Hawk Law Group | May 17, 2022 | Georgia Law
Workers’ compensation is no-fault, employer-provided insurance covering worker-related injuries and illness. Most Georgia employers are required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. You can verify your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage on the SBWC’s website.
Steps to Take After Being Injured on the Job in Georgia
A work-related injury can be frightening. However, knowing what steps to take after a work injury can reduce anxiety and help you protect your right to workers’ compensation benefits.
Report Your Injury
File a report of injury with your supervisor or employer as soon as possible. If you wait longer than 30 days to report your injury, you could lose the right to receive full workers’ comp benefits.
Seek Medical Treatment
Seek prompt medical treatment for your injuries. Injured workers must seek medical care from an approved provider. Your employer must post a list of at least six doctors you can choose from to receive care after a work injury.
The employer may post the name of a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization instead of a panel of approved physicians. When you call the 24-hour toll-free number, a managed care representative assists you in scheduling an appointment with an approved medical provider.
If you need emergency medical care or after-hours care, go to the nearest hospital, urgent care facility, or your family doctor. Your employer must pay for necessary emergency treatment even if the doctor is not an approved provider.
File Your Workers’ Compensation Claim
File a Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Then, send a copy to your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance provider. It is best to file this form as soon as possible to protect your right to benefits.
There is a one-year deadline from the date of injury or the date you were diagnosed with an occupational illness to file your claim.
Continue Treatment With Your Medical Provider
It is important to continue your medical treatment and keep all doctor appointments. In addition, follow your doctor’s instructions regarding work. Inform your employer immediately if your doctor states that you cannot work or issues work restrictions.
If your employer cannot accommodate your work restrictions, it will advise you to stay at home. Your doctor will tell you when you can return to work without restrictions.
Weekly Income Benefits
If you cannot work, you should receive weekly income benefits after missing more than seven days of work. When you miss more than 21 days because of a work-related injury or illness, you are paid for the first seven days you could not work.
Your weekly wage benefit equals two-thirds of your average weekly wages. However, workers’ compensation benefits are capped at $675 per week for injuries on or after July 1, 2019. You can receive weekly benefits for up to 400 weeks, or you return to work.
If you receive a catastrophic injury, you might be entitled to weekly benefits for your lifetime. In addition, when a catastrophic injury impairs your ability to get a job, you can receive assistance in learning to do another job or getting another job.
Benefits for Permanent Impairments
If you sustain a permanent impairment, you receive weekly benefits based on the extent and type of impairment. For example, losing a leg or arm results in weekly benefits for 225 weeks.
What Happens After You File a Workers’ Comp Claim in Waynesboro, GA?
You should begin receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, if your claim is denied or you do not receive benefits, you can request a hearing. An Administrative Law Judge for the State Board of Workers’ Compensation listens to the evidence and arguments to decide the case.
Can I Sue My Employer for a Work Injury in Georgia?
Generally, you cannot sue your employer for an injury or illness related to your employment. However, you could have a third party claim for negligence if another party caused your injury.
Examples of parties that could be liable for your work injury include:
- Negligent drivers, if a car crash caused your injury
- Third-party vendors
- Property owners
- Architects or engineers
- Equipment manufacturers (defective products)
- Business owners
A third-party claim provides more compensation than a workers’ comp claim. In addition to receiving compensation for all loss of income and medical expenses, you can receive reimbursement for other economic damages, including out-of-pocket expenses.
Likewise, a third-party claim might include compensation for non-economic damages. These damages include your pain and suffering, a decrease in quality of life, and emotional distress. These damages are not available in a workers’ compensation claim.
It is also important to remember you have the right to legal counsel. At any time during the workers’ compensation process, you can consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer about your case.
Contact the Personal Injury Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the personal injury lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and it’s surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.