Georgia Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

How Does a Workplace Injury Affect Your Insurance?

By: Fry | Goehring

workplace injury

On-the-job accidents in Atlanta or elsewhere in Georgia can have devastating consequences, particularly for workers whose catastrophic injuries prevent them from going back to work temporarily or permanently. In addition to the physical harm that you sustain, a workplace injury can result in costly medical bills for treatments, surgeries, and medications, as well as lost ​​wages due to time off work.

If you are facing this situation, you may wonder what to do next. Who do you turn to? Who will pay for your medical bills?

Fortunately, most workers who are injured while performing job-related tasks in Atlanta are eligible for workers’ compensation that covers medical bills, disability benefits, and lost wages. Your employer’s insurance provider covers these benefits.

If you have sustained injuries from a workplace accident, consult our workers’ compensation lawyers at Fry | Goehring today for legal guidance and representation. Our Atlanta top-rated work injury law firm is ready to help you through the claims process as we protect your rights and interests. But first, let’s find out what is considered a workplace injury in Georgia.

What Is a Workplace Injury?

A workplace injury in Georgia can be described as any injury that happens to a worker or employee during the course of their employment. Any job-related injury is considered a compensable claim in Georgia. This means that if you are injured while performing assigned tasks during working hours, you are eligible for benefits under your employer’s workers’ compensation program, regardless of fault.

It is important to note that injuries sustained due to unassigned duties, horseplay, or while intoxicated aren’t covered under the workers’ compensation program. Georgia’s workers’ compensation program doesn’t cover injuries sustained during a worker’s commute to or from work.

How Does a Workplace Injury Affect My Insurance Benefits?

Georgia workplace accidents can happen for various reasons, such as poor safety standards, lack of communication, lack of training, and slips and falls. Interestingly, the National Safety Council cites exposure to harmful substances and overexertion as the leading causes of work-related injuries. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, on the other hand, reports that 187 workers lost their lives in Georgia in 2021 due to workplace accidents.

If you are injured at work, you must report your injury to your supervisor immediately. In Georgia, workers’ compensation laws require employees to report workplace accidents to their employers within 30 days from the date of the injury to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. You also have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

Some of the compensation benefits for medical expenses and lost wages you may receive after a work injury in Atlanta include:

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits

TTD benefits are payable to employees injured on the job who are temporarily unable to work. An authorized treating physician must make this decision. A worker’s TTD benefits are two-thirds of their average weekly wage. For non-catastrophic injuries, there is a 400-week limit for the benefits a worker can receive from the date of injury.

For job-related catastrophic injuries, workers’ compensation benefits are unlimited.

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits

TPD benefits are payable to workers who return to work with modified work-related duties or reduced wages or working hours. These benefits are payable to employees for up to 350 weeks from the date of the workplace injury. TPD benefits make up two-thirds of the difference between a worker’s average weekly pay before and after a workplace injury.

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits

PPD benefits are payable to employees for the permanent loss of function of a bodily system or body part. These benefits are payable based on an impairment rating system given by your authorized treating physician as per the latest AMA guidelines.

Death Benefits

Death benefits are payable to eligible dependents of a worker, such as a spouse and minor children, who passes on due to a workplace accident or illness. These benefits amount to two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage when the accident occurred.

Some of the Georgia workplace accidents that can warrant the above workers’ compensation benefits include:

What Is the Claims Process for a Workplace Injury?

Filing a workers’ compensation claim for medical benefits and lost wages is generally straightforward. While these claims typically vary in complexity, workers’ compensation claims in Georgia include the following steps:

1. Notify Your Employer

In Georgia, you must report your workplace accident and injury to your employer or supervisor as soon as possible — not later than 30 days. The sooner you report your accident, the better.

Even if you think you haven’t sustained severe work-related injuries, it’s still crucial to report your workplace accident to your employer. This shields you if the 30-day deadline passes and you realize you were severely hurt. Ensure you notify your employer in writing about your workplace injury.

2. Get Medical Treatment

Visit an approved physician immediately after your accident for medical treatment. Your doctor will evaluate your workplace injury and report back to your employer. Remember to follow all your doctor’s orders.

3. Gather What You’ll Need

From the WC-14 form to documents relating to your injury, such as your medical bills and prescription receipts, you should gather every document you need to file a compelling workers’ compensation claim. Don’t forget to gather documents related to your employment, including wage statements.

4. Complete Your Claim

Fill out and submit a copy of your completed WC-14 form to your employer and their insurance company, in addition to sending it to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC). Include your name and address in the form, as well as your employer’s name and address. Ensure you intricately explain the nature and extent of your injury and the benefits you are seeking.

You also need to note in the form whether you are only notifying SBWC of the workplace injury or if you want mediation or a hearing.

Once you submit a claim, you’ll receive a notification from your employer’s insurer regarding whether they’ve approved your benefits. You can request a hearing from SBWC if you dispute the benefits or if your compensation claim is denied.

What Are My Legal Rights if I Am Injured at Work?

Here are the rights that employees in Georgia who sustain workplace injuries are entitled to:

  • Receive medical, rehabilitation, and lost income benefits
  • Have access to a list of at least six doctors for medical care
  • Weekly income benefits if you miss more than 7 days of work due to your injury
  • Compensation for authorized doctor bills, prescriptions, hospital bills, and rehabilitation due to the accident
  • Compensation benefits totaling two-thirds of your average weekly pay for catastrophic and non-catastrophic injuries
  • Weekly benefits not exceeding $383 per week if you are able to go back to work but for a less-paying job
  • Burial expenses of up to $7,500 and a maximum of $230,000 for death benefits
  • For delayed payments, insurers are penalized, and this penalty fee is added to your compensation payments

Injured at Work? Call Our Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Legal Guidance and Representation

Even when you know your rights as an injured worker in Atlanta, navigating the particulars of Georgia workers’ compensation laws can be extremely difficult. At Fry | Goehring, our workers’ compensation attorneys can work with you to understand what happened and whether you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. We can also help you understand your legal options if your employer denies your claim or delays payments. Ready to get started? Call 404-969-1284 today to schedule a free and confidential appointment with our reputable legal team. Let us help you secure maximum benefits for your workplace injury.