If you get injured on the job, you’re going to want compensation. For the most part, the only compensation you’ll really get is medical care and replacement wages. Usually, people who get hurt at work at back on the job within a few weeks or months.
While you’re out of work, you can expect to receive workers compensation benefits. This is money meant to cover your wages until you’re ready to go back to work.
In Atlanta, you’re entitled to the following benefits under temporary disability:
- Weekly benefits equal to 2/3 of your normal wages
- The maximum weekly benefit you can receive is $575
- You can only receive these benefits for up to 400 weeks
Keep in mind, workers comp is meant to be short term. That’s why it’s called temporary disability. Very few people get benefits for 400 weeks. That’s almost 8 years!
For people whose injuries are that serious, they typically settle their claims long before the 8 years are up. Workers comp lawyers in Atlanta settle dozens of cases each year.
One of the first questions plaintiffs ask their workers compensation lawyers in Georgia is how much money they’ll get. Your workers’ comp attorney can’t possibly answer this question when he first meets you. In fact, until you know how bad your injuries are, no attorney worth his salt can answer this question.
Why Would You Settle Your Case in the First Place?
A lot of people may wonder why they’d ever settle their case when they can receive benefits for 8 years. There are a few reasons for this. First, your employer isn’t going to want to keep a claim open for this long. Nor is he going to want to hold your job for this long. Most employers want these cases wrapped up in less than a year if possible.
Second, most people can’t survive on 2/3 of their salary. Especially not for years at a time. It may be something you can do for a few months, but it’s hard to pay your bills on this kind of money. Let’s say, for example, that you used to make about $1,000 per week. You’ll only receive $575 per week on workers comp. That’s a difference of about $1,300 a month. Very people can afford this kind of pay cut.
Finally, most doctors are going to say you’ve reached your maximum level of improvement after a year or so. There’s only so much medical care you can receive. Even if you need multiple surgeries, after a year or two, your doctor will say there’s nothing left to do. Once your doctor says you’ve reached maximum improvement, you’ll have to go back to work or settle your claim.
How Does a Settlement Work?
Workers comp settlements in Atlanta work a lot different than other types of cases. Your Atlanta workers compensation lawyer can’t just demand a random amount of money. It doesn’t work that way.
Everything in workers comp has to do with the part of your body that was injured. Certain body parts are considered more valuable than others. For example, if you hurt your back, your claim is worth more than someone who just hurt their wrist.
There is a guide that states how much each type of injury is worth. Your doctor will then determine how bad your permanent disability is based on your injury. For example, he may say that your back is 50% disabled. The chart will tell you how much this injury is worth.
Of course, the company doctor is going to give the lowest numbers possible. This is why your Georgia workers comp lawyer will get a second opinion. He’ll have his own doctor examine you and provide his assessment.
Once both doctors have filled out their reports, the lawyers will start negotiating. They’ll arrive at some number in the middle that they agree is fair. Your settlement will take into account a few things:
- Your salary
- Whether you’ll ever be able to work again
- The body part that was injured
- The total percentage of disability as negotiated by your lawyer
- Your age
- The medical bills already accrued
- Future medical care needed
Your total settlement amount will be determined using these factors.
Contact a Workers Comp Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
If you get hurt at work, you’re going to wonder how you’ll support your family. This may be your first concern, even over your physical well-being. That’s why it’s important to call an Atlanta workers comp lawyer right away.
Your attorney will ensure your case is handled right from day one. Call and schedule your free initial consultation today.