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FAQ: Workers’ Compensation In Georgia

At Hilley & Frieder, P.C., our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys know and understand that the Georgia workers’ comp system can be complicated. Here, they answer some of the more commonly asked questions about Georgia workers’ compensation claims. For answers to your specific questions, they offer a free case evaluation and consultation.

If I am injured on the job, what kinds of benefits are available for me?

In Atlanta and throughout Georgia, workers’ compensation provides medical care and disability benefits.

An injured worker is entitled to any and all medical care that will help them recover from their workplace injury. Medical care is paid by the insurance company, and there are no deductibles, co-pays or dollar limits for the care provided. However, there is a time limit for medical care. Medical care ends 400 weeks from the date of the injury for non-catastrophic injuries occurring after July 1, 2013.

In addition to medical care, an injured worker is entitled to weekly disability income benefits to help compensate for lost earnings. There are three different types of income benefits: temporary total disability (TTD), temporary partial disability (TPD) and permanent partial disability (PPD).

Effective representation by your attorney can make a major difference in securing workers’ compensation benefits.

I was traveling for work. Am I still eligible for workers’ compensation?

Most activities of employees traveling outside the state are covered by workers’ compensation insurance, but there are some exceptions. Our workers’ compensation lawyers have successfully represented numerous traveling employees based in Georgia who suffered on-the-job injuries while in other states. Our attorneys are highly knowledgeable about applicable laws and claims procedures as well as how to overcome claim denials and premature termination of benefits by workers’ compensation insurance companies.

Can I change doctors?

If you are not getting better, don’t trust your doctor or just don’t like your doctor, then you can usually just go to a different doctor. However, with a workers’ compensation claim, you can only change doctors by either reaching an agreement with the insurance company or getting the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation to order the insurance company to let you get treatment from a different doctor.

An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get to a doctor who is a better fit for your situation and can provide better treatment. By knowing which doctors are best suited for your injury and will work for you within the system, you can get better care.

What is a nurse case manager, and why do they have to show up at my doctor appointments?

The nurse case manager is there to help the insurance company. The nurse case manager who shows up at your doctor’s appointments can only be there if you agree. You have the right to tell the doctor’s office that you do not want the nurse case manager coming into your appointment with you.

How long can I be paid weekly benefits?

The maximum period that you can be paid weekly benefits depends on what type of benefits you are collecting. How long you can collect is measured from your date of injury. The maximum period for TTD benefits is 400 weeks for a claim not designated catastrophic. For catastrophic claims, the maximum is life. The maximum period for TPD benefits is 350 weeks.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can make sure that you will receive the correct amount of benefits for the correct length of time.

How do I file a claim for a workplace injury in Georgia?

If you have suffered from an injury, illness or any other health condition while performing job-related duties in Georgia, then you are entitled to file a work injury claim. To file a claim, you need to:

  • Gather evidence, such as photographs, and/or make notes about your injury after it happens
  • Report your injury to your employer
  • Seek medical attention from the medical provider your employer tells you to see
  • Cooperate with your employer with the necessary paperwork
  • File your claim
  • Wait for a response from the State Board of Workers’ Compensation

Although the legal process can seem daunting, it can be made easier with assistance from one of our workers’ compensation attorneys in Atlanta. They can take care of all the steps of filing a claim on your behalf, making sure that you do not make any mistakes or hurt your chances of financial recovery.

Can I also file a personal injury lawsuit for my accident?

If you file a workers’ compensation claim, then you will not be able to file a personal injury claim against your employer. However, you may be able to file a claim against a third-party if their negligent actions, behavior or wrongdoing contributed to your accident.

Why do I need a lawyer to help me get medical care?

Although the law gives you the right to medical care, the insurance company has to pay for the medical care. The insurance company wants to spend as little as possible on claims, including yours. An insurance company may try to limit treatment. It might also try to limit your choice of doctor. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get treatment for all your injuries from a doctor who will be best for you and your recovery.

The doctor put me on light-duty work, but there is nothing that I can do at my job. What should I do?

Oftentimes, the doctors you are required to see for a workers’ compensation claim are the doctors hired by the insurance company. An insurance company pays less if you are on “light-duty” restrictions. You get caught in the middle.

An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can advocate on your behalf to get you out of work altogether so that you can recover from your injuries or help make sure that you aren’t hassled when you are working on light duty.

I became addicted to pain medication provided by my workers’ compensation doctor. Is this still covered under workers’ compensation?

Yes, a workers’ compensation claim provides any and all medical expenses that arise from your workers’ compensation injury. Georgia law states that an addiction to a drug that was prescribed for treatment of a workplace injury can be considered a further injury resulting from the workplace injury.

Georgia law recognizes that the workers’ compensation insurance company gets to choose the doctors who see an injured worker. Sometimes, the doctors chosen by the insurance company provide too much pain medication in the form of opioids or other addictive drugs. If the doctor has provided medication without proper safeguards, then there may also be a lawsuit against the doctor for medical negligence.

Should I settle my workers’ compensation claim for a lump sum?

Settlement of a workers’ compensation claim is when the injured worker receives a lump sum of cash to end the claim. Whether you should settle your claim requires careful consideration of a lot of different factors because you will forgo any future compensation if you settle your claim. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you consider all the necessary factors to reach a decision that is right for you.

My spouse died on the job. Am I entitled to benefits as a dependent?

Yes. When a worker is killed on the job or dies as a result of injuries from the job, their dependents are entitled to dependency benefits. The worker’s spouse and minor children are presumed to be dependent upon the deceased worker. Weekly benefits are paid to the dependents, and these benefits are adjusted every year. In addition, a spouse may also have a claim for a wrongful death action against the employer.

Do You Still Have Questions? Schedule A Free Consultation.

Our workers’ compensation and personal injury attorneys at Hilley & Frieder, P.C., understand that the Georgia workers’ compensation system is complicated. They are available for free consultations to answer your questions and tell you more about how they can help you with your workers’ compensation claims.

Call us today at 404-795-6099 or contact us through our website.

Attorney Mia Frieder Sitting In Office