If you are injured at work or suffer from an occupational disease, you are entitled to workers’ compensation. Georgia workers’ compensation entitles you to payment for medical treatment and lost wages. You may also get other financial assistance. To know what you should receive in workers’ compensation it is advisable you contact a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer. The attorney will advise you on the steps to take to collect your benefits.
What a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta Will Tell You about Workers’ Compensation
A Georgia workers’ compensation attorney will tell you employers are required to have workers’ compensation coverage. They could purchase this from a private insurance company or self-insure. Only large and financially stable organizations are allowed to be self-insured. For an employee to receive his benefits, he must notify his employer of his injuries. You can do this either orally or in writing within 30 days. Failure to notify your employer could see you lose your right to claim benefits. When notifying them, be clear on when the accident happened and what caused it.
If you have an illness, detail the symptoms you experienced. Your employer should then send you to an occupational doctor. Atlanta, GA has a no-fault workers’ compensation system. This means you don’t have to prove your employer caused your injuries. As long the injuries occurred while carrying out company duties, you should get your benefits. Benefits you could receive include:
- Permanent or temporary disability compensation. This covers mostly lost wages following work injuries or an occupational disease.
- Medical benefits. This covers emergency and ongoing treatment of injuries. As long as a doctor authorizes your treatment, workers’ compensation should pay for it.
- Vocational rehabilitation. This applies if you need to be trained for a new line of work following your injuries.
- Death benefits. In cases where an injury or illness leads to death, the family of the deceased can claim compensation.
- Funeral expenses. The family can receive up to $7,500 in financial assistance for the employee’s burial.
Workers’ comp doesn’t pay for pain and suffering caused by your injury or illness so you can’t claim that.
How a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Will Calculate Benefits Owed in Atlanta, GA
A Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer will tell you that you are entitled to income benefits and medical treatment. Medical benefits are awarded as per the cost of medical treatment. For income benefits, the average weekly wage must be calculated to determine the amount to be paid. There are three possible methods for calculating this.
- The insurance company looks at the wages of the employee for 13 weeks prior to the accident. They then take the average income of those thirteen weeks to work out benefits. For example, if an employee earned $13,000 during the 13 weeks the average income would be $1,000.
- The earnings of an employee in a similar job station are used. This applies if the injured worker had not worked for 13 weeks prior to the accident.
- The injured worker’s hourly wage can be used. This happens if the two methods above are not applicable. If the worker is paid $10 an hour for 40 hours per week, the average weekly wage would be $400.
Once the insurer calculates your weekly wage, it will determine your weekly compensation. According to Atlanta, GA workers’ compensation guidelines, an injured worker should get 2/3 of their average weekly wage. There is, however, a maximum set on how much can be paid as compensation. Injured parties cannot get more than $575 per week. From the example above, the claimant has an average weekly wage of $400 and would get $266 as compensation. The worker will get this weekly, as was the case with their wages. Workers’ comp is good because you get it relatively fast without having to file a lawsuit. The downside is compensation may not be equivalent to injuries sustained.
Following your injury or illness caused by your work, there are several steps you have to take to get compensation. To understand what you need to do, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney at ReisLaw. They will offer free case evaluation and advice on the required course of action. In some instances, insurance companies may deny your workers’ compensation claim for flimsy reasons. A Georgia workers’ compensation attorney will help you appeal the decision.
If you file the appeal alone, you may not be successful. Having an attorney ensures you are not at a disadvantage since the insurance company will have legal representation. At ReisLaw we specialize in workers’ compensation and will ensure your rights are well spoken for. We will not charge you anything until your claim is settled. Call (404) 876-4200 today, we will let you know what to do.