When a person suffers injuries on the job in Georgia, they will be protected by state workers’ compensation laws and can file workers’ compensation claims. Many people have little to no idea how the workers’ compensation claims process actually works.
This page is intended to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about workers’ compensation claims. If you sustained injuries in a workplace accident, make sure to contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer.
What Types of Injuries Will be Covered by Georgia Workers’ Compensation?
All types of injuries that you suffer in a workplace or as a direct result of doing your job will be covered by workers’ compensation in a majority of situations. Coverage also includes injuries that occur away from the place where you normally do your job.
In other words, if your employer requires you to attend a meeting for your company and you are hurt while attending the meeting, your injury could be covered by workers’ compensation. Similarly, if you are sent by the company to drive to get something and you are hurt in a car accident, that too would be a work injury covered by workers’ compensation.
The critical factor will be whether you were required to do what you were doing as a part of your job. Injuries at company parties or suffered while commuting to or from work are not usually covered by workers’ compensation.
I got Sick From Chemicals at Work. Can I get Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Some people can suffer workplace injuries because of exposure to toxins or dangerous fumes in their workplaces. Different toxins could include mold, asbestos, lead, or some chemicals.
When you become ill because of exposure to a dangerous substance in the workplace, it could be a covered workplace injury. This still holds true even when an illness developed several years after you were first exposed to the toxin, so long as you are able to prove it was connected to the job.
You typically need to have expert medical evidence to link your job to such an injury. It is important to have the right doctors who can properly diagnose and establish a link to your dangerous job environment.
When Do I Report a Work Injury to My Employer?
You should report a workplace injury to your employer as soon as possible after an accident. Georgia Code § 34-9-80 requires a 30-day notice to your employer.
For medical treatment costs to be covered, you will need to see a doctor authorized by your employer. Any delay in reporting an injury could make it more difficult to prove that the injury was related to your job and may result in a denial of your workers’ compensation claim.
If your employer denies your claim because there was no proper notice, you should contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer. Such a notice defense is often ignored by courts and any amount of notice, even telling a boss that you are hurting, will typically be sufficient notice under state law.
You should always report every on-the-job injury, even when it initially seems to be somewhat minor. Remember that an injury that seems to be minor at first can still become much worse over time, and you do not want to jeopardize your right to file a workers’ compensation claim to get the benefits you deserve.
If I Think an Accident was Partially my Fault, Does That Mean I Cannot get Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that claims will not be based on negligence or fault.
You are able to file a claim and get benefits even if when you were at fault or caused your accident. You can get benefits even when you did something wrong or made a mistake.
As long as you did not purposefully do something to hurt yourself or were not intoxicated or impaired by drugs, you can recover benefits through the Georgia workers’ compensation system.
My Employer Wants Me to Come Back to Work Even Though I am not Ready. What can I Do?
You cannot be required to return to work until your doctor says you are able to return to work. When your employer is trying to force you back to work before a doctor has cleared you, you should contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney right away.
Injured workers can often be fired for not returning to work even though they are not legally supposed to return to work. Workers’ compensation claims in Georgia will be handled through an administrative system, meaning there are certain rules for applying for benefits, appealing denials, and resolving disputes that arise surrounding benefits.
It is possible that you might have to go to court to obtain these benefits. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer at Parsons Law Group will help you navigate the entire workers’ comp system.
Attorney for Workers’ Compensation in Atlanta
Were you seriously injured in a workplace accident in the greater Atlanta area? Parsons Law Group is an experienced workers’ compensation law firm serving clients all over Georgia, including Chatham County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, and Henry County.
You deserve to have competent legal representation for all of your workers’ compensation matters. You can call us or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.