You might want to talk to a Savannah workers’ compensation lawyer at Kaine Law if your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance carrier refuses to provide the benefits you deserve after a qualifying workplace injury or illness.
Georgia workers’ compensation program offers several types of benefits to eligible claimants, which they explain in the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Employee Handbook. Our law firm serving the Savannah, GA, area can review your legal options with you today during a free case evaluation.
Types of Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia
The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Benefits Information Quick Reference publication provides a summary of workers’ compensation benefits in our state.
- Medical care. The Georgia workers’ compensation program provides unlimited medical benefits that treat covered injuries or illnesses. In other words, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company must provide whatever it costs to treat your wounds. Also, medical care continues for up to 400 weeks.
- Total temporary disability. You can collect up to $725 a week in cash benefits to help replace some of your income when you cannot work because of your injury. You must miss at least seven days of work to qualify for this benefit. The weekly cash will be about 2/3 of your average weekly wage, up to the maximum. This benefit can continue for up to 400 weeks.
- Partial temporary disability. Let’s say you were injured at work and received medical treatment for your wounds. When the treating physician released you so that you could return to the job, the doctor stipulated light duty on a temporary basis. If the light duty or limited hours resulted in less pay than your previous regular income, temporary partial disability could provide 2/3 of the difference in pay. There are maximums and other limits on this benefit.
- Permanent impairment and disability ratings. Your worker’s compensation treating physician will perform an examination after you have achieved maximum medical improvement. If you do not have 100% of the function you had before the injury or have another permanent impairment, the doctor will assign a disability rating that is then used to calculate your permanent partial disability compensation.
- Catastrophic injuries. The 400-week benefit limit for medical care and weekly disability payments do not apply to covered catastrophic injuries. The medical care and weekly cash payments are unlimited when a worker suffers catastrophic wounds.
- Rehabilitation. This benefit includes services to help you recover the functions you need to return to the job. Also, rehabilitation services can include education or additional job training if your injuries make it necessary for you to pursue a different type of job for your future employment.
- Death. Georgia workers’ compensation program provides death benefits that include up to $7,500 in burial expenses plus weekly benefits to eligible dependents.
If your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider is unfairly or improperly refusing to pay you or provide the benefits you deserve, our Savannah workers’ compensation lawyer can go to bat for you.
For a free legal consultation with a workers' compensation lawyer serving Savannah, call 404-214-2001
How to Qualify for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Savannah, GA
You must satisfy all three of these factors to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia:
- Your employer participates in Georgia’s workers’ compensation program. Some employers are not required to participate in the workers’ compensation program in our state, often because they have their version of workers’ compensation benefits. Also, employers with fewer than three employees do not have to provide workers’ compensation coverage.
- Your injury or illness arose out of your employment duties. If you were hurt on the job, you will likely qualify for medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits. Usually, an injury that happens while commuting to or from work or when away from the job site for a lunch break is not a covered injury, but there are exceptions to this general rule.
- Your medical condition is a covered injury or illness. Georgia worker’s compensation program does not cover injury or death that was the result of an employee’s willful misconduct, which can include injuries related to alcohol or drug abuse, horseplay, fighting, or the willful act of a third party for personal reasons.
A Savannah workers’ compensation attorney can answer your questions about these factors and about your injury claim.
Savannah Workers' Compensation Lawyer Near Me 404-214-2001
Four Things You Need to Know About Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Program
When you get hurt on the job, you will need to follow different rules than you would in a non-job-related personal injury case. Here are some of the differences between a personal injury case like a car accident and a work-related injury that qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits:
- Workers’ compensation claims are “no fault,” meaning you don’t have to prove your boss was negligent for you to qualify for benefits.
- You must notify your employer right away. The employee handbook says you must inform your employer immediately, and in no case, later than 30 days from the injury.
- You must use an authorized workers’ compensation healthcare provider from your employer’s list. You cannot use your personal physician. If you do so, the workers’ compensation insurance company will not reimburse you for those expenses. Your employer is supposed to post a list of at least six doctors from which you can choose.
- You must cooperate with rehabilitation, retrain for a different position, and go back to work when your doctor clears you to work, even if the job is part-time. If you refuse to attempt a job that your authorized treating physician has approved for you, you could lose your benefits.
Many denials or cancellations of benefits involve at least one of these four issues.
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How Our Savannah Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help with Your Claim
We can help you fight unfair denials of your claim or improper suspension or cancellation of benefits. For example,
- After they investigate your claim, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company might say your injury is not covered because you were not working at the time, you were drunk or fooling around instead of working, or you injured yourself on purpose.
- The insurance providers often state that the claimant did not file their claim in time or report the accident to their boss in a timely fashion.
- We can perform our investigation, obtain evidence, and help you meet the deadlines for your application or an appeal of the board’s decision.
- We calculate the benefits to which you are entitled in your circumstances. We can challenge the insurance company if they try to pay you a lower amount than you deserve.
- We negotiate on your behalf and try to reach a settlement of your claim.
- We represent you in hearings and other legal proceedings.
Life is hard enough when you suffer an injury that keeps you from working. The last thing you need is to battle the insurance company that is supposed to take care of you.
We care about our clients, and we want you to receive the benefits you need to get back on your feet. You can reach out to Kaine Law for a free initial consultation.