Work Compensation Rights For Injured Workers In Atlanta, Ga
Its another regular day at work and workers are going about their regular official duties. Suddenly while working, an accident occurs, say a scaffolding at a construction site goes down, or a fire hazard in an office complex, causing injury to the workers. Those injured are taken to the hospital for treatment but were requested to pay for their treatment with no respite offered by the company he/she was working for in the first place. It’s like asking a military officer to pay for his or her treatment after getting shot in the line of duty.
Since the said worker got injured while in the service of an employer, then the company should also share in the responsibility of the treatment too. For workers in Atlanta, Georgia and most parts of the US, there is legislation in place to ensure that this is the case. However, the probability of getting your due right in case of workplace accidents like this may depend on how well you know your rights.
Things you should do if you are injured on the job
- Anyone involved in an accident while working should report immediately to a supervisor. If a report is not made immediately or less than a month after the accident, the worker may lose the right to receive the expected benefits.
- You need to file a claim: The worker will have to complete ‘Form WC-14,’ file it with the state board of workers’ compensation and send a copy to his/her employer and workers’ compensation insurance carrier.
- If due to on-the-job injury, the worker is away from work for more than one week, such a person is qualified to receive two-third of his/her weekly earnings. The nature of the injury can determine how long these benefits will continue- it can be up to 400 weeks or for as long as you are incapacitated in some cases.
Rights of injured workers in Georgia
The rights listed below are to be enjoyed by workers who suffer from any form of on-the-job injury as outlined by lawmakers in Georgia.
1. Right to compensation
An injured worker can receive compensation for medical recuperation and income benefits. If your employer wants you to agree to a settlement that is below what you deserve, you can get an attorney to negotiate the settlement on your behalf. You should take as much time as you will need to speak with your attorney, you are legally obliged to accept any offer or sign any document. You can make a full claim for your money if you spent your money on medical treatments and other ongoing treatments.
Classes of injuries in the workplace: catastrophic injuries and non-catastrophic injuries.
- Catastrophic injuries:these are injuries such as amputation, paralysis, blindness, and other head-related injuries. For this nature of the injury, you are eligible to receive two-thirds of your weekly income- which can be up to $500 a week in benefits for as long as you are away from work.
- Non-catastrophic injuries:these are minor injuries sustained at the workplace. A worker is eligible to also receive two-third of weekly income. The maximum amount receivable is $500 a week and payment can only continue for about 40 weeks after the injury occurs. However, if the worker can at least perform at work, but in a position that pays less, the benefits will reduce to $350 a week for 350 weeks.
If the employee dies as a result of a workplace accident, the surviving family members will be eligible to receive death benefits. They will be given $7,500 for the burial expenses and two-third of dead worker’s weekly earnings.
2. Rights when returning to the workplace
Workers returning to work encounters some challenges, after suffering from an injury. Workers can find it physically challenging to perform well in the workplace, and they are also exposed to fear of being terminated from the workplace- so they return to work prematurely.
In cases where the employee is receiving some income benefits, an employer can make a job offer with less stress on the WC-240 board form. This offer must be approved by a doctor, and the employer must give the employee ten days’ notice to return to work. If the worker resumes and attempts the job for eight hours in less than 15 days, but is unable to perform, the employer will recommence income benefits. Returning to work might be complicated for an injured worker so, it is advised that there be a discussion with a compensation attorney before accepting any job offer.
Click here for answers to some of the questions you may have about worker compensation in Georgia.
These are some of the major highlights of the compensation rights for injured workers in Atlanta, Georgia under the state law. While no one wants an accident or injury to occur, it is a possibility you should be ready for especially for high-risk jobs. In the unfortunate case that it happens, understand what the law says and speak to a compensation attorney to get your full benefits. Stay safe and happy at work.