There are two main classes of injuries in the legal sphere: catastrophic and non-catastrophic. In Georgia, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation provides a Bill of Rights for injured workers. This Bill of Rights describes workers’ entitlements in the event of a catastrophic accident. Per the law, a “catastrophic injury” is one involving “amputations, severe head injuries, severe paralysis, severe burns, or blindness,” as well as any other injury that’s serious enough to prevent the employee from returning to work.
The board handles catastrophic injury claims differently from non-catastrophic claims. Workers’ are typically eligible for greater compensation and medical/vocational rehabilitation benefits. Catastrophic workplace accidents deserve legal attention to make sure all worker rights stay protected. Help from Kaufman Law, P.C. of Atlanta can make all the difference in the outcome of your claim. We can help you file with the board, seek the right medical care, and maximize your benefits. Serious injuries require serious Atlanta attorneys.
What Qualifies as a Catastrophic Injury?
The Worker Bill of Rights lists a few specific injury types it deems catastrophic, but otherwise leaves the definition open to interpretation. As long as the injury is severe enough to disrupt the employees’ ability to perform prior work and any work available in the national economy, the board will deem it “catastrophic.” To qualify for catastrophic workers’ compensation benefits, you will need the following:
- An injury severe enough to qualify under the Bill of Rights definition. This can include injuries that cause chronic pain.
- An opinion from an authorized physician that states that you can no longer work. Must be from the past year (preferably six months).
- If you can return to work, a note from the physician stating any restrictions or limitations due to the injury.
- Current relevant medical records, from six months to one year ago, especially from the physician authorized to treat you.
- Documentation of your education level and work history for the past 15 years, including the physical requirements of each job.
If you qualify for catastrophic injury workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta, you will be eligible to receive two-thirds of your weekly wage (up to the state maximum of $575 per week) for as long as you cannot return to work. Georgia law also entitles you to receive rehabilitative benefits to help you recover from your serious injury. If you can return to work but at a lower capacity than before the injury, you can qualify for weekly benefits up to $383 per week for up to 350 weeks.
How Can Atlanta Lawyers Help?
Don’t try to handle your catastrophic workers’ compensation injury on your own. At our Atlanta firm, we’ve seen too many workers with serious injuries face rejections, denials, and low benefit awards because of incorrectly filed paperwork, insurance company mistakes, and even insurance bad faith. Talk to our attorneys as soon as possible after a major work-related accident to protect your rights from the start. We have an in-depth understanding of the Georgia State Board Bill of Rights for Injured Workers and can help you navigate the system to your greatest advantage. Call (404) 355-4000 or submit our online form to request your free consultation in Atlanta.