Have you sustained work-related injuries in or around Conyers, Georgia? In our state, you may be entitled to medical expenses and partial wage replacement benefits through a workers’ compensation claim.
The process for filing a claim may seem like just one more thing to handle in the aftermath of an accident. You shouldn’t have to handle this task on your own.
Nor do you have to. A Conyers, Georgia, workers’ compensation attorney with Kaufman Law, P.C. could help you seek the benefits you’re entitled to. Find out more about how we can help by contacting us online or calling us for a free case review.
What You Need to Know About Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
According to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (GSBWC), any employer with three or more employees in Georgia must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. The law also applies to employers with at least three regular part-time employees.
When an employee in Georgia sustains work-related injuries or develops a work-related illness, they can file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The surviving family members of workers who die in work-related accidents can also file claims.
Dangerous Professions in Georgia
An employee could theoretically sustain injuries in any workplace. However, some jobs are more dangerous than others.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most dangerous occupations in the country are:
- Being a pilot or aircraft engineer
- Being an iron/steel worker
- Being a driver
You don’t have to work in an inherently dangerous industry to file a workers’ comp claim in Georgia. You can file a claim as long as your employer has workers’ comp insurance and your injuries occurred while you were performing work-related tasks.
What Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover in Georgia?
The GSBWC says the main purpose of workers’ compensation in Georgia is to help injured workers return to work. Workers’ compensation benefits serve this purpose by providing:
- Medical expenses
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Partial wage replacement
Wage replacement benefits may fall into one of these categories:
- Temporary Total Disability – A worker may receive Temporary Total Disability benefitsin Georgia if their injuries prevent them from working for more than seven days. A worker can only receive payment for the first seven days if they are unable to work for 21 consecutive days. Temporary Total Disability pays two-thirds of an injured worker’s weekly wages. It cannot pay more than the maximum rate the GSBWC allows at the time a worker sustains their injuries. As of July 1, 2023, the maximum weekly payment is $800. To qualify for TTD benefits, a worker must show that their doctor has confirmed their disability and work absence. Although these benefits are similar to the benefits you’d get from a short-term disability benefits policy, those policies have different eligibility requirements and payouts.
- Temporary Partial Disability – Workers are eligible for TPD benefits when they return to jobs that pay less than their pre-injury jobs did. Workers may be eligible for TPD benefits for up to 350 weeks from the date of the injury. Temporary Partial Disability benefits pay up to two-thirds of the difference between an employee’s pre-injury wages and their current wages. As with TTD benefits, weekly payments cannot exceed $533.00 as of July 1, 2023.
- Permanent Partial Disability – A worker may be eligible for Permanent Partial Disability benefits if their injury results in permanent impairment of some part of their body. These payments are not like long-term disability benefits. LTD policies dictate eligibility requirements, level of payments, and duration of weekly payments. PPD payments are often paid in a lump sum.
According to the GSBWC, the amount of money a worker may receive via Permanent Partial Disability benefits depends on a disability rating a physician may assign to their injuries. A workers’ compensation disability benefits attorney can explain in greater detail how the GSBWC calculates these benefits.
Workers’ compensation disability benefits are not the same as Social Security disability benefits. It is possible to collect both workers’ comp benefits and SSD at the same time, but your Social Security disability benefits may be reduced if you do. A Social Security disability lawyer can explain whether you’re eligible for benefits via the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA).)
If you have a short-term or long-term disability insurance policy through work or that you privately purchased, speak to a long-term disability lawyer or short-term disability lawyer about getting the benefits that you’ve paid for if you’re off work because of an injury.
How a Conyers Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Can Help You
A workman’s comp lawyer can assist you in several ways after a work injury. They are:
- Handling administrative tasks – Completing and submitting a work injury claim includescommunicating with insurance adjusters, filling out paperwork, and documenting your losses. A workplace injury lawyer can handle these tasks on your behalf. As a result, you can devote more energy to your recovery.
- Gathering evidence –Your employer or their insurer could deny your claim. Your lawyer can dig up evidence showing your injuries are work-related. A workers’ comp lawyer can investigate your case, gather the evidence you need, and appeal any denial.
- Negotiating for a fair settlement – The insurance company might try to lowball you when offering a settlement. A Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer can evaluate their offers and negotiate for a proper settlement if the initial offers are too low.
Important Information About Filing a Third-Party Work Injury Claim in Georgia
You don’t have to prove negligence to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia. You’ll be eligible for benefits as long as you can show your injuries are work-related. The workers’ compensation system prohibits employees from suing their employers for negligence.
However, if your injuries resulted from the negligence or actions of a third party, you could file a claim against that person. Examples of how this might happen include:
- Another driver causes a wreck while you’re driving for work
- A piece of safety equipment you’re using for work fails because the manufacturer overlooked a defect
- You sustain injuries at a work site because the property owner didn’t address hazardous conditions
You may be able to file a personal injury claim with the insurance of the liable party in these circumstances. If you do, you may seek compensation for losses that workers’ comp doesn’t cover, like pain and suffering. Consider hiring a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney who is also a personal injury lawyer. They can advise you about whether you can file this type of claim.
Can You Afford a Conyers Workplace Injury Lawyer?
At our Conyers workers’ compensation firm, we don’t charge for our services unless we win your case. Our fee is a portion of the settlement you receive. If you don’t get paid, we don’t get paid.
How Long Do You Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Georgia?
The GSWBC requires injured workers to file workers’ compensation claims within one year of sustaining work-related injuries. Injured workers also must report their injuries or accidents to their employers within 30 days of said accidents. If you miss the deadline to file, you may be ineligible to receive benefits.
Get in Touch with a Conyers Worker’s Compensation Lawyer
You don’t have to navigate the workers’ compensation claims process by yourself after sustaining work-related injuries. Get legal representation from professionals who are familiar with Georgia’s workers’ comp laws.
That’s exactly what you’ll find at Kaufman Law, P.C. Learn more about what a Conyers workers’ compensation attorney can do for you by contacting us online or calling us today for your free case review.
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