Workers' compensation in Georgia

Individuals who have been hurt while performing their duties in the workplace should be aware that they are entitled to certain benefits, namely, workers' compensation. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the law is very clear - those who work for a business have the right to work in a safe environment.

In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was created and passed with the goal of protecting employees from serious injury or even death while at work, and it requires employers to keep the working conditions of their business free from any known dangers. Still, some businesses fail to meet their safety obligations, and when that occurs, the injured employee may be entitled to receive workers' compensation.

What exactly is workers' compensation?

According to Georgia's State Board of Workers' Compensation, workers' compensation is a type of insurance program in which an employer participates. In this program, the employer can provide injured employees with benefits that cover costs such as:

  • Medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Wage replacement

The program also gives benefits to the dependents of an employee, should the employee die from his or her job-related injuries.

How workers' compensation works

Many individuals hurt on the job do not know how workers' compensation actually works. To start, employees should know that the law mandates that any business that has three or more employees must provide workers' compensation insurance, and employee coverage begins on day one of the individual's employment.

Next, if employees are hurt on the job, they need to report the accident to their foreman or supervisor immediately because waiting longer than 30 days to report can cost them their entitlement to benefits. Further, injured employees will be provided with the names of doctors that they can visit for treatment, and this treatment, as long as it is related to the job injury, will be paid for by the employer under the insurance.

If it is determined that an individual cannot work for more than seven days following the injury, he or she will be entitled to weekly wage benefits equivalent to two-thirds of that employee's average weekly wage, not to exceed $500 per week. Those weekly benefits will continue for a period of up to 400 weeks, or if the injury is more severe in nature, an individual might be entitled to benefits for the rest of his or her life.

There are numerous types of injuries for which an employee might be entitled to benefits. That is why it is always a good idea for those who have suffered an on-the-job injury to seek the counsel of a capable workers' compensation attorney who is aware of how the process works and can work to get the benefits to which they are entitled.