Worker’s compensation, more commonly referred to as workman’s comp, is designed to provide financial support should you be injured on the job—primary benefits include covering the cost of medical bills and lost wages; it can also provide for vocational training if you need to enter a new line of work. If you find yourself needing to file a claim in the state of Georgia, here are some frequently asked questions about the process.
Unlike a personal injury claim, where the amount of damages or whether or not a person may even have a case, is affected by the plaintiff’s role in causing the accident, workman’s compensation does not take such things into account. If you are injured on the job, regardless of your own negligence, you can receive workman’s compensation. It operates on a ‘’no fault’’ basis.
Typically, any employer who has three or more workers is covered under Georgia’s workman’s comp system. Employees injured on the clock, or off the clock, but performing a business-related task, such as attending a company function, will be able to receive benefits. In some instances, being injured on the premises before or after working hours may qualify, depending on the circumstances. If you are expected to be off the job more than 7 days, you would receive benefits.
Workman’s compensation benefits are relatively modest. In the state of Georgia, employers are required to pay you two-thirds of your salary, with a maximum payout of 500 dollars per week. Injured workers are able to receive benefits for up to 400 weeks; in the case of very serious injuries, you may receive compensation for life. If you are able to return to work but must take a lower-paying job as a result of your accident, you may still receive benefits at a reduced rate.
If your employer is covered under workman’s compensation, this is the exclusive remedy for work-related injuries. You are not able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. You can, however, file suit against a third party that may have played a role in your injury. Examples include a co-worker whose negligence may have contributed to your injury, or manufacturers of equipment or supplies that may have played a role in your accident. If you think that a third party was in any way responsible for your injury, you should meet with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss whether or not you have a case.
You may think because you are entitled to benefits regardless of whether you played a role in the accident, that you do not need an attorney. But, like any area of law, workman’s comp can be complex; filing claims on your own may keep you from getting maximum compensation in the form of covered medical expenses and other financial matters that will crop up as a result of your injury. A lawyer experienced in filing these claims can help you wade through all the workers compensation information relevant to your claim.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who covers all things law; if you require assistance for your GA workers compensation claim, visit www.gaworkerscomplawyers.com for more information.