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    Four Facts to Know About Workers’ Compensation Laws in Georgia

    Posted on - Thursday, June 10, 2021 under Workers Compensation

    Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws protect employees that suffer injuries while on the job. While this is reassuring for injured workers, there are four important facts all claimants should know about workers’ compensation laws in Georgia.

    1. You Cannot File a Lawsuit Against Your Employer

    Since workers’ compensation laws are designed to compensate you for your injuries on the job, you are barred from suing your employer when you file a workers’ compensation claim.

    1. You Are Entitled to Compensation for Lost Wages, Medical Expenses, and Permanent Partial Disability.

    Filing a workers’ compensation claim, entitles employees to three basic benefits. First, you are entitled to wage benefits. After your doctor has examined you and placed you on no-work status, you can then begin receiving two-thirds your average weekly rate in wage benefits.  Usually, your average weekly rate is calculated by determining your average weekly rate based on the previous 13 weeks that you’ve worked at your company. Second, you are also entitled to receive medical benefits. This includes the actual costs of treatment at the hospital, your gas expenses for driving to and from the hospital, and any prescription medication you must purchase. All medical costs should be directly billed to your employer. Finally, you are entitled to receive permanent partial disability (PPD). After you have completed treatment and your doctor concludes that continued treatment will not improve your circumstances, your doctor will provide you a PPD rating that may afford you this final benefit.

    1. Benefits Should Begin Within 21 Days, but it May Take Longer.

    You should know that Insurance companies in Georgia have up to 21 days to investigate your workers’ compensation claim.  If your claim is successful at this stage, meaning the company agrees to pay you, benefits should begin within 21 days. In some cases, however, the employer may refuse to pay the employee, causing the investigation process to take six months or even longer. If you are having any issues with getting your employer to pay, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer immediately.

    1. Before Returning to Light Duty, Call Your Lawyer.

    If your doctor determines that you are ready to return to work on light duty, make sure you call your attorney and let them know before you sign anything. In Georgia, workers’ comp law requires your employer to obtain a written statement from your doctor detailing exactly what type of light-duty work you are able to do. Your employer is then required to give you ten days’ notice of your new position, and you have fifteen days to try the job. If you determine you are unable to perform your duties during this time period, you are allowed to quit and request the insurer to restart your weekly benefits.

    Everyone’s situation is unique, and workers’ compensation laws can be complicated. If you were injured while at work, call a trusted workers’ compensation lawyer immediately. The attorneys at Parian Injury Law in Metro Atlanta and West Georgia and we are well-informed on Georgia’s workers’ compensation law. Give us a call today for a free consultation.