalties associated with not having coverage. It may also force them to get coverage. That way, if you are ever injured at work, you can use workers comp to get medical care.
What kind of benefits are available through workers compensation?
Workers compensation offers several types of benefits. Perhaps the most important, and the one that you will likely receive first, is medical care. Your employer’s insurance company should cover any expenses related to your work injury. This benefit is often substantial. Medical costs add up quickly, but because you were injured at work, you won’t have to pay any of these costs.
You can also receive income replacement benefits while you recover from your injury. These benefits are referred to as “temporary disability benefits.” These benefits are designed to give you some income while you are unable to work because of your work injury. They are generally 2/3 of your average weekly wage. However, Georgia has a cap of $575 per week on these benefits. These benefits will continue for a period of up to 400 weeks or until you reach maximum medical improvement, whichever comes first. Maximum medical improvement means that you may not be completely healed, but you are as good as you are going to get from a medical perspective.
Another type of benefit that you can receive is based on the permanent damage that your work injury. In most cases, your work injury will cause some kind of permanent impairment. This impairment is then converted to a percentage by a medical professional. That percentage is then altered into a number of weeks that you will receive benefits. The amount of this type of benefit varies a great deal depending on the body part affected and the severity of your injury. These are called permanent partial disability benefits.
In some situations, you may be considered permanently and totally disabled, which means that you cannot go back to work. Under those circumstances, you may be entitled to weekly benefits for the rest of your life.
Some injured workers may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation or job retraining as well.
These benefits can be immensely valuable. But ultimately, they still come from an insurance company—and insurers have an incentive to save money by offering you as little as possible. A good lawyer can help you get the most out of your workers compensation claim.
Talk to a Powder Springs Workers Compensation Lawyer for Free
If you were hurt at work, you deserve workers compensation benefits. Most cases are as simple as that. But, you’d be surprised how difficult it can be to get benefits in some situations. Don’t just let it slide. 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.