Workers Compensation FAQs
Georgia law requires employers with three or more employees, including regular part-time employees, to maintain Workers’ Compensation insurance. Georgia provides an employee handbook with useful information on Worker’s Compensation law. Here are some frequently asked questions about Workers’ Compensation law in the State of Georgia:
- I was injured at work. What should I do?
- How long do I have to file suit?
- Do I need to hire an attorney?
- When can I start receiving my benefits?
- What can I recover in a Workers’ Compensation claim?
A: Seek medical help. If it is not an emergency, obtain the names of doctors that are listed on your employer’s Panel of Physicians, which your employer is required by law to provide. You should also report the injury to your employer as soon as possible. Your company’s Workers’ Compensation insurance will cover your medical care if you were hurt at work and you see one of the authorized doctors. (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-200)
A: In most Workers’ Compensation cases, you generally have one year to file a written claim. You should also notify your employer about the injury within 30 days of injury or you risk losing your benefits. (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-61(a))
A: You are not required to hire an attorney. However, an attorney can ensure that you are aware of all of your legal options and assist you in recovering the benefits you are entitled to. In some cases, you can seek recovery from a third party if a co-worker or defective product was responsible for your injury. Additionally, an experienced attorney can help you prepare your claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and can better represent you at your hearing.
A: You are entitled to start receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits in Georgia once you have been out of work for seven days. If you cannot work for 21 days or more, you will also be paid for that first week of missed work.
A: Your employer’s insurance will cover all authorized doctor bills, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescription medications, and even necessary travel expenses if the injury or illness was caused by an accident on the job. You may also be entitled to medical and vocational rehabilitation.
The extent of your recovery will depend on how serious the injury is. If your accident occurred on or after July 1, 1992, you can receive benefits for up to 400 weeks; if your injury was catastrophic, benefits may last for your lifetime. For example, benefits for a lost limb last for 225 weeks. Your exact recovery and length of benefits will depend on your authorized physician’s assessment of your injuries, and the amount and duration the law allows for recovery for those specific injuries.
Nicholson Phillips has extensive experience representing clients in Workers’ Compensation matters. We can represent you before all locations of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation throughout Georgia. If you were hurt on the job, contact us today for a free consultation so you can receive answers to your questions and learn about your options.