Georgia residents work hard to earn a living for themselves and their families. Every worker, no matter what their job is, faces some risk of injury in the workplace, including office workers performing repetitive tasks, factory workers operating dangerous machinery, and construction workers laboring at a dangerous work site. Fortunately, Georgia law allows injured workers to collect workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been hurt on the job, contact the Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at The Angell Law Firm to learn about the compensation to which you may be entitled.Workers’ Compensation Under Georgia Law
The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act, codified at Official Code of Georgia Annotated (O.C.G.A.) § 34-9-1, provides a remedy for employees injured on the job. The workers’ compensation program is a type of insurance that employers in Georgia are required to purchase. If an employee is hurt in the workplace, the employer and the insurance program pay money to the employee to pay for his medical bills and, if the employee is unable to work, for his lost income.
Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-23, the workers’ compensation program is regarded as an employee’s exclusive remedy for on-the-job accidents. This means that an employee who has been injured in an accident at work cannot sue his employer for negligence or another cause of action. The thinking is that this arrangement provides security and certainty for both the employee and the employer. The employee is guaranteed compensation for his injuries without the need for expensive litigation, and the employer is provided security in the form of certainty that there cannot be a staggering damages award.
Employees injured by third parties may be able to sue to recover compensation for injuries not covered by workers’ compensation law. Ask an experienced attorney if you are unsure as to whether you are covered.All Employment-Related Injuries Are Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Any injury an employee sustains while performing job-related duties during working hours is covered by state workers’ comp laws. In the event a worker dies while performing any such duties, his family will receive benefits according to the law as well. Also covered are injuries that may be considered aggravations of preexisting conditions, assuming that the aggravation is the cause of the injury.
Under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1, injuries sustained during a break or at lunch doing things unrelated to the job are not covered. Certain injuries, such as diseases that were not caused “naturally and unavoidably” by the accident in question are also not covered. Nor are heart attack or stroke, unless the worker can prove that the job’s usual duties caused the condition. Be sure to ask a knowledgeable attorney if you have questions about workers’ compensation benefits.Injured Workers Can Receive Medical, Disability, and Death Benefits.
A worker injured on the job can receive several types of benefits. They generally fall into three categories: medical, disability, and death. Specifically, workers’ comp benefits include:
- Medical care;
- Temporary partial disability;
- Temporary total disability;
- Permanent partial disability; and
- Death benefits.
Medical care is paid for by the employer but requires that the employee see an approved doctor. The employer must pay for prescription and non-prescription medications, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other benefits. This also includes supplies needed for rehabilitation, such as wheelchairs, walkers, and even necessary home renovations.
Workers who are temporarily or permanently disabled will receive an amount of money calculated using their normal wages. These benefits vary based on disability severity and temporality (temporary vs. permanent). Death benefits, including funeral expenses, are available to the decedent’s family members or other financial dependents.Do Not Forfeit Your Right to Compensation
A worker injured on the job in Georgia does not have to bear the costs of her injury. Georgia’s workers’ compensation law gives injured employees the right to receive what they are due. If you have been injured on the job, the Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers of The Angell Law Firm can help you fight for the money you need. Call 678-648-7765 or visit our contact page to schedule a free case evaluation.