One of the biggest misconceptions about workers compensation is that it’s like being on vacation. They envision spending months at home on the couch watching daytime television. Or they assume that people on workers comp hang out with their friends all day and night.
The truth is that most workers comp claimants are in a great deal of pain and wish they had never gotten hurt in the first place. Our Georgia workers compensation lawyers can confirm that there is nothing pleasant about being out of work with an injury.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that many workers are afraid to go back to work after being out on workers comp. The longer a person is out of work, the more intimidating it can be to go back. Especially if they’re not sure their injuries are fully healed.
The thought of reinjuring themselves at work is extremely frightening. They don’t want things to go from bad to worse. That’s why we remind our clients that we can always get a second opinion from an unbiased physician. If they don’t feel they’re ready to go back to work, we’ll fight to get them the additional time off.
Here, we’ll briefly discuss what happens when your workers compensation claim ends. We’ll also explain what you can do if your employer tries to force you to return to work before you’re ready. If you still have questions about your case, you can give us a call. Schedule your free consultation with one of our seasoned injury attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia.
At Some Point Your Workers Compensation Benefits Will End
When you get injured at work, you never think that you’ll be out of work for more than a few weeks. If your injuries are serious, it may be months before you can return to work. Once you begin your medical treatment, you may realize that it’ll take a lot longer than you though to fully recover. In fact, your doctor may tell you that you could be out of work for more than a year.
While these cases are rare, they happen. In fact, there are some cases that drag on for multiple years. This is why the State of Georgia has limited the length of time for which you can receive benefits. In Georgia, this time limit is 400 weeks.
This comes out to be just shy of 8 years. Over the years, our firm has only represented a handful of people who actually exhaust their workers comp claims this way. More often than not, a worker either returns to work when they’re healed or settle their case out of court.
Some Workers End Up Permanently Disabled and Settle Their Claim
There are many times when a worker’s injuries are so bad, they end up permanently disabled. For example, if a truck driver is in a serious accident, they could end up with a broken back or traumatic brain injury. This could preclude them from driving a truck for a living ever again. If they aren’t qualified to do any other work, or their injuries are too severe to do so, they will end up disabled.
With workers comp, if you do end up permanently disabled, you’ll be entitled to certain compensation. Every state has their own schedule of how much each injury is worth. These schedules are based on the body part that was injured and the percentage of disability.
For example, if you injure you back and the doctors determine that your permanent disability is 50%, you would be entitled to a certain amount of money. However, if you merely sprained your wrist and could no longer deal cards at a casino, your case may be worth much less.
At Some Point, You Will Have to Return to Work
While there are exceptions, such as those described above, most employees who go out on workers comp eventually return to work. The whole point of the workers compensation system is to get workers healed so that they return to their original positions. Many employees return to a light-duty or part-time position before they return completely. Very few remain at home for the 8 years it takes to exhaust your weekly benefits.
Your injury attorney in Atlanta, Georgia understands that it can be daunting to return to work. You may be afraid that things have changed since you went out. Or you may worry that somebody has replaced you. It’s only natural to feel this way. All you can do is trust that your employer is required to return you to a position comparable to what you did before. You’ll retain your hourly wage or salary as well.
Call and Schedule Your Free Consultation With a Skilled Georgia Workers Compensation Lawyer
If your employer is trying to make you come back to work before you’re ready, it’s okay to feel scared. If you truly don’t feel that you’ve recovered from your workplace injury, let us know. We can reach out to the insurance company and let them know you’re not fully healed.
Of course, they may no be willing to budge. If that’s the case, we can always get a second opinion from another doctor. If they say you need more time to recover, we’ll get them to put that into their final report. We’ll then submit this report to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Ideally, they’ll agree and let you delay your return to work.
If the insurance company still insists that you return to work, you have options. Hopefully, the Georgia State Board of Worker’s Compensation will rule in your favor. You’ll have a chance to argue your case at a brief hearing. You could be entitled to a settlement if you’ve been left with a permanent disability.
Call today and schedule your free consultation. Take the time to sit down with someone who understands what you’re going through. Our injury attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia know the law and will do whatever they can to protect you. Since your consultation is free, you really don’t have anything to lose.