The state of Georgia requires any employer with three or more employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance provides medical treatment, income, and other benefits for employees who have been injured on the job. Workers’ compensation coverage begins from the first day on the job, but receipt of benefits is not automatic in the event of an on-the-job accident. Therefore, it’s essential that you understand how to navigate the workers’ compensation system to ensure you get the benefits you’re eligible to receive.
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE COVERS ON-THE-JOB INJURIES
To be eligible for benefits under the workers’ compensation system, your injury must have been “in the course of employment”, meaning the injury must have occurred while you were doing the work you were assigned to do, during work hours.
REPORTING A WORK-RELATED INJURY
If you have an accident that results in injury in the workplace, you must report it immediately. Failure to make a timely report of your accident can jeopardize your benefits. Generally, you have up to 30 days to file a claim, with some exceptions, such as occupational diseases that develop over time.
MEDICAL TREATMENT AND EXPENSES UNDER THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SYSTEM
Your employer is required to post a list of at least 6 physicians you must choose from to have your medical treatment covered by workers’ comp. You can switch to another doctor on the list one time without your employer’s permission.
Workers’ compensation also covers prescription drugs, rehabilitation, and physical therapy when prescribed by your authorized physician. You may also be eligible for reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses incurred while receiving treatment, such as travel and lodging.
SPEAK TO AN EXPERT ON THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SYSTEM
To make certain that you receive the maximum benefits you’re eligible for, you should consult with a professional authority on the workers’ compensation system. Your workers’ compensation is considered an “exclusive remedy” under Georgia statutes, but there may be a third-party liability issue to consider for legal recourse.
At the Fry | Goehring, we will help you navigate the workers’ compensation system to ensure you are properly compensated for your on-the-job injury. Call or come see us in midtown Atlanta for a free consultation.