Workers’ compensation in Georgia was created to help employees who are hurt on the job. Rather than make the employee pay for their own medical care, workers’ compensation covers these expenses. It also provides workers with replacement wages while they are waiting to return to work. And, for the most part, almost all workers are covered under this plan.
Unfortunately, there are categories of workers who are not covered under workers’ compensation in Georgia. If you fear that you fall into one of these categories, you should contact a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta right away.
The point of workers’ comp was to make it easier for both employees and their employers in the event there is a workplace accident. It wouldn’t be fair to expect the employee to lose money simply because they got hurt at work. It also wouldn’t be reasonable to expect companies to pay for their workers’ care out of pocket. Therefore, the legislature in Georgia implemented workers’ compensation.
The thing is, there are certain groups that don’t meet the criteria for workers’ comp. Here, we’ll talk about what these groups are. We’ll also briefly discuss what options these excluded employees have.
If you still have questions after reading this brief article, simply give us a call. One of our staff can schedule your free, initial consultation. This will give you a chance to ask any questions you may have. It also gives your injury attorneys in Atlanta an opportunity to review your case and see if it’s something they want to handle.
Certain Groups Are Excluded From Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
It may not seem fair, but certain people are not eligible for workers’ compensation in Georgia. For the most part, these people tend to be federal employees. But there are groups, such as domestic servants, who are simply not entitled to any sort of protective benefits.
In Georgia, and most other states, the following categories of employees are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits:
- Federal employees (of any sort)
- Railroad workers
- Domestic servants (nannies, maids, etc.)
- Independent contractors
- Seasonal workers
- Agricultural workers
If you happen to fall into one of these groups, you won’t be able to rely on workers’ compensation in Georgia. You’ll have to find some other way to seek coverage and replacement wages.
For most of these groups, there are alternate resources. For example, federal workers can apply for benefits through the Federal Employees Compensation Act. Under this law, federal employees who are hurt at work are entitled to medical care. They are also entitled to short-term replacement wages.
The problem with this program is that it only offers replacement wages for a total of 45 days. If you’re out of work longer than that, you won’t receive additional funds. You are allowed to use any vacation or sick time you’ve accrued. However, beyond that, you’re on your own.
The good thing about federal benefits is that you get to choose your own doctor. Under workers’ compensation in Georgia, you must agree to be treated by a state-approved doctor.
What Options Do Railroad Employees Have if they Get Hurt on the Job?
People who work for the railroad are eligible for benefits under a program known as the “Railroad Workers Act.” For employees looking to seek coverage under this act, they do have to file a lawsuit against their employer. If this is the case, you should consider hiring an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta to handle this for you.
You are allowed to demand three things under the Railroad Workers Act, which is also called the “Federal Employees’ Liability Act.” These include:
- Medical benefits – Any medical care you need should be covered
- Lost wages – You will be able to sue for any time you missed from work
- Pain and suffering – The major difference between this act and traditional workers’ comp is that you can demand pain and suffering. You are not allowed to demand these damages under workers’ comp in Georgia.
If you are a railroad employee, you can bet your employer will fight back when you sue. This is why we recommend you retain one of our injury attorneys in Atlanta to help. You don’t want to be at a disadvantage, and you will be if you try to handle this on your own.
Can a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta Help Domestic Servants?
Unfortunately, if you work as a nanny, housekeeper, or some other domestic servant, there isn’t much you can do if you get hurt at work. Unless you work for someone who wants to do the right thing, you will not be eligible for any benefits.
One reason these positions are not covered under workers’ comp is that the person’s employer has very few workers. In every state, companies with a low number of employees are exempt from providing workers’ compensation coverage. In Georgia, the threshold is three. If you work for a company with more than 3 employees, they’ll be required to carry workers’ comp insurance. But this still doesn’t help you if you are a domestic servant or agricultural worker.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Atlanta Today
If you or your spouse have suffered a work-related injury, you may be entitled to benefits. The only way to know for sure is to call and talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer in Atlanta. They know the laws and know what types of employees are eligible for workers comp benefits in Georgia.
If you have a feeling you aren’t covered under the state workers’ comp program, you may have other options. As discussed here, there are special programs for different types of workers. For example, if you work for the federal government, you’ll have limited benefits under the Federal Employees Compensation Act.
The best thing you can do is call our office and schedule your free consultation today. This gives you a chance to meet with an experienced attorney and find out what alternatives you have. Since the consultation is free, you don’t have anything to lose.