Find Answers to Your Workers' Compensation Questions Here
What is workers’ compensation?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program paid by your employer to provide cash benefits and medical care if you are injured on the job. The law requires any business with more than three employees, including part-time workers, to have a workers’ compensation program in place.
Why do I need a workers’ compensation attorney?
Workers’ compensation is a bureaucratic system based on state laws. Pursuing the benefits you deserve involves a lot of paperwork and an understanding of the complex rules, stipulations, possible exceptions and the ways that employers or insurance companies try to manipulate the system. A lawyer can identify possible violations of law that can help you secure the maximum amount of benefits you are entitled to.
What types of benefits can I receive if I am injured on the job?
All authorized medical bills, hospital bills, physical therapy, prescriptions and mileage you must pay in order to receive treatment for your injuries are covered under the workers’ compensation system. You are also entitled to receive money to compensate for lost income if you cannot work for more than seven days. You will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage, not to exceed $500 per week.
When do I report an on-the-job accident?
If you’ve been injured, you should tell your employer or supervisor immediately. If you wait more than 30 days, you are at risk of losing your benefits.
Can I go to any doctor that I want?
Not exactly. Employers must identify specific physicians that injured employees may see for an evaluation. This can be done in the following ways:
- By posting “in prominent places on the business premises” a listing of the “Traditional Panel of Physicians” comprised of six doctors. You are allowed to pick any one of the six for an evaluation. The panel must consist of one orthopedic physician and no more than two industrial clinics.
- Alternatively, businesses can post a “Conformed Panel of Physicians” composed of 10 doctors. This panel will include the same six doctors listed in the traditional panel plus chiropractors and general surgeons.
- Another option to employers is to post the name of the Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization that is certified by the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation to provide medical care to injured workers.
Under this system, you are allowed to change to another doctor one time without notifying your employer. Typically, you will still be limited to picking a doctor from your employers’ approved list, but there are exceptions. Talking with one of the Accident and Disability Attorneys at Monge & Associates can help you determine what types of exceptions might allow you to select your own physician, regardless of the employer’s preselected panel.
Does the injury have to be my employer’s fault?
No. You are entitled to workers’ compensation even if your own negligence resulted in the injury. The same principle holds true if you accidentally injured yourself at work.
What happens if my doctor says it’s OK for me to return to work, but in a lower paying position?
You are entitled to a reduced benefit based upon your earnings for no longer than 350 weeks from the date of the injury. The amount is determined based on the difference between your previous weekly wage and your new one.
What types of benefits are available if I become permanently disabled?
Your authorized physician will give you a “rating” based on guidelines outlined by the American Medical Association. That rating will be used to determine the amount of your weekly payments based on the type and severity of your disability.
What if I sustain a catastrophic injury?
The terms “catastrophic injury” and “non-catastrophic” injury have specific meanings under workers’ compensation law. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation identifies injuries by placing them into the catastrophic or non-catastrophic category, and their determination can limit the amount and type of benefits an injured worker can receive.
If your injury is deemed catastrophic, you may be entitled to vocational rehabilitation services and lifetime income benefits, as well as money to cover any adaptive equipment or other modifications that are needed given your new physical condition.
Am I out of luck if my workers’ compensation claim is denied?
No. You can appeal by requesting a hearing before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, which is like a trial in court. An administrative law judge will listen to both sides of the claim and will decide if you are entitled to receive any benefits and, if so, what types of benefits you are entitled to.
Do I have to hire a lawyer at my hearing before the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation?
It is not a requirement, but it’s probably a good idea. Your employer may hire counsel to represent the business at the hearing, and understanding the complexities of the employer’s case may require the technical legal knowledge that an attorney can provide.
More Questions? Our Workers’ Comp Attorneys are Here to Help
The Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates have the experience it takes to WIN your workers’ compensation case. Call us at or use our online contact form. There is no fee for your first consultation.
The Accident & Disability Attorneys of Monge & Associates serves clients in Atlanta, Decatur, Lithonia, College Park, East Point, Stone Mountain, Norcross, Conyers, Riverdale, Duluth, Fayetteville, Loganville and across Georgia and the Southeast.