Workplace injuries happen far too often. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded nearly 3 million injury or illness reports in 2014 alone. Employees who get injured at work are often eligible for workers’ compensation, which helps offset the burden of loss wages and medical bills.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is essentially an insurance program that covers an employee in the event of a work-related accident. In the event of death due to the work-related injury, the deceased’s dependants are able to claim the benefits. Law protects employers from retaliating against employees who file for workers’ compensation.
Am I Eligible?
This insurance is paid directly by the employer, not the employee, and most workers are covered. Georgia law requires businesses with at least three employees to provide workers compensation insurance, and employees can check Georgia’s State Board of Workers’ Compensation to verify coverage. The insurance covers injuries beginning the very first day on the job.
How Much Will I Get?
Injuries should be reported to the employer within 30 days, otherwise the claim could be lost. If the claim is deemed valid by the insurance provider, the first payment should arrive less than 21 days after the first missed day of work. Payments are equivalent to two-thirds of lost wages. New regulation does not allow wage payments to be greater than $550 per week regardless of income if the accident occurred after June of 2015.
Do I need a Lawyer?
Simple injuries requiring only a short amount of time off work may not require a lawyer. However, even in simple cases, an experienced lawyer can help ensure fair compensation. In addition to preventing missed deadlines and improper filing of paperwork, lawyers are also able adequately convey the severity of the injury to the insurance provider. Furthermore, if a claim is initially denied or payment is not made in a timely manner, a lawyer is key to winning a dispute against the insurance provider.