Most workers’ compensation in Georgia do not qualify for catastrophic claims. Non-catastrophic claims limit a worker to benefits for just 400 weeks from the date of the injury, but if the injury is devastating, the state has unique rules that apply.
Under the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act, specific injuries classify as catastrophic. If you qualify for a catastrophic injury, it is imperative that you speak with an injury attorney that has experience with these types of claims – because the process of filing and receiving your compensation is complicated.
What Qualifies for a Catastrophic Workers’ Compensation Claim?
For your claim to be catastrophic, the code requires that your injury falls within the catastrophic categories, which include:
- Spinal Cord Injury – Severe spinal cord injuries that include paralysis to the arm, leg, or trunk.
- Amputation – An amputation of any limb, including the arm, hand, foot, or leg that results in a loss of use in that area.
- Brain Injury – Severe traumatic brain injuries including closed head injuries that result in sensory or motor dysfunction, loss of cerebral function, communication issues, or neurological deficits.
- Burns – Second and third-degree burns that involve at least 25 percent of the victim’s body, or third-degree burns that make up 5 percent or more of the victim’s hands and face.
- Blindness – Total blindness or accidents that cause industrial blindness – such as chemicals splashed into eyes, heat or light damage, head injuries, burns, and foreign objects in the eye.
- Severe Injuries – Any other severe injuries that permanently prevent the worker from taking work that results in substantial income could be labeled catastrophic.
The Benefits from Catastrophic Claims
The reasons these types of claims are so difficult is that a catastrophic claim designation might entitle the injured worker to receive medical payments, rehabilitation services, and income benefits for the rest of his or her life. Naturally, insurance companies will work hard to disprove that an injury is catastrophic because they do not want to pay these substantial costs.
Why You Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Savannah
Pursuing this type of claim or defending against insurance companies trying to deny your request is complex. There are numerous factors to consider – including physician opinions, work history, and your ability to return to work.
Furthermore, you may need to seek a decision from the state, which requires a workers’ compensation lawyer to represent your case in front of an administrative judge.
If you suspect that you have a catastrophic injury, or the insurance company has been unreasonably denying your claims, you need an advocate that understands the process.
Contact Clarke Nash today. Clarke has experience handling workers’ compensation claims as well as catastrophic claims in Georgia. He understands the state requirements, appeals, and has represented countless workers just like you.
Schedule a free consultation today at 912-200-5292, or ask more about workers’ compensation online.