Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws, employees who get injured while on the job are entitled to receive monetary benefits to cover medical costs and lost earnings. Such employees are at risk of suffering various types of injuries, depending on the nature of their employment. Workplace injuries can have many consequences, but in most cases, injured employees will require medical care and may need to take time off work.
When filing a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, it is important to understand whether your injuries are covered under the state’s workers’ compensation laws. Georgia is a strict liability state when it comes to workers’ compensation, meaning that injured employees can still get monetary benefits even if they caused the accident. Still, there are injuries that may not be covered under Georgia’s workers’ comp laws.
Speaking to an experienced lawyer can help you understand whether you have compensable work injuries in Covington, GA, and can expect to receive monetary benefits. If you have been injured while on your job, get in touch with our Covington workers’ compensation lawyers today.
Call our team at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition at 470-518-5026 for a free legal consultation.
Basically, compensable injuries are those that occur while an employee is on the job, and for which they can receive monetary benefits under the workers’ compensation system. Some of the most common workplace injuries that warrant workers’ comp benefits include:
- Back and neck injuries: These are injuries commonly associated with slip and fall accidents and car accidents that occur while traveling for work reasons.
- Burns: Employees who work in factories with boilers, mining industries, and chemical industries may suffer burns if they accidentally get in contact with boilers, furnaces, or highly corrosive chemicals.
- Respiratory illnesses: Some mining and manufacturing jobs are characterized by dusty workplaces, and employees are usually at risk of developing respiratory issues.
- Fractures and broken bones: Car accidents, slip and fall, and falling objects can all result in fractures and broken bones that could keep workers off work.
- Amputations: Operation of heavy machinery and working with cutting machines puts employees at risk of losing limbs. Catastrophic accidents may also result in the amputation of limbs if injuries are severe.
- Hearing loss: Working in overly noise industries or failure to use hearing protection devices increases noise exposure levels and the risk of suffering hearing loss.
- Joint pain: Workplaces characterized by repetitive activities like typing could lead to the compression and squeezing of major nerves, and often lead to the development of carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Electrocutions: Electricians and workers who constantly use electricity at their workplaces are usually at risk of electrocution whenever there are electrical faults or if they handle naked conductors without protection.
- Cuts and lacerations: Jobs that involve the use of cutting machinery put workers at the risk of cuts and lacerations, whereas construction jobs expose employees to facial injuries and disfigurement.
- Paralysis: Serious car accidents and construction accidents often result in severe back and neck injuries, and workers may suffer paralysis if they don’t recover from these injuries.
- Death: If employees suffer fatal injuries following catastrophic accidents, they may never be able to recover and may eventually pass on. Such workers who die due to workplace injuries are covered under workers’ compensation, and their dependents are in line to receive death benefits.
All these injuries are covered under Georgia’s workers’ compensation system, and workers who suffer the injuries may receive benefits for their medical expenses and time off work. While workers can receive benefits for most workplace injuries under the workers’ comp system, there are exceptions to this law and workers may not always receive benefits after suffering certain injuries.
What Injuries Are Not Covered By Workers’ Comp in Georgia?
Georgia is one of the few states that doesn’t award benefits for workplace scars and disfigurement under the workers’ comp system. However, the initial injury that caused the scars and disfigurement should be covered, but the scars themselves aren’t.
Employees may not also be covered for injuries suffered when under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While there may be exceptions to this rule, it is almost always the case that such employees won’t receive workers’ compensation benefits. Also, failure to submit to a drug test will lead to the presumption that you were intoxicated when you suffered your injuries, and this is likely to lead to the denial of your claim.
Other injuries that are not covered under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws include those that occur due to accidents that occur during lunch break, due to willful misconduct, heart attacks, PTSD and trauma, and pain and suffering.
What Types of Compensation Can You Claim?
If you have been injured while on the clock in Georgia, you can claim any of the following types of compensation:
Medical Treatment Only
If your workplace injury is not serious, you are in line to receive medical benefits alone if you can resume work soon after receiving medical treatment.
Medical Treatment and Lost Wages
After getting injured while on the job, you may receive medical care but miss some time from work due to your injury until you attain maximum medical improvement (MMI). In such a case, injured workers are eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.
Medical Treatment and Injuries Preventing You from Resuming Your Pre-Injury Job
You may be treated for your injuries but may not be in a position to return to your initial job. In such a case, your employer may get you a light-duty job so that you can keep earning some wages and are still entitled to temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits.
Medical Treatment and Injuries Preventing You From Securing Any Meaningful Employment
In certain instances, you may receive medical treatment but may never be able to do any meaningful employment due to your injury. This is common with cases of amputation, paralysis, and blindness, and you are entitled to permanent total disability (PTD) benefits.
How Long Do You Have to File for Compensation in Georgia?
Workers who have been injured while on the job in Georgia have 1 year from the date of the accident to file a workers’ comp claim to protect their rights. This is done by filing Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Failure to file your claim within time could lead to the loss of your right to seek benefits under workers’ compensation.
Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for a Free Case Review
If you have been injured at your workplace in Covington, Georgia, you may have the right to file various types of claims depending on the nature of your injury. To understand whether your injury is compensable, reach out to our team at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition to speak to one of our lawyers and start your claim process.
Your initial consultation is free, and we charge no fees unless we help you secure benefits! Call 470-518-5026 today to get started.