On-the-job injuries are a serious problem. The CDC estimates that about 1.8 million people in the US suffer injuries at work each year, with slips, trips, and falls accounting for about 18 percent of these accidents. Many injured workers find themselves wondering who is going to pay for medical bills and missed time at work. In most cases, these expenses should be covered by worker’s compensation insurance.
Worker’s compensation is a no-fault system designed to help injured workers with medical bills and lost wages. Any Georgia business with at least three employees is legally required to provide workers’ compensation insurance for its workers. This insurance covers full-time and part-time employees from your first day of employment – there’s no waiting period. How long it lasts depends on your injuries, their severity, and whether or not your doctor has released you to return to work. In this article, we’ll discuss how long it might last in some common situations, and what else you need to know about worker’s compensation.
Attorney Al Awad founded the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm only a few years ago and rapidly transformed it into the fastest-growing law firm in the country. We now have a devoted staff ready to investigate your case and fight for your worker’s compensation benefits. If you or a loved one are struggling with a Georgia worker’s compensation claim or are unsure what to do when your benefits end, please contact us for a free consultation.
How Long Can You Be on Worker’s Comp?
Depending on how badly you were injured, you can be on worker’s compensation for up to 400 weeks under Georgia law. However, if you suffered certain permanent or total disability injuries, such as some cases of paralysis or brain injuries, you may be eligible for lifetime payments. It is not easy to get approved for lifetime payments, but a qualified worker’s compensation attorney can help ensure your paperwork is submitted correctly, completely, and on time.
What Are Worker’s Compensation Medical Benefits?
In most cases, you will receive medical benefits – your medical bills related to your work injury will be paid – for up to 400 weeks. Usually these benefits end when your treatment is completed, or your doctor believes there is nothing else they can do. Sometimes this is referred to as “maximum medical improvement,” or MMI.
In order to receive these medical benefits, you must go to a healthcare provider approved by your employer. For this reason, the HR department is expected to provide you with a list of six doctors to choose from, or the contact info for a Worker’s Compensation Manage Care Organization (WC/MCO). If your company’s HR supervisor can’t or won’t provide you with this information, or seems unwilling to help you access your medical benefits, call a workers’ compensation lawyer right away. Even if you have received this information from the HR department, make sure that you also report your injury in writing to your supervisor in case they forget that it happened.
What Are Lost Wage Benefits?
Temporary lost wage benefits, or Temporary Total Disability (TTD), are paid if you miss more than seven days at work and are calculated based on your typical weekly wages, as well as a maximum amount determined by average wages in the state. You should receive about two-thirds of your average weekly pay, up to a maximum amount that is currently $725 per week. (The maximum rate is subject to change.) If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you can be paid retroactively for the first seven days that you missed.
To receive lost wage benefits, you’ll need documentation from your doctor stating that you’re unable to work for a period of time or until your condition changes. You may need to go see the doctor again before they will approve you to return to work. Be sure to keep all of your medical appointments for your work injury.
Your doctor has two options – they can write you out of work entirely or put you on “light duty” restrictions. Restrictions are based on your injuries and often involve limits for how much you can lift or how much physical activity you can do. Depending on your work circumstances, you may be able to do paperwork or some sort of desk job until you’re better, or there may be nothing you can really do at work due to your restrictions. If your employer can’t accommodate these restrictions – if there are no “light duty” tasks available – they can pay you lost wage benefits at two-thirds of your usual pay rate until you’ve recovered.
What You Should Know About Light Duty Work
If your employer offers you a light-duty job, you do have to take it in order to be eligible for your wage benefits. However, if this job has a lower pay rate than your usual job, you can seek lost wage benefits even though you will still be working. In this situation, you will receive two-thirds of the difference in pay between the jobs.
What If You Can’t Return to Work After 400 Weeks?
400 weeks is the maximum amount of time you can collect lost wage benefits, although most people are able to return to work sooner than that. What if you’re not? If you’re still unable to work at your old job after 400 weeks, it’s possible you’ve suffered a permanent disability.
