Do you work in a high-risk environment? If yes, then this article is solely for you. Not to worry, your employer will bear all the loss if you get injured while dispensing your duties. Invariably, you will get paid if you get injured at work.
In addition, if your injuries are serious enough to prevent you from returning to work for a certain period of time, you will receive a percentage of your normal paycheck as compensation.
Also, you have other options regardless of the initial offering of the insurance company. If the initial offer is not enough, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you seek a settlement that better covers the medical treatment costs.
We hope this has answered some of the questions you have? Let’s get on with it.
Who Pays Compensation For Work Injuries?
As an employee, your employer is required by law to pay you a portion of your salary while you are recovering from your work-related injury. However, your employer will not be paying this directly from the company’s funds.
In many countries, it is mandatory for all organizations, regardless of size, to have adequate worker’s compensation insurance. This insurance covers medical costs when an employee gets injured at work.
Apparently, if you are injured while doing your job, your company’s insurance company is responsible for covering the compensation due to you.
What Should I Do After An Accident At Work To Ensure You Get Paid?
Your first priority after an accident at work is of course your health. If you are severely injured, call for an ambulance and request a colleague to handle the other formalities on your behalf.
This is to keep a record of the accident which will support your compensation claim.
Again, report the incident immediately to your site manager and also create a written incident report in the accident book. This protects your rights by ensuring your employer cannot deny knowledge that the accident happened.
Ask a work colleague to take photographs of your injuries if you are not able to do so yourself. Take a picture of the accident scene as well. Photographs and videos that show what caused the accident can be the strongest proof you can provide to back your claim. It’s very difficult to ignore strong photographic evidence.
If possible, get the names and contact of anyone who witnessed the incident. A witness statement is another tool that can strengthen your claim and ensure that you get paid for your work injury.
Which Type of Pay Can I Expect After an Injury at Work?
Typically, there are four types of benefits you can get after an injury at work:
- Weekly compensation
- Permanent impairment benefits
- Medical benefits
- Rehabilitation support
The exact benefits you will receive will depend on the injury and how they impact your ability to work.
Let us examine each type of payment below;
Weekly Workers’ Compensation Benefits
This is the type of pay you receive when there is an injury at work that prevents you from working for more than seven days. Basically, you will be eligible for weekly compensation benefits.
For example, in Georgia, the weekly worker’s compensation WWC is two-thirds (or 66%) of your average weekly wage (AWW) and cap out at $575 per week (Georgia Code §34-9-261).
This amount may vary in other states, and the weekly cap can change per year.
Your AWW is calculated by figuring your average earnings over some weeks prior to your work injury.
Therefore, this pay for injury at work only accounts for two-thirds of the regular wage.
Partial Disability Payments
If the worker has a disability, and as a result performs part-time/menial work, the injury pay will be calculated differently.
What you receive would be calculated by subtracting your current earnings (or earning capacity) from your previous AWW. Then, that number would be multiplied by two-thirds.
For example, if you were previously making $1,000 per week and can currently earn $600, the difference would be $400, and two-thirds of $400 would be $240 per week for partial disability benefits.
Depending on how seriously you were injured, you might qualify to receive weekly workers’ compensation for up to 400 weeks from the date of your injury. Otherwise, you may continue to receive benefits until you are able to return to work.
How Long Can You Get Paid For After a Work Injury?
The time frame in which you will be paid after an injury/ for being injured at work depends on the severity of the disability/injury.
The disability is classified as:
- Temporary or permanent
- Total or partial
This means that there could be a:
- Temporary total disability or temporary partial disability where the injuries are still recovering and you’re expected to get better
- Permanent total disability or permanent partial disability where the condition is not expected to improve
If you have a partial disability, it means you have the ability to perform some types of work which are typically sedentary activities. Total disability means you are unable to work at any type of job.
What are the Permanent Impairment From Being Injured at Work?
Permanent impairments that are not expected to get better are, for instance, loss of limb or another body part, permanent back injury, loss of hearing, etc.
They are also referred to as reaching maximum medical improvement (MMI). When there is a permanent impairment from work, the individual is able to pursue longer and higher benefits.
To receive long-term benefits, the injury has to affect your ability to work as you did before. Again, State Board of Workers’ Compensation Provisions provides benefits depending on which body part is affected.
Other Pay You Can Receive if You Were Injured at Work
If you are injured at work, you are entitled to have any necessary medical treatment paid for.
This includes costs and transportation for appointments and vocational rehabilitation if you are unable to return to your previous job.
However, it is common to run into issues if your employer or the insurance company believes your treatment has gone on long enough.
If the insurance company thinks your treatment is not necessary or reasonable, they may refuse to pay for it. Because of this, you may have to fill out the states’ workers compensation form.
For the state of Georgia, you’ll fill the WC-14 form. It’s also a good idea to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney who can help you fight for your rights.
What are Your Legal Rights if You Were Injured at Work?
The following are your rights to be paid if you get injured at work.
You are legally allowed to pursue a workers’ compensation claim without fear of retaliation from your employer.
A workers’ compensation lawyer can ensure your legal rights are protected against your employer and their insurance company.
These rights include:
- Your right to file a claim for your injury or illness in workers compensation court or Georgia civil court
- Right to medical treatment
- Your right to return to your job if you are released to return to work by your physician
- Right to disability compensation if you are unable to return to work, whether permanently or temporarily, because of your injury or illness
- Your right to appeal the decision of your employer, their insurance company, or the court
- Your right to be represented by an attorney
An employee should also understand that he has the right to refuse certain requests or offers. For example, if your employer encourages you to use your own health insurance or offers you some incentive in an attempt to persuade you against filing a workers compensation claim, you have the right to say, no.
What Are My Rights as an Employee?
Note that workers’ compensation laws vary by state as well as the rights employees have. This also applies to legal procedures that ensure rights.
Generally, there are a number of legal rights that are common across most states:
- right to file a claim for injury or illness in workers compensation court or state industrial court
- right to see a doctor and to pursue medical treatment
- if you are released to return to work by your physician, you have the right to return to your job
- if you are unable to return to work because of your injury or illness, whether permanently or even temporarily, you have the right to some type of disability compensation
- you have the right to be represented by a lawyer throughout the process.
- if you disagree with any decision by your employer, the employer’s insurance company, or the workers’ compensation court, you generally have the right to appeal that decision
Damages You Could Be Compensated for if You Were Injured at Work in Georgia
Workers’ compensation in Georgia will only cover a portion of your damages from the accident. This will most likely be to the extent of the need.
You need the help of a lawyer to ensure that you do not overlook any recoverable damages, calculate your total compensation, and help you collect money for:
- Medical expenses, such as supplies, surgery, and medications
- Income lost, past and future
- Pain and suffering, including emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment
Are there Free Workers’ Compensation Lawyers?
There are a number of firms that offer consultation for free and one of them is John Foy & Associates. You can contact them on (404) 400-4000 or online for a free consultation.
What Type Of Injuries Can I Get Paid For?
You are entitled to get paid when you get injured with any type of injury that is caused by your employer’s negligence or mistake.
Typically workplace injuries are caused by one-time events or exposures.
The following fall into the category of one-time events:
- Slip and fall accidents;
- Falling from height;
- Getting hurt by an object falling from height;
- Burn injuries from accidental contact with hazardous chemicals;
- Faulty equipments;
- Accident while operating dangerous machines;
- Getting crushed by a heavy vehicle;
- Needle stick injuries.
Exposure injuries may include the following:
- Back pain from continuous lifting of heavy items without proper support;
- Tinnitus or hearing loss from being exposed to loud noises continuously;
- Respiratory diseases from exposure to low levels of toxic fumes;
- Tennis elbow from using the arm and elbow repeatedly to perform the same tasks for extended periods.
Two Important Requirements To Win A Work Injury Claim
To file a successful work accident claim and get paid for injured, you must be able to prove that:
- Your injuries were caused due to an accident at work.
- The accident was caused due to somebody else’s mistake or negligence.
What Are My Rights Against Parties Other Than My Employer?
As we have already mentioned above, sometimes the injury at work might have been caused by the negligence of a third party. Depending on the circumstances, you may have the right to bring a claim against that person or entity.
These are known as “third-party claims.”
Typically, these claims are not filed in the workers’ compensