Accidents can happen at any time in the workplace. When you are injured on the job, you have certain rights and responsibilities under Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law. Employers with three or more employees are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. When you incur compensable work injuries in Decatur, you may be entitled to receive medical treatment paid for by the insurance.
You may also qualify for income benefits as you continue to recover and prepare to return to work. If you die from a work-related injury, your dependents may also qualify for benefits. Workers’ compensation laws can get quite complex. When your claim becomes too complicated or stressful for you to deal with, contact our experienced attorneys at the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Decatur, GA. We can help you with your claim so you can get all of the benefits that you deserve.
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What Are Compensable Work Injuries in Decatur?
According to Georgia’s workers’ compensation law, an injury or illness that was brought about by your job or when you were doing your job qualifies for a workers’ compensation claim. You are covered from the first day of work. In other words, if you were performing the regular job duties that were assigned to you during work hours when you were supposed to work, and you got hurt, the injury is covered under workers’ compensation insurance.
Injuries can vary widely in scope. Jobs that are traditionally considered “dangerous” usually have more instances of workplace injuries. However, a worker can get hurt in any type of job, even at a job behind a desk. You do not have to be employed in a risky occupation to have your workplace injury covered.
Some examples of injures include the following:
Injuries caused by equipment and machinery during their operation
These are common in the construction industry, manufacturing, agriculture, etc., but they can occur anywhere where equipment or machinery are used.
These are common in manufacturing and processing plants. Working with volatile chemicals and gases, toxic substances and fumes, can cause burns and injuries to workers exposed to them.
This applies to workers who need to travel on the job as part of their regular duties. This does not include accidents that occur during a worker’s commute to work and from work.
Injuries caused by repetitive motion
Examples are when a worker uses the same hand doing the same operation on an assembly line hour after hour. It can also happen to office workers who spend hours typing on a keyboard.
- Strains and sprains: this is common in back injuries among workers who do heavy lifting repeatedly.
- Injuries caused by falling objects: this can happen at a warehouse or a retail store where merchandise is shelved high above the head.
- Slips and falls: this can occur anywhere when the floor at the workplace is wet or when there are tools and cables lying around on the ground.
- Cuts and lacerations: this can occur anywhere where the worker has to work with sharp objects or equipment with sharp edges.
- An illness that resulted in prolonged exposure to harmful elements in the workplace. Sometimes harmful particulates in a job site might cause respiratory and other health problems.
There are times when an injury at work may not be covered under workers’ compensation
- When the injury occurred during the worker’s work break or lunch hour. This is not considered work time. However, if the worker was instructed by the supervisor to do a work errand during this time because it was convenient, the injury may be covered.
- If the worker was injured while doing a task that was not part of his assigned duties, and no one asked him to do it, it may not be covered. However, this can be a gray area. The advice from a workers’ compensation attorney can help in this case.
- Injuries that were sustained when the worker was leaving work or going to work. However, if the injury occurred in the company’s parking lot, it might be covered.
- If the employee was under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- If the employee was in a physical fight with another worker
- If the employee intentionally tried to harm himself
- If the employee willfully engaged in risky behavior that is considered by the employer as misconduct
What Types Of Compensation Can You Claim?
Under Georgia’s law, you can claim loss of wages and any medical expenses that you incurred in treating your work-related injury. Your medical treatment must be provided by medical personnel who is approved by your employer. Your employer is supposed to post a list of doctors at a place at work where employees can clearly see it, and they are supposed to inform you of this list when you are injured on the job.
Under the law, you must choose your doctor from this list if you want workers’ compensation to cover your medical bills. You can also choose a doctor from the Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization that is approved by Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This allows you more options for doctors.
Any lab work, x-rays, therapy, medication, and medical devices are all covered for your work-related injury. In some instances, you can also claim the cost of mileage, food, and lodging that you incurred because you had to go to an approved medical professional to get the kind of treatment that is appropriate for your recovery. Before you incur this expense, you should check with the insurance carrier about the coverage.
How long Do You Have To File for Workers’ Compensation in the State Of Georgia?
You need to report your injury to your employer within 30 days of the accident. If it is an illness attributed to an unhealthy workplace, you need to report that within 30 days after the diagnosis is attributed to your job. Then, you have one year from the time of this reporting to file your workers’ compensation claim.
Dealing with the legalities of a claim can cause a lot of stress in your life. If you are not satisfied with your compensation, call the Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition in Decatur, GA, to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys. We will examine your case and recommend a course of action. We have helped many clients maximize the benefits that they were entitled to get, and we can take care of you as well.