Your doctor may decide you’ve reached MMI within 400 weeks, and they might also give you a physical impairment rating if you’re still unable to do any of your usual activities. The doctor’s rating is based on the Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment Fifth Edition, published by the American Medical Association. It will be important if you apply for permanent disability later.
If you’re approaching 400 weeks and your doctor hasn’t mentioned MMI or an impairment rating, make an appointment and ask what other treatment options are available to further improve your condition. Be sure to explain to the doctor exactly what symptoms you still have and how they have affected your ability to do your job should you return. If the doctor says they’ve done everything possible to treat your condition, ask them if they believe you’ve reached Maximum Medical Improvement. If so, request an impairment rating or any tests that are necessary to determine your level of impairment.
Once you have a response from your doctor, you may be able to apply for permanent partial or total disability benefits. The paperwork you’ll need to submit for PPD or PTD is complex, and many claims are denied. Your best chance at receiving a positive response begins with engaging a Georgia worker’s compensation attorney. Our team knows all the difficulties of the worker’s compensation system and will work to overcome them.
Contact Your CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Today
If you have questions or concerns about your worker’s compensation claim, the CEO Lawyer Personal Injury Law Firm is here to help. Contact us any time for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your options. You can call us at 833-254-2923 or visit us online. If we take your case, we won’t charge you anything until we achieve a settlement.
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Frequently Asked Questions
After a personal injury, you're bound to have legal questions. The CEO Lawyer Ali Awad can provide you with answers to these questions, just as he's given answers to his millions of curious social media followers. Take a look at some of the most common personal injury law questions for general information, and then reach out to one of our seasoned attorneys for specific guidance on your case!
To quickly resolve matters following an accident, insurance companies will offer you less than you deserve in compensation for your injuries. Many victims feel pressured to accept these offers as the bills begin to pile up, but that is rarely a good idea. The insurance company is looking to protect its bottom line; and will offer injured victims less than they deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney understands how to negotiate with the insurance company and can look out for your best interests by getting you the compensation you deserve after an injury. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is important to avoid negotiating or providing recorded statements to the insurance company without first seeking help from a qualified personal injury attorney.
Do You Have a Personal Injury Case?
The best way to determine if you have a personal injury case is to speak with a knowledgeable attorney. Our legal professionals have the expertise to evaluate your case and determine a strong legal strategy so that you can obtain the greatest amount of compensation possible under the law. We will enlist investigators, assistants, and other specialists to collect accident reports, speak with witnesses to your accident, and put together a plan. While you focus on your physical recovery, we will remain committed to fighting for the compensation that you deserve.
Georgia's Personal Injury & Accident Firm
Accident victims have a limited time to file a personal injury lawsuit. This time period is referred to as the statute of limitations, and in Atlanta, it lasts only two years. This means that if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, you have only two years to pursue a personal injury suit. If you wait too long to reach out to an experienced attorney, you might be forever barred from seeking the compensation you deserve.
What to Expect From Your Initial Consultation With a Personal Injury Attorney?
During your initial consultation with CEO Lawyer team, we will go over the important details of your personal injury accident, which include the nature and extent of your injuries, how your injuries have impacted your ability to earn a paycheck, the cost of your medical treatment, and whether further medical treatment will be required. We will answer any questions you might have, as well, in regards to our experience, our track record of success, and what to expect from the legal process.
Many personal injury victims wonder if they will be able to afford the legal fees required to pursue a lawsuit. CEO Lawyer injury and accident attorneys will not ask for any type of upfront fee unless we are successful in obtaining compensation for you. That means that if you have been harmed in a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, defective product accident, or any other type of personal injury accident, you can absolutely afford to contact our law office today for assistance. In fact, you cannot afford to wait. Reach out today.
We understand that some accident victims might have already obtained the assistance of an attorney but may be dissatisfied with the services provided. We are standing by and prepared to help you change legal representation, regardless of where you are in the process.
Speak to an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of personal injury accident, you should not hesitate to speak with the experienced attorneys at CEO Lawyer personal injury law firm. Call, email, or fill out our online contact form today so that we can begin helping you pursue the compensation you deserve.