Experienced Work-Related Injury Attorney Serving all of Georgia
Workers’ compensation is insurance coverage that most employers are required to carry in the state of Georgia. The insurance benefits employees in that it provides monetary relief to people who were injured or became sick while performing tasks that fit within their job duties.
Employees are automatically covered by the insurance beginning their first day of work. The money provided by the insurance goes towards paying any and all hospital bills, physical therapy, and medication that is required as a result of the injury you incurred while on the job.
Any injury that occurs in connection with work is covered under workers’ compensation. There are exceptions, so make sure you choose an experienced injury attorney when pursuing your claim. For the most part, however, as long as the injury occurred during the course of your employment, regardless of the type of injury, you are likely protected under your employer’s workers’ compensation program.
Severity of The Injury
However, the severity of your injury does impact the amount of benefits that will be paid to you on a weekly basis. The severity of injury will, on the other hand, effect the length of time you will be out of work and, hence, the overall value of your case.
Accidents are classified as being either catastrophic or non-catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries involve:
- severe paralysis,
- severe head injuries,
- severe burns, blindness, or
- the nature and severity of the injury prevents you from obtaining a job within the national economy
If your injury is deemed to be catastrophic, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to the maximum allowed under the law for a job-related injury for as long as you are unable to return to work. You are also entitled to receive medical benefits to help in recovering from your injury.
If your injury is deemed to be non-catastrophic, you are entitled to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage but in Georgia not more than $525.00 per week. You will receive these weekly benefits as long as you are totally disabled, but no longer than 400 weeks. That’s about 7.7 years if you are counting.
Outside of a new injury caused by your employment, the re-aggravation of a preexisting condition may also be covered. For a re-aggravation of a preexisting condition to receive coverage, you must prove that the re-aggravation was a direct result of performing your required job tasks. For example, a back injury to a furniture mover would seem to be reasonably linked whereas a back injury to a desk employee would be harder to prove. If you are able to receive benefits for the re-aggravation of your pre-existing condition, coverage is limited to your rehabilitation back to the point you were at prior to the re-aggravation, not to a point you were at prior to the original injury.
What May Be Covered
Beyond the coverage of physical injuries, occupational illnesses and diseases are also covered if your illness or disease meets certain tests required by the law. For your disease to be covered, a relationship between your illness or disease and your employment must be demonstrated. Further, the illness or disease must not be one that is ordinary in that other people, outside of your employment, are easily exposed. Examples of work-related illness or disease include:
- lung disease
- heart disease
Basically, a disease is thought to be specific to an occupation when there is a recognizable link between the required tasks of the job and an increase of risk in contracting the disease as a result of performing that job.
If you miss work as a result of a work-related injury or illness you may be entitled to one of the following benefits:
- Temporary Total Disability
- Temporary Partial Disability
- Permanent Partial Disability
Temporary Total Disability benefits are payable if you are totally incapacitated with total economic loss due to a work-related injury. You are entitled to receive two thirds of your average weekly wage, not to exceed 400 weeks from the date of injury if your injury was non-catastrophic.
Temporary Partial Disability benefits are payable to you if your physician determines that you are unable to work full duty. You are entitled to receive two thirds of the difference between your average weekly wage before the injury and the average weekly wage you are able to earn after the injury.
Permanent Partial Disability benefits are payable to you if you suffered disability that is “partial in character but permanent in quality resulting from loss or loss of use of body members or from the partial use of the employee’s body as a whole.” It is payable based upon a percentage given by a physician. This benefit is paid in addition to Temporary Total and Temporary Partial benefits described above.
If you have been injured in anyway due to someone else’s negligence or in any type of work related accident, contact our offices today. We are here to help you get the compensation you deserve.