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Who Is Covered by Georgia Workers’ Compensation?

Under Georgia law, every employer with more than three employees is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. At the law firm of Hilley & Frieder, P.C., in Atlanta, our attorneys represent workers throughout Georgia who have been injured on the job, including undocumented workers.

Our Team Secures Workers’ Compensation Benefits For Injured Employees

Workers’ compensation maximums are set by state law in Georgia and updated annually. In many cases, payments are adjusted as a worker heals. Before you accept a workers’ compensation settlement, consult with an attorney to learn the true value of your injury case.

The following are just a few examples of the types of workers our lawyers represent:

Independent contractors may also be eligible if they should have been classified as employees under Georgia law. Some employers misclassify workers to avoid paying them benefits.

Workers’ Comp Benefits For Those Living And Working Outside Of Georgia

Employees who are based in Georgia and suffer work injuries outside the state are entitled to Georgia workers’ compensation benefits. They should notify their employers of the accident within 30 days and file their claims in Georgia.

You can continue to receive Georgia workers’ compensation benefits even if you move outside the state.

If you live in – or your employer is based in – Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina or North Carolina, but you are injured in Georgia, then you may still have a Georgia workers’ compensation claim. You may have a choice of which system is the one for your case. You should look at each state in which you can file a claim and decide which state’s workers’ compensation process is best for you.

The amount of workers’ compensation benefits you receive and how you get those benefits is different in different states. If you have a choice of where to file, then you should talk with a workers’ compensation lawyer in each state before you decide on one. Usually, the state suggested by the insurance company is the best state for the company, but it may not be the best state for you.

Our lawyers represented a worker who worked in Georgia but was injured in Tennessee. The insurance company started his claim in Tennessee. Our team moved the claim to Georgia and increased his weekly benefit from less than $155 per week to $500 per week going back to the date of injury. The increased weekly benefit helped support him while he finished getting treatment for his injury. Also, since any settlement is tied to weekly benefits, the tripling of his weekly benefit made a tremendous difference in the settlement that he received.

In a similar situation, our attorneys also represented a worker who lived in Alabama but worked in Georgia. The insurance company started his claim in Alabama, where he was paid $212 per week. Our team moved the claim to Georgia, where it raised his benefit to $500 per week going back to the date of disability as well.

Employees Who Are Injured While Traveling

Most activities of employees traveling outside the state are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, but there are exceptions. For the purposes of filing a workers’ compensation claim, you are considered a Georgia employee if either of the following are true:

  • The contract of employment (express or implied) was made in Georgia.
  • Your place of residence is in Georgia, unless the contract of employment was made expressly for work to be done exclusively outside the state.

As an injured employee, you have rights, and you should not hesitate to exercise those rights. If you have been injured while traveling outside Georgia, our workers’ compensation lawyers can represent you and help you fight for all the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.

Types Of Workers’ Compensation Benefits That You Can Receive

If you qualify for workers’ compensation as an injured or ill employee in Georgia, then you could be eligible for a few different categories of financial benefits. The types of benefits and the value of your insurance claim will depend on factors such as the severity of your injury and how long it will impact your ability to work. Every case is unique, which is why it’s important to consult with a Georgia workers’ comp attorney before accepting a quick settlement. A lawyer will help you fight for your fair case value.

You may be entitled to the following types of workers’ compensation benefits as an eligible worker in Georgia:

  • Medical costs: Most medically necessary treatments are covered by the workers’ compensation system in Georgia. The medical treatments must be authorized by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, however, and may not include holistic or alternative medicine. In general, medical tests, surgeries, physical therapies, medications and rehabilitation are covered for up to 400 weeks.
  • Temporary partial or total disability: If your occupational injury or illness takes you out of work temporarily, then you could be eligible for short-term disability benefits. The maximum is two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $725 per week as of July 1, 2022.
  • Permanent partial or total disability: For a permanent disability, the amount of compensation available depends on the extent of the loss of use of a body part, as determined by an authorized physician. These benefits will last for a length of time deemed appropriate based on your injury. They may last a lifetime.
  • Vocational rehabilitation: You are entitled to assistance getting another job if your injury makes it impossible for you to return to the job you had before. This can include coverage for the price of new job training, education and vocational rehabilitation.
  • Death benefits: If you pass away because of your workplace injury, then your dependents will be entitled to death benefits to pay for reasonable funeral and burial costs and make up for your lost wages. Dependents include a surviving spouse, child or stepchild. With no children, a widowed spouse is entitled to a maximum of $290,000 in death benefits as of 2022.

If you have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit, then this may be a better option, as it could pay for 100% of your lost wages and pain and suffering. A lawyer will assess your options and guide you toward the best choice for your specific situation.

How To Avoid Losing Georgia Workers’ Comp Benefits

Workers’ compensation benefits are not a guarantee. Even if you are eligible, you may run into problems securing the benefits that you deserve from an insurance provider. The insurance company may set an expiration date on your benefits that you do not agree with, for example. The best way to avoid losing your workers’ compensation benefits in Atlanta is by working with an attorney to protect your rights.

A lawyer will help you take all the steps necessary to qualify for workers’ compensation, such as seeking immediate medical treatment, reporting your injury to your employer by the deadline, and filling out and submitting the required claims forms. If your workers’ comp checks suddenly stop, your lawyer can help you collect evidence to prove that you still require ongoing care, such as medical records or a note from your doctor. Listening to your lawyer and following Georgia’s workers’ comp laws can help you maximize your payout and prevent the premature termination of your benefits.

Contact Our Atlanta Law Office Today

For a free consultation about a possible workers’ compensation claim, contact Hilley & Frieder. Our team represents clients throughout Georgia from our Atlanta offices. Call us at 404-795-6099 or complete our contact form.

Ronald Hilley was the contributing attorney to this content.

Attorney Mia Frieder Sitting In Office