Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Tucker
When you get hurt on the job, workers’ compensation benefits kick in. This program provides free medical care and a partial wage until you are able to return to your job. If the injury will prevent you from working for an extended time, it also provides disability benefits. In return, you cannot sue your employer for negligence.
The process can be complicated, and employers often look for excuses to limit the workers’ compensation benefits in Tucker an injured worker receives. Consulting a local workers’ compensation attorney soon after your injury could help ensure that the program works for you.
Employer Pays for Medical Care
Workers receive cost-free medical care under the program. They are not responsible for any copayments or other fees, and workers’ compensation will also reimburse their mileage for travel to medical appointments. Workers can strengthen their claims by seeking immediate medical treatment and reporting the injury to their employer as soon as possible. Delay in either seeking treatment or reporting an injury could endanger a Tucker resident’s workers’ compensation benefits.
Employers must provide injured workers a list of at least six approved medical providers, including at least one orthopedist. If the employer furnishes such a list, injured workers must choose one of those providers for their initial medical treatment and continue seeing an approved doctor until the doctor certifies the injury has reached maximum medical improvement. If the employee is dissatisfied with their treatment, a skilled attorney could help them petition the State Board of Workers’ Compensation to see a doctor of their choice.
A worker could request a second opinion if an approved doctor reports they can return to work or have achieved maximum medical improvement, and the worker disagrees. An employer or their insurer could also request a second opinion. A non-treating physician must conduct this independent medical exam. Workers are wise to consult with an experienced attorney before requesting or undergoing an independent medical exam.
Ability to Work Determines Cash Benefits
Workers’ compensation pays injured workers a percentage of their salary for a set period of time, depending on how long it will take for the injury to heal enough for the employee to resume their regular duties. The payments are calculated based on the worker’s average weekly wage in the thirteen weeks prior to the injury. Note that the calculation of the average weekly wage should include overtime, tips, commissions, and other compensation.
Temporary Partial Disability
If the employee could continue working but must be on light or modified duty, they could receive temporary partial disability benefits. An employee would receive two-thirds of the difference between their average weekly wages on regular duty and wages when on modified duty. There is a cap on the amount of the weekly payments, which depends on the year of the injury. Workers injured in July 2019 or later could receive up to $450 weekly, and the payments continue for a maximum of 300 weeks.
Temporary Total Disability
An employee whose injury prevents them from working at all is entitled to temporary total disability payments. The injury must render the person unable to work for at least seven days. Employees who cannot work at all receive two-thirds of their salary, up to $675 per week for workers injured in July 2019 or later. These benefits last for up to 400 weeks.
Permanent Partial Disability
Sometimes an injury results in the inability to return to a former job because of the loss of a body part or permanent functional impairment. If the employee is able to work at some other job, they could receive permanent partial disability payments. According to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated §34-9-263, the amount of the payments and their duration depend upon the specifics of the injury. An experienced lawyer in Tucker could explain what workers’ compensation benefits someone might expect in a particular circumstance.
Permanent Total Disability
When an injury renders someone unable to work again, workers’ compensation offers total disability payments. Generally, a worker must suffer a catastrophic injury to qualify for these payments.
Let a Tucker Attorney Help You Seek Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The workers’ compensation program aims to give injured workers enough cash to get them through periods of being unable to work, as well as medical treatment to get them on their feet again. Unfortunately, employers and insurers do not always treat their injured workers fairly.
If you have suffered an injury at work, it is important to know your rights. A lawyer in Tucker could advise you about the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to receive and help you fight back if your employer denies or stops your claim. Call today to schedule a consultation.