Georgia Workplace Injury Laws: What is Considered Catastrophic?
In Georgia, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system that compensates employees injured on the job. Georgia’s law covers most workplace injuries, but the rules can be confusing when it comes to catastrophic injuries, and many employers need to be aware of their obligations.
The Basics of Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws help injured employees by providing medical coverage for their Workers’ Compensation Injuries and Temporary Total Disability Payments when unable to work due to the injuries or Temporary Partial Benefits if earnings are reduced due to the injuries. There are two categories of Workers’ Compensation Injuries based on the severity of the injuries. They are non-catastrophic and catastrophic injuries. Georgia considers all injuries non-catastrophic, except for a list codified in GA Law.
What is Considered a Catastrophic Injury in Georgia?
GA Law lists five specific types of injuries that are automatically considered catastrophic these are 1) Spinal Cord Injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, a leg, or trunk, 2) Amputation of an arm, hand, foot, or leg involving the effective loss of use of that appendage 3) Severe brain or closed head injury 4) Second or third-degree burns over 25% of the body as a whole or third degree burns to 5% or more to the face or hands 5) Total or industrial blindness. 6) A 6th category is a catch-all injury that mirrors the Social Security Definition of Disability, that one cannon do any job readily available in the national economy.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Handle Catastrophic Injuries?
Georgia’s law treats Catastrophic injuries differently than other types of work-related injuries. A significant difference is that if a case is Catastrophic, a workers’ compensation panel appoints a rehabilitation supplier to help with all the medical & vocational issues that arise. Some of these issues can include housing and transportation issues and coordination of medical care. There is also no cap on weekly benefits and medical care, as in non-catastrophic cases.
What Should You Do If You Suffer a Catastrophic Injury at Work?
If you or someone you know has been seriously hurt on the job, you should talk to a lawyer immediately. A workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand your rights and ensure you receive all the benefits you are entitled to.
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