If you are employed, you’ve probably had workers compensation coverage ever since the day you started work. Workers in Savannah are eligible for benefits regardless of their salary, job title or amount of time on the job. These benefits should cover you if you are injured at work, but insurance companies often try to avoid paying claims. They may question your injuries, argue about where you were injured or even send you to a doctor who will minimize your condition and the amount of treatment it will need. If you or someone close to you has been injured at work, you need to talk to a Savannah workers compensation lawyer right away.
At John Foy & Associates, we have built our law practice on helping injured people get the financial recovery they need to heal and put their lives back together. We understand the workers compensation system, the insurance companies, and what it will take to get you the recovery you deserve. We’d like to meet with you for free to talk about your claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.
What do I need to know about workers compensation?
Workers compensation, also called “workers comp,” is a program established by the government to help people who suffer workplace injuries. It has two broad goals:
- To make sure that workers are able to get medical treatment and take care of themselves financially if they are injured on the job.
- To prevent workers from having to take their employers to court and endure a long and expensive lawsuit before getting benefits.
The program works much like any other type of insurance. Employers must buy a policy to cover their workers. Then, if a worker injured at work, the policy provides coverage for the injuries and related consequences, such as time missed from work.
There are a lot of misconceptions about workers comp. Here are two things to be aware of:
- Workers compensation benefits are NOT a handout from your employer or the government. They are part of an insurance policy that was partly paid with deductions from your paycheck.
- Workers compensation benefits are NOT limited to a specific type of injury or a specific cause. Any injury that happens at work can be covered by workers comp.
What will workers compensation benefits pay for?
Workers comp can cover all the costs of your injury, including paychecks you didn’t get because of lost work time. For most injuries, these benefits are available:
- Medical treatment, including doctors, hospitals, surgery and tests.
- Prescription drugs.
- Physical therapy.
- Vocational training, if needed to enable you to go back to work.
- Travel costs of $.40 cents per mile for going to and from medical appointments.
- A paycheck while you’re out of work. The check will usually be smaller than your usual paycheck, but you will not pay any taxes on it.
You may receive additional money if your injury has led to a permanent condition or disability, or you have lost a loved one. We know that this money can never make up for a tragic accident. But money can keep your injuries from being compounded by financial stress. It can keep a paycheck coming in and allow you to pay your bills and provide from your family while you recover.
What kinds of injuries can be covered by workers compensation?
Workers compensation doesn’t treat one type of injury differently than another. The main rule is that the injury must have happened at work.
- Your injuries don’t have to be your employer’s fault—workers comp covers you no matter what caused your injury.
- It doesn’t matter how you were injured.
- Your injuries don’t have to be related to your job duties—you are covered regardless of how you were injured.
- You don’t have to blame your employer or go to court to have your injuries covered.
Many of the workers comp cases we handle come from the construction industry. Construction sites can be hazardous environments, and workers may fall, be hit by falling objects, be injured by equipment or suffer electrical shocks. We also see injuries from many other occupations, including restaurant workers, delivery drivers, and even office employees with a “desk job.”
What kinds of injuries are NOT covered by workers comp?
The basic rule is that if an injury did not happen at work, workers compensation does not apply. But there are exceptions. An injury might still be covered if you were off-site as part of your job. For example:
- You were traveling on business
- You were operating a company car or truck
- Your employer asked you to run an errand for work
- You were attending a work meeting at an off-site location
- You were working remotely
Workers are often injured while commuting to and from work. These injuries are not usually covered by workers comp, though there might be other insurance coverage that would apply. If you are injured in your employer’s parking lot or on the sidewalk outside your workplace, you may have a claim.
Will my psychological treatment be covered by workers comp insurance?
Coverage for your psychological treatment is available only if you also suffered physical injuries. Workers comp does not cover psychological injuries by themselves. So, for example, if you were burned in an explosion and now suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome, both your burns and your PTSD would be covered by workers comp. But if you witnessed the explosion, escaped physical injury, but still suffer PTSD, workers comp benefits would not be available.
Will I have to take my employer to court?
No. In fact, because of the workers comp program, you cannot sue your employer in the City of Savannah for a workplace injury. Reasons for this include the following:
- Lawsuits are expensive and can take years. Workers should be able to get benefits more quickly than that.
- It’s hard to predict the outcome of a lawsuit. Workers compensation insurance provides certainty.
- The workers compensation system allows workers to make an insurance claim without having to prove that the employer was at fault.
Many injured workers who come to us are afraid to make a claim. They worry that their employers will be angry or will retaliate against them. But we have handled many workers comp cases, and these fears are mostly unfounded. Employers want their workers to get the care they need. It’s the insurance company that doesn’t want to pay the claim. This is why we think its important to have an experienced lawyer on your case.
Talk to a Savannah Workers Compensation Lawyer for Free
If you are injured at work in Savannah, you have rights. At John Foy & Associates, we want to make sure you get the benefits you’re legally entitled to. We’ll give you a free consultation to talk about your injury and help you get started with your claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right and get your FREE consultation today.