What Recourse Do I Have if I’m Injured at Work in Atlanta?
Most workers in Atlanta are entitled to benefits if they get injured at work. Workplace injuries may be due to freak accidents, negligence or deliberate actions. Many of these injuries are serious enough to result in days away from work, job restrictions, and transfers. This means that injured workers can have financial challenges to deal with on top of their health concerns. If you’ve been injured on the job, it’s important that you know your rights.
How Workers’ Compensation Insurance Works in Georgia
Any business which regularly employs three or more workers is mandated to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This includes part-time staff as long they are employed on a regular basis. Even if you only work on weekends, you can file a claim for benefits if you get injured. This insurance compensates you for your medical bills and lost wages if you are unable to work.
When you file for workers’ comp, you waive the right to sue your employer for negligence. You avoid a trial and in exchange, you get a payment that’s technically guaranteed. Even though you can’t sue your employer, you may be able to pursue a third party like a product manufacturer. Your personal injury attorney in Atlanta, GA will help you to identify potential defendants.
You are required to report your injury to your employer as soon as possible. In a case of serious injury, you may have to seek medical attention immediately. Your condition may prevent you or your close relatives from making the report within the first few days. However, you need to do so within 30 days of the injury if you want your claim approved.
The report should provide as much detail as possible about the circumstances surrounding your injury. Your employer’s insurance company and the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board will need this information. If you can’t show that your injury was work-related, your employer won’t be asked to compensate you. The more details you can provide, the better.
Rights Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys Will Explain to You
You’re not legally required to have an attorney during the workers’ compensation process. However, having someone who knows the law on your side can help to ensure your rights are protected. If you don’t know your rights, your employer or their insurer may try to take advantage of you.
Here are some of the things you should know.
- Your employer may provide a list of at least six doctors from which you can choose. If so, you will have one opportunity to switch to another doctor on the list without telling your employer. Alternatively, you may have to follow the rules of a workers’ comp managed care organization if your employer has a contract with one.
- If you’re not informed about these options, you can see any doctor. Your employer will have to pay your bill. In an emergency situation, you can see any doctor of your choice.
- A number of related expenses may be paid in addition to your bills for doctor’s visits. These include medication, physical therapy, and travel.
- If you can’t work for more than seven days because of your injury, you should begin to receive income benefits. You will only be paid for the first seven days if you remain off the job for more than 21 days straight.
- If your injury is a catastrophic one, you should receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to $525 weekly. You should get this for as long as you are unable to work. Catastrophic injuries include paralysis, blindness, amputation, and traumatic brain injury.
- For non-catastrophic injury, you are also entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to $525 per week. However, this payment only continues for a maximum of 400 weeks. The amount may be reduced if you could be employed in some way.
- If you can work again but only in a lower-paying post, you may get up to $350 weekly for $350 weeks.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Atlanta, GA on Workers’ Comp Exemptions
There are certain injuries which aren’t covered under workers’ comp. These include:
- Injuries sustained due to your own carelessness or fooling around
- Injuries sustained in an altercation with another employee or another individual
- Also, injuries due to a pre-existing condition that wasn’t related to your job
- Injuries sustained while going to and from work or while performing a task not related to work
Contact Bethune Law Firm for Assistance Today!
If you’ve been injured at work, reach out to us so we can ensure you get the compensation you deserve. We will provide you with a personal injury attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has your best interests at heart. If your employer is refusing to contact the Board, we can help you. If they are disputing whether your injury was work-related, we can gather the evidence to prove your case. The sooner you contact us, the better it will be for you.