Filing a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim: The Comprehensive Guide
Under Georgia workers’ compensation law, employees who are injured on the job may be eligible for compensation. Learn more here.
The Orlando Firm are your personal injury attorneys with the experience to win.
The Basics of Georgia Workers’ Compensation
As a worker, you likely know that your employer is obligated to purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage for your medical expenses in case you get injured while on the job. However, like many workers in the state of Georgia, you may not fully understand the exact steps you have to take to claim workers’ compensation benefits and how to determine the amount of compensation you deserve. You may not even know what you should do if your employer refuses to comply with the compensation laws.
While Georgia workers’ compensation law is complex, you don’t have to let that confuse or scare you. The good news is that this article has all the details you need to understand the steps you should take to have a smooth settlement process while ensuring that your rights are upheld. If you have any questions or would like to learn how an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you through the process, please contact The Orlando Firm today to schedule a free consultation.
What Is Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?
Also known as workers’ comp, workers’ compensation in Georgia is an insurance program that offers certain benefits to workers who suffer an injury or illness while or as a result of doing their job. The program is meant to compensate them for things like lost wages and any medical expenses incurred from a workplace injury.
Covered Losses Under Georgia Workers’ Comp Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance generally covers loss of limb, injury, and illnesses caused by factors existing in the job environment, including repetitive motion injuries and even death. Losses that may be covered by a workers’ compensation claim include rehabilitation, lost wages (known as income benefits), medical treatment costs, temporary disability benefits, permanent disability benefits, and/or death benefits.
This program can cover you regardless of whether the one at fault for the work injury is your employer, customers, co-workers, or you, the claimant. If your workers’ comp benefits cover medical expenses incurred as a result of the workplace accident, your workers’ compensation insurance carrier may require you to go through a pre-selected managed care organization for your healthcare needs
Your compensation will be paid either as a lump sum settlement or as a series of sums known as an annuity. The exact amount of compensation you receive will depend on numerous factors, including the body part that was injured, the severity of the injury, how that injury impacts your ability to do your job, and more. However, workers’ comp insurance carriers are notorious for low-balling the amount of money an injured worker is entitled to, so the amount a claimant ultimately receives often hinges on the skill and experience of the attorney they hire.
At The Orlando Firm, workers’ compensation is one of our many personal injury practice areas. We are dedicated to helping injured Georgians maximize their Georgia workers’ compensation claims so they can get the care and closure they need to begin moving forward.
How to Pursue Workers’ Compensation Settlements in Georgia After a Workplace Injury
If you’ve recently been injured on the job, the most important thing you need to understand is the steps you need to take to claim workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia.
Once you experience an injury, the first step you should take is to provide immediate notice to your supervisor. You need to be clear with them that the injury is work-related and make sure that they write an official accident report.
After that, see a doctor to examine you. Explain to them how you got injured and follow their medical instructions meticulously. You can request notes if the doctor recommends that you stop working or engaging in certain activities. Ensure all the bills are sent to your employer or your employer’s insurance company.
Next, call a workers’ compensation attorney at a reputable personal injury law firm, preferably one that offers free consultations before establishing a formal attorney-client relationship. From there, they will guide you through all the other steps you need to take to achieve a successful claim.
State of Georgia Workers’ Compensation Forms
One of the things your attorney will help you understand is how to file your compensation claim. At this moment, you need to understand that once you report your injury, your employer should provide you with certain forms, which will then be submitted to the applicable workers’ compensation system.
Usually, employers are the ones who submit the forms to the state workers’ compensation agency and their insurance company. If your employer refuses to cooperate, you can get the forms from the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation agency and additional guidance from your attorney.
What to Expect From Workers’ Compensation Insurance Georgia
When a workers’ compensation insurance carrier in Georgia receives the forms, it will start conducting an investigation before it approves or denies the workers’ compensation claim. The insurers usually take two to four weeks to provide a conclusive answer. If they approve your claim, you’ll begin receiving your workers’ compensation benefits through either a lump sum settlement or a series of annuity payments.
Unfortunately, workers’ compensation insurance companies often try to deny these claims. Some of the reasons that lead to denials are disputes as to whether the injuries are associated with the job, especially if the injured employee has a pre-existing condition. Thankfully, there’s always the option to appeal. At this point, your Atlanta workers’ comp attorneys have to be fully involved in your case.
Typically, injured employees get their first workers’ compensation check within three weeks after the first day they missed work. If you don’t receive the check for your workers’ compensation benefits within this period, you should expect to receive the compensation benefits for the first week. In Georgia, you can expect to receive compensation amounting to up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage. Nonetheless, the amount should not be more than $575 per week. If your injury forces you to go to a lower-paying post, you can collect up to $383 each week for 350 weeks.
Additional Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws May Apply
According to the Georgia workers’ compensation laws, you are covered under workers’ comp insurance from the day you start the job. The law also requires businesses that have at least three workers to have workers’ comp insurance. That means that to guarantee your protection, you should know whether your company is covered by the workers’ compensation by visiting the state Board of Workers’ Compensation website here.
Moreover, according to Georgia Workers’ Compensation law, you can face penalties ranging from $100 to $10,000 per violation during the compensation process. These violations include violation of the comp regulations and making false statements to the board. This is another reason why it’s important to seek assistance from a skilled workers’ compensation attorney when navigating the process of obtaining workers’ compensation coverage in Georgia.
Role of the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Board
The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation is mandated to regulate the workers’ compensation, and it has an enforcement division that investigates incidents of policy noncompliance or any fraud allegations.
This is also the body that enforces certain laws regarding non-compliance of rules and laws regarding workers’ compensation coverage in the state of Georgia. For instance, if an employer is non-compliant, the body can force them to compensate their employees for any injuries suffered. More precisely, they may have to settle the civil penalties, the attorney’s fees and even increase your compensation by 10% if they fail to secure insurance.
If you believe your employer has violated Georgia workers’ compensation laws, it is in your best interest to contact a workers’ comp attorney immediately. At The Orlando Firm, we are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the compensation they deserve, and we’re ready to help you, too. Call us today at (404) 373-1800 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.
The Orlando Firm are your personal injury attorneys with the experience to win.