Nowadays, it’s a given that an injured worker will apply for workers compensation benefits in Georgia. For most workers, this is the only option, and a South Fulton work injury lawyer can help injured workers obtain the benefits and support they deserve.
This was not always the case. Years ago, if an employee got hurt at work, they had very few options. They could attempt to sue them for damages, but they would have a difficult time convincing a judge that their employer was negligent. Plus, if they did sue, they would be terminated regardless of whether the injury was work-related or not.
Their other option was to do nothing. This was not a good option either. Not only would the worker have no recourse or protection, but they’d probably be fired anyway. Once their employer saw that they weren’t capable of doing their job due to their injury, they would be terminated. Finally, in 1920, the State of Georgia implemented the workers compensation program.
Workers now can no longer sue your employer for injuries sustained on the job. Unless you can show that they were reckless or indifferent to human safety, your only recourse is through workers compensation. Of course, there are some categories of workers who aren’t eligible for workers comp. Here, we’ll discuss which types of workers are excluded from the protection offered by workers compensation law. We’ll also explain why the workers compensation we have today was put into place long ago.
If you’ve been injured at work and are worried that your claim may not be approved, don’t worry. You can come in and meet with a South Fulton work injury lawyer free of charge.
How Does the Workers Compensation System Work in Georgia?
For people who have never filed a workers compensation claim, the system can be quite confusing. Many employees think their employer will take care of everything for them. The truth is that your claim won’t be filed unless you notify management that you’ve been hurt. The onus is on you. If you don’t report your accident, there’s no way for your company to know you were injured. And, if you wait too long to report your injuries, you may violate company policy.
Even if you do report the accident, there’s no guarantee that your employer will approve your claim. Once they submit the information to their insurance carrier, they may work hard to deny your claim. They’ll tell the insurance adjuster that they don’t think your injury was real. Or they may say you were horsing around and would not have gotten hurt had you just done your job.
For this reason, it’s important that you retain an experienced South Fulton personal injury attorney as soon as possible. They’ll make sure your claim was filed properly. They’ll also ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of. Once the insurance company finds out you are represented by an attorney, they will change their tune really quickly.
How Do You Know if Your Claim Is Approved?
Ideally, you’ll file your workers compensation claim and you’ll start to receive benefits right away. Technically, in the State of Georgia, you can’t collect any benefits until you’ve been out of work for at least seven days. At that point, you’ll start to receive weekly replacement wages.
Now, if you don’t receive your benefits, there’s a good chance your claim was denied. You’ll receive a letter of denial at some point in the weeks following your accident. If it does come back denied, your South Fulton work injury lawyer will help you file an appeal. If your appeal is also denied, you’ll have no choice but to sue your employer under workers compensation law.
What Benefits Will You Receive if Your Claim is Approved?
Assuming your claim is approved, you’ll start receiving weekly replacement wages in about two weeks. As long as you’re out of work for more than twenty-one consecutive days, you’ll receive a retroactive payment for the first week that you were out.
The way your benefits work is that you will get 2/3 of your average weekly wages. Your human resource department will calculate what your average pay was for the last 52 weeks. If you haven’t been with the company for at a year, they’ll look at your total average weekly pay. Then, they will take 2/3 of that average amount and this will be your benefit amount.
There is a cap to how much you can receive. In Georgia, this cap is $675 per week. Most states are much higher than that. However, this is the maximum amount you can receive while on workers compensation in South Fulton, Georgia. And you can only receive these benefits for a total of 400 weeks.
Of course, very few people ever stay out of work for that long. When you think about it, this comes out to be just under 8 years. By that point, most claimants have healed. Or, they have been declared permanently disabled. The good news is that your South Fulton work injury lawyer will fight to get you as many weeks as possible. They’ll also work toward negotiating a lump sum payout if your injuries are permanent.
Contact an Experienced South Fulton Personal Injury Attorney Right Away
If you or your loved one are hurt on the job, you have options. No longer do you have to worry about getting fired because your injury prevents you from doing your job. You also don’t have to worry about finding a way to pay your medical bills. Our Georgia personal injury attorneys help dozens of clients every year get the workers compensation benefits to which they’re entitled. We can help you too.
All you have to do is call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. We offer this so that you have a chance to meet with our attorneys before deciding whether you want to retain their services. It also gives our team a chance to review your claim and see if it has merit.
If you need help with your workers compensation claim, just give us a call today.