When employees receive workers comp in Georgia, they don’t usually take the time to figure out who is paying their benefits. It’s easy to assume that the state is paying these benefits. However, it is actually your employer who is responsible for paying for workers comp in Georgia. This is why your Georgia personal injury lawyer must pursue your employer if they refuse to approve your workers compensation claim.
Now, when we say that your employer pays for workers comp in Georgia, that doesn’t mean it actually comes out of their pockets. As with most other things, businesses must purchase workers compensation insurance. It is then their insurance carrier who pays out any workers comp claims that are approved.
Here, we will discuss why employers are expected to pay for workers comp in Georgia. We will also describe the benefits injured workers in Atlanta receive when they get hurt on the job. Finally, we will briefly explain how the workers comp process works in your home state.
If you have any questions or concerns about your own workplace injury, feel free to give us a call. You can schedule your employment lawyer in Atlanta free consultation. This gives you a chance to sit down with an experienced Georgia personal injury lawyer firsthand before you decide how you wish to proceed with your case.
Why Did the State of Georgia Implement a Workers Comp System?
Before the workers compensation system was put in place, injured workers had very little recourse against their employer. One can recall the work conditions in this country prior to the 20th century. If one employee got hurt, or even killed, their employer would simply put another person in their place.
As workers got smarter, and has more resources at their disposal, they refused to walk away from a workplace accident. They learned that they could sue their employer for any injuries incurred while they were on the clock.
Unfortunately, as the number of these lawsuits increased, it became clear that companies could not afford to defend these lawsuits. Nor could they afford to pay for medical care for any employees who did sustain workplace injuries. It was easier to fire these employees and hope that they just gave up and walked away.
In an effort to protect both workers and their employers, the state finally implemented the workers compensation system in 1920.
What Benefits Are Available to You Under Workers Comp in Georgia?
If your workers compensation claim is approved, then you’ll receive benefits. There are three types of benefits under workers comp in Georgia. These include medical care, replacement wages, and retraining. Retraining would only be necessary if you are no longer able to do your job after your workplace accident.
When it comes to your medical care, workers comp will cover any medical bills related to your workplace accident. For example, it would include your hospital bills, ambulance bills, and doctor’s copays. In addition, it would cover any durable medical equipment you need to lease or buy.
For replacement wages, you’ll be entitled to weekly benefits equal to 2/3 of your average weekly wages. However, the most you can receive in any given week is $675. This is the cap in Georgia. You can also only receive these benefits for a certain period of time. The longest you can receive benefits under workers compensation in Atlanta, Georgia is 400 weeks. This comes out to be just under 8 years.
It is rare that any employee would stay on workers comp for this long. In fact, our Georgia personal injury lawyers have only handled a few of these cases over the years. Usually, a case settles or an employee returns to work long before they get close to the 400-week limit.
Which Employers Are Legally Required to Carry Workers Compensation Insurance?
If a company has three or more employees, they are legally required to carry workers compensation insurance. If a company has less than 4 employees, they aren’t required to do so. There is a rationale behind this rule.
Companies with at least three employees have a higher risk of someone suffering a workplace accident. In addition, when companies have many employees, they could never afford to cover the medical care should one of them get hurt.
As described above, one of the reasons the State of Georgia decided to implement the workers compensation system was to ensure that businesses would not be sued every time an employee got hurt. If that were the case, businesses would shut their doors in no time. This could be devastating for both the economy and the labor force.
Now, when a company only has a couple of employees, the odds of any of them getting hurt are small. Plus, even if someone did get hurt, at most, the company would have to defend one or two personal injury lawsuits per year. This is not as likely to break the bank as it would be if two or three dozen employees got hurt.
Take Advantage of an Employment Lawyer in Atlanta’s Free Consultation Right Away
If you are injured at work, you may be eligible for workers compensation benefits. We suggest that you call our office to take advantage of an employment lawyer in Atlanta’s free consultation. You can sit with an experienced attorney who is very familiar with the workers compensation laws in Georgia. Let the review your case and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Knowing how important it is that your workers comp claim be filed properly, it’s a good idea to come in and meet with one of our associates. They can let you know how strong your case is. They can even help you file your claim. If, for some reason, your employer won’t approve your claim, your Georgia personal injury lawyer will file suit on your behalf.
Since your consultation is free and you don’t have to pay anything upfront, you have nothing to lose.