Georgia law requires most employers to carry insurance in case their employees get hurt on the job. This insurance is called Workers’ Compensation Insurance and requires the employer to pay for the employee’s injury-related medical expenses and some lost wages (called indemnity benefits) during the time the employee is disabled from work. Workers’ compensation insurance can also compensate the dependents of an employee that dies from an injury that occurred on the job.
Employees are covered under workers’ compensation insurance from the first day that they set foot on the job. Every employer with more than three employees is obligated under Georgia law to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. An employee can verify that their employer carries workers’ compensation insurance by visiting the State Board of Workers’ Compensation website at www.sbwc.georgia.gov.
Workers’ compensation is unique in that it stands as a universal way for employees to recover for their injuries without having to prove that the employer is at fault for acting negligently. To recover, all the employee must show is that he or she sustained an injury during the course and scope of the employment. In exchange for this no-fault requirement, the employee gives up his or her right to sue for pain and suffering damages in court – meaning workers’ compensation generally is the exclusive remedy for injuries sustained on the job.
Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation law, employees must report all accidents or injuries immediately to the employer, their boss or their supervisor. An employee that fails to immediately report an injury to his or her employer risks losing the right to collect workers’ compensation payments.
Once the employee files a workers’ compensation claim, he or she may visit any one of the panel of physicians approved by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Generally, the employer is required to provide a list of multiple physicians to the employee. This gives the employee the ability to select a physician that that makes the patient feel comfortable. Most treatment for the on-the-job injury will be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance.
The workers’ compensation Notice of Claim must be filed soon after the injury occurs. Once the appropriate documentation is filed, the employee may request a hearing before an administrative law judge to present further evidence as to the amount of compensation. Contact a knowledgeable and experienced workers’ compensation attorney if you have any questions regarding your rights under workers’ compensation.
DISCLAIMER: The above article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, legal advice. Legal advice can only be given by a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction following an individualized consultation. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact an attorney in your area.