Workers’ compensation laws provide protection to workers who get injured when they are working on the job. The laws give the worker the right to receive a financial award from the state to help him return to work. However, if you are injured on the job, trying to navigate through the laws to make sure your claim is properly filed can be overwhelming, especially if are trying to recover from your compensable work injuries in Canton.
To protect your rights, you should contact a Canton workers’ compensation attorney from the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition. Our experienced attorneys can take over your case, help you file your claim, and represent you in all aspects of your claim so you will receive all the benefits that you are entitled to.
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What Are Compensable Work Injuries in Canton, GA?
By definition of Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws, any injury or illness, even death, that occurs during work or which results from the job is a compensable claim. That means any injuries that occur while the worker is performing job duties assigned to him during work hours are compensable.
Some of the most common work-related injuries include the following:
- Injuries to the back and neck while lifting
- Sprains and strains caused by repetitive motion, like carpal tunnel syndrome
- Injuries caused by overexertion
- Cuts, lacerations, burns, and other injuries caused by equipment and machines
- Fractures and contusions caused by falling objects
- Slips and falls
- Cumulative injuries from continued trauma
- Car accidents during work hours while traveling for work-related reasons
- Illnesses caused by exposure to chemicals or unhealthy air quality in the work environment
It is important to note that if you have a pre-existing condition, you are entitled to workers’ compensation if an injury makes your pre-existing condition worse. For example, suppose you had injured your back in the past. Part of your job is lifting heavy items. However, as you continued to lift, your back problem was aggravated and got worse. Because of this, you can qualify for workers’ compensation benefits under Georgia’s laws.
Also important to note is that Georgia has a “no-fault” workers’ compensation system. That means as the worker, you are not required to prove that the employer is responsible for your workplace accident in order to qualify for benefits.
On the other hand, there are situations when your benefits might be reduced or denied if your injuries were caused under the following conditions:
- You were intoxicated or was misusing a controlled substance on the job and got injured.
- You refused to follow your employer’s safety protocols or did not use safety devices as required (if you unintentionally forgot, however, you can still be covered, but you might be subject to disciplinary actions from your employer).
- You were fighting with a work colleague on the premises.
- You were acting in a way that was considered willful misconduct (e.g. playing practical jokes that resulted in your own injury).
- You engaged in self-harm or tried to falsify claims.
- You were injured during your breaks and lunch hour (but if you were doing something asked by your employer during your break and lunch hour, you are covered.)
- You were injured on your way to work or after you left work (note: if you were injured on your employer’s parking lot, you are covered).
What Kind of Compensation Can You Claim?
Under Georgia’s law, you can claim compensation for the following.
Workers’ comp covers medical expenses incurred as a result of your work-related injury. This includes any surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc. However, you must choose a medical professional from a list that is provided by your employer. Your employer must post this list in a prominent location at work, and they must inform you of this list.
If you seek treatment from a doctor who is not on the approved list, your treatment may be considered unauthorized, and it might not be covered under your workers’ compensation benefits. Your doctor’s bills from an authorized physician are covered. Your doctor is paid the fee set by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Medical Fee Schedule.
If your doctor charges you more than that, his fees will be reduced to the covered amount. You are not responsible for any medical fees more than what is covered by the fee schedule.
In addition to getting medical treatment from approved specialists for your workplace injuries, you can also seek compensation for expenses incurred traveling to and from your medical appointments and for any prescription medication that you must take.
Necessary Travel Expenses
In certain situations, you might also get reimbursement if you need to pay for meals, lodging, and other costs that you had to incur in order to get the appropriate medical care that you need. For these situations, you should consult an attorney to see what you are entitled to claim before you incur these expenses.
If you are not able to work for more than seven days, under workers’ compensation, you are entitled to receive a weekly income. You are entitled to get two-thirds of your average weekly salary. You get your first check within 21 days after the first day that you missed work. If your injuries prevent you from working for 21 days consecutively, you will get payment for the first week.
How Long Do You Have to File for Workers’ Compensation in Georgia?
When you are injured at work, you must give your employer timely notice of your injury. In Georgia, you have to report your injury no later than 30 days after you are injured or when you become aware that you are injured.
After you officially report your injury to your employer, you have 12 months from the date of your injury to file a claim. If you suffered an occupational disease, you have 12 months from the date when you became aware that you suffered a disease as a result of your job.
Consult a Canton Workers’ Comp Attorney to Protect Your Rights
Workers’ compensation laws can be very confusing. If any part of the claim is filed incorrectly, it can cause delays in your payment. Not only that, but you might not be aware of all of your entitled benefits under the law. When you let our experienced attorneys represent you, you can be assured that we will fight for your rights to all the benefits that you are entitled to.
Instead of worrying about your case, focus your attention on your recovery and let us represent you through legal matters. You will have better peace of mind knowing that your case is in good hands.
Call Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Coalition today at 770-796-0919 or get in touch with us online for a free consultation. We can determine if you have compensable work injuries under Georgia’s workers’ comp system and help you file a claim.