If you’re trying to navigate the workers compensation system in Georgia, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Just trying to figure out how you qualify for workers compensation benefits is difficult enough. When you start to dig into the finer points of workers compensation law in Georgia, you may start to think that you’re in over your head. That’s when you know it’s time to call a workers compensation lawyer in Georgia. They’ll deal with your employer and the insurance company so you can focus on what’s important- getting better.
It can be hard to believe that your employer cares so little for you that they would refuse to take care of you when you get hurt on the job. No matter what people tell you, it does feel personal. This is especially true if you’ve worked at the same company for a long time. It’s not that you’re a bad employee. You rarely call out of work and always work hard. This is why it doesn’t make sense that your employer would deny your workers comp claim.
What you must remember is that whether your employer approves or denies your claim has nothing to do with you are. It doesn’t mean you’re not a good employee. It’s a matter of dollars and cents. If your employer thinks they can get away with not paying your claim, they will try their hardest to do Just that. Our injury lawyers in Georgia, Georgia are there to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you.
You Need to Meet Certain Requirements to Qualify for Workers Compensation in Georgia
According to Georgia law, you must meet certain criteria in order to qualify for workers compensation benefits. These requirements are the same no matter what state you live in. Since the workers compensation system was designed to take care of workers who suffered a legitimate injury on the job, your employer must discriminate between what they feel are valid claims and meritless claims.
To qualify and receive your benefits you must demonstrate the following:
- your injury took place while you were on the clock
- your accident took place on company property
- if you are a salaried employee or work remotely, you’ll have to prove that your injury took place while you’re acting within the scope of your normal employment
- you must report your claim to either human resources or your manager immediately
- you cannot be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and must submit to a drug test prior to treatment
- you must only receive treatment from your assigned, state approved workers comp doctor
- you must participate in your medical treatment
- you are not allowed to work another job while collecting workers comp
If your workers compensation lawyer in Georgia can prove the above criteria have been met, you should not have a hard time getting your claim approved.
You Can Only Collect Benefits for a Certain Period of Time
As with any other type of state benefits, you can only collect workers compensation for a certain period of time. While the state is not the one paying your benefits, they do oversee the workers compensation program. They’re also the ones who would handle any appeals or hearings related to your workers comp case.
George is one of the most generous states when it comes to the number of weeks you can collect workers compensation benefits. In some states, such as Florida, you’re only allowed to claim benefits for a period of two years. In Georgia, you’re allowed to claim benefits for up to 400 weeks. The big difference is that in Georgia, the maximum weekly benefit rate is only $675. Most states are much higher than that and some are almost twice that much. In a way, it would almost be better to only have one- or two-years’ worth of benefits if they were paid at a higher rate.
You Must be Treated by a State-Approved Workers Comp Doctor
As mentioned above, you’re only able to receive treatment from a state-approved workers compensation physician. Your doctor will be assigned to you when you open your workers compensation claim. If you attempt to or actually receive treatment from any other doctor, workers compensation will not cover their care. This is why it’s critically important that you only see your assigned doctor.
If, at some point, you need to see it independent physician, that is something your injury lawyer in Georgia, Georgia will arrange for you. For example, if your workers compensation doctor has declared that you’re ready to return to work, your attorney may want you to get a second opinion. This is especially true if you believe you are still unfit to perform your duties and need further medical care.
You Are Not Allowed to Work for Another Company While Out on Workers Compensation
There’s one way you can guarantee that your benefits will be terminated. If the workers compensation commission or your employer find out that you’re working at another job while collecting benefits, your claim will be closed, and your benefits will cease. There is even a chance that you will be ordered to pay back any benefits you have received thus far. It doesn’t matter whether you’re paid under the table or through a legitimate job, your employer and the insurance company will find out about it.
It’s a Good Idea to Let a Seasoned Workers Compensation Lawyer in Georgia Handle Your Case
If you have recently been injured in a workplace accident, you should focus on recovering from your injuries. However, that is easier said than done. When you’re fighting with your employer and their insurance carrier over your claim, it’s hard to focus on doctor’s appointments and physical therapy. That’s why we suggest you reach out to a seasoned workers compensation lawyer in Georgia as soon as possible after your accident.
There’s no reason why you should let your employer and insurance company gang up on you. They often try to take advantage of people who aren’t represented by an injury lawyer in Georgia, Georgia. Since we offer all new clients a free, initial consultation, there’s no reason for you to try to handle things all by yourself.