If you were recently injured on the job, you may have started the process of filing for workers compensation benefits. The following article will provide some helpful information you should know about workers’ compensation in Georgia.
Important Information Regarding Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation
- You have 30 days to report the accident to your employer. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-80, an employee must report an injury-causing work accident to his employer within 30 days after the date the accident occurred.
- You could continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits even after you return to work. If you were injured at work and subsequently find yourself able to return to work, you may still be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits if you are suffering from a permanent partial disability (PPD) or if you have returned to work and are making less than your pre-injury average weekly wage.
- You may not be entitled to workers’ compensation if you contributed to your own injuries. If it is determined that your own actions (for example, fighting, engaging in horseplay, or accidents caused by your abuse of alcohol or drugs) contributed to your injuries, you will not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
- You may still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if you have a pre-existing injury. If you have a pre-existing injury and a work-related accident further aggravates that injury, you can still receive workers compensation benefits to compensate for the aggravation of that injury (but not for the underlying, pre-existing injury).
- Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for your treatment. As long as your injury occurred in the workplace, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier will pay for the costs associated with your authorized medical treatment. This includes all authorized doctor bills, hospital bills, physical therapy costs, prescription costs, and necessary travel expenses. Any medical bills related to your work injury should be sent to your employer and/or the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
- You can still receive workers’ compensation benefits while you are at home recovering from your injuries. If you are unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits while you are recovering at home, which equal two-thirds of your average gross weekly wage.
- If your injury prevents you from seeking employment elsewhere, you can receive job benefits. If you are unable to seek employment elsewhere due to your injury, the workers’ compensation program may provide you with job benefits, such as job search assistance, on-the-job training, or payment for educational expenses.
- The state’s workers’ compensation program does not compensate for pain and suffering. Workers’ compensation in Georgia does not provide any compensation for any pain and suffering you may have endured as a result of your injuries. You may want to consider consulting a personal injury attorney to determine the full extent of damages you could be eligible to receive if you instead file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.