What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ Compensation is a benefits program created by state law that provides medical, rehabilitation, income, death and other benefits to employees and dependents due to injury, illness and death resulting from a compensable work-related claim covered by the law.
When am I covered?
Any employer in the state of Georgia with three or more employees is required by law to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage to their employees.
What is considered an on-the-job injury, illness and death claim?
Any injury, illness or death arising out of and in the course of employment is, by definition, a "compensable" work-related claim. This means that if employees are injured while performing assigned job duties during assigned work hours, they are covered under the workers’ compensation program. Injuries sustained while engaging in unassigned duties, during lunch and breaks, are not covered. In addition, injuries that occur during an employee’s normal commute to and from work are not covered.
Can I receive money damages from my employer in addition to workers’ compensation benefits if I am injured on the job?
No. Workers’ compensation is the “exclusive remedy” a worker has against his/her employer for damages resulting from an on-the-job injury.
What income (money) benefits are available under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Georgia law provides four types of income benefits. The maximum amount of weekly workers’ compensation benefits an employee may receive from a work injury, illness or death depends on the workers’ compensation rate at the time of the injury and the employee’s average weekly wage. Only one type of benefit is payable at a time.
- Temporary Total (TTD) Benefits- This benefit is payable to a worker who is injured on the job and is unable to work as determined by the authorized treating physician. The amount owed is two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage at the time of the injury. For non-catastrophic injuries, there is a limit of 400 weeks of benefits from the date of injury if the injury occurred on or after July 1, 1992. For catastrophic injuries, benefits are unlimited.
- Temporary partial (TPD) Benefits – This benefit is payable to an injured worker when he or she returns to work in a job paying less because of an on-the-job accident. These benefits are payable for up to 350 weeks from the date of injury. This lost wage amount is two-thirds of the difference between the employee’s average weekly wage before the injury and the average weekly wage after the injury.
- Permanent Partial (PPD) Benefits – This benefit is payable to the employee for a permanent disability resulting from an on-the-job injury. It is payable based upon a percentage given by your authorized treating physician in accordance with current AMA Guidelines. The percentage is calculated using a formula that contains number of weeks assigned by the State Board by the percentage rating by the TTD rate.
- Death Benefits – This benefit is payable to eligible dependents (i.e. dependent spouse, minor children) of an employee whose on-the-job injuries result in death. This benefit is payable at the rate of two-thirds of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage at the time of the accident. Funeral expenses are payable up to the maximum allowed under the law at the time of injury.
What expenses will be reimbursed to me?
Workers’ Compensation law provides for reimbursement of certain reasonable expenses incurred to obtain medical treatment. This includes such things as mileage, meals, lodging and other expenses that are deemed necessary and appropriate.
Be sure to use Mileage and Parking Reimbursement forms to record your expenses. You must keep your receipts for all expenses incurred, such as parking. If you wait longer than 1(one) year to request reimbursement for mileage it will be denied as a matter of law.
Why do I need to consult with an attorney?
All insurance companies representing the person(s) at fault for your injuries will have at their disposal a team of adjusters, investigators and attorneys working to limit your damages and compensation. The insurance company’s goal is to pay you the least amount possible to settle your claim. They are trained professionals who have years of experience and training in denying and minimizing injured parties claims. You need the assistance and guidance of an experienced and professional attorney to protect your interests and help ensure that you, the injured party, receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
When should an attorney be hired?
If you feel you might have a workers' compensation claim, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible after your injury. It is important to know that after being seriously injured in an accident or at the hands of a medical professional, that you are immediately placed at a legal disadvantage. While you are in the process of dealing with your injuries, the party at fault has already notified her or his insurance company and has put them on notice. The insurance company’s adjuster begins to immediately investigate and process your potential claim.
It is important that you do not talk to anyone hired by the insurance company prior to consulting an attorney. This will ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Is the hiring of a workers' compensation attorney expensive?
We cannot speak of other law firm’s retainer arrangements, however, at J. Franklin Burns, P.C., there is no charge for personal consultation, there is no retainer fee, and we will advance all costs to pursue your claim.
If I do file a claim will it settle quickly?
There is no definite period of time that determines when a case should be settled; every case has unique facts and legal circumstances. We at J. Franklin Burns, P.C. take great pride in our work ethic to avoid unnecessary delays because we understand the hardship an injury can bring. While we are fully aware of our clients' desires to have claims resolved as quickly as possible, if our opponents will not come to terms and settle your case on a basis that you find acceptable, we pledge that we will take your case to trial and seek the collective determination of a jury.
Give me good reasons why I should hire J. Franklin Burns, P.C.
- We will stand by our clients
- We have protected the legal rights of our clients for over 30 years and ensured positive results
- We welcome our clients participation in their cases and ensure that they fully understand every aspect of their claim so that they are able to render important decisions that can affect their case
- Our attorneys are experienced trial lawyers willing and ready to represent and advocate your rights no matter the circumstances of your case
We only represent clients who have been injured. We do not represent insurance companies nor have them as clients.