It is estimated that a worker is injured every 7 seconds while on the job in the United States. A workplace accident can not only lead to serious injuries but it can also prove to be fatal. In fact, according to statistics from the past few years, there has been an average of 5,000 deaths each year resulting from work-related injuries.
Workers injured while on the job often accrue hefty medical bills and may be forced to stay out of work for extended periods of time leading to lost wages. Fortunately, under Georgia workers’ comp laws, workers injured while on the job or develop an occupational disease are entitled to benefits that help cover their medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and part of their lost wages. In addition, you are entitled to benefits if you lost a loved one as a result of a work-place injury.
Unfortunately, Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws are quite complex and understanding whether your injury is covered under workers’ compensation is important before filing a claim as simply being injured doesn’t qualify you for benefits. This is why you need to consult an experienced an expereinced Fairburn workers’ compensation lawyer. At Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition, we are committed to helping people like you get the financial compensation that they deserve. Call us today to protect your rights and secure your future.
What are Compensable Injuries?
As stated above, suffering an injury doesn’t necessarily make you eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. For your injury to be coverd, there are certain requirements that have to be met. Under Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Act, a compensable injury is an injury that occurs by an accident arising out of and in the scope of employment. Essentially, what this means is that i) there has to be an accident ii) there has to be a causal link between the conditions within which the employee was working and the injury and iii) the injury must have happened in the time period of their employment while the employee was in the course of performing work-related duties.
Under this definition, an injury that happens at work but during a scheduled break isn’t compensable.
Additionally, for an injury to be compensable, it has to have disabled the worker. When it comes to workers’ compensation, being disability refers to the inability to earn an income as a result of an injury suffered while on the job.
Types of injuries covered under workers’ comp benefits:
Aggravation of an existing condition
Having a pre-existing condition doesn’t necessarily exempt you from receiving workers’ comp benefits. You just have to prove that the nature of your employement aggravated or accelerated your disability. A long as your employment remains to be the proximate cause of your disability, you will be entitled to compensation.
You can recover benefits for an injury sustained following a fight at work provided that the subject matter of the altercatrion is work-related. While an aggressor in a work-related fight isn’t typically entitled to receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you can recover benefits if you were acting in the best interests of your employer, for instance, trying to protect their property.
Occupational illnesses such as stroke. heart disease, hearing loss, etc., are compensable as long as the employee provides medical evidence showing a causal link between the conditions that the employee works in and the illness.
For a psychological injury to be compensable, it must have risen naturally from a physical occurence.
The family of a deceased employee are entitled to benefits provided that the death was caused as a result of a workplace accident that happened out of and in the scope of employment of the deceased.
What Types of Compensation can One Recover in a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Georgia’s workers’ comp laws allow victims of workplace injuries to recover various types of benefits:
Temporary Disability Benefits
These are split into two categories; temporary total disability benefits and temporary partial benefits. Temporary partial disability benefits are available to those who are able to return to work but wirth restriction. You are entitled to this kind of compensation if you aren’t able to make 80% of the wages you made prior to the injury. Temporary total disability benefits are available to those who are unable to return to work as a result of the injuries. During the period you stay out of work, you should receive an amount equivalent to two-thirds your regular wages.
In some cases, an injured employee’s condition may not be expected to improve by the medical providers. When this happens, the employee is deemed to have achieved “maximum medical improvement“. Such an employee may be forced to work under permanent restrictions and will be entitled to imparment benefits.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
An employee who has reached maximum medical improvement but still has injuries so severe that they can no longer return to work may be entitled to permanent total disability benefits.
Under Florida workers’ compensation laws, a worker injured while on the job is entitled to receive free medical treatment covered by the employer.
If a workplace injury results in the death of an employee, the family of the deceased may be entitled to compensation for financial losses resulting from the death.
How long do you have to file for compensation in Georgia?
Under Georgia’s Workers Compensation Act, a claim for injuries should be filed within one year of the injury or within one year of the last medical treatment or two years of the last weekly benefits payment. For occupational illnesses, the claim should be filed within one year of discovering about the link between the work conditions and the disability. However, it should be within 7 years of the most recent dangerous exposure.
Get Professional Legal Help Today!
If you or a loved one has sustained a workplace injury or developed an occupational disease, you may be eligible to receiving workers’ compensation benefits. A Fairburn workers’ compensation lawyer at Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Coalition will help evaluate your case and determine the best course of action. A workplace injury or occupational illness can have a long-term impact on your life. It is important that you take quick and effective action to protect your rights and obtain favorable compensation. Give us a call today for the best legal representation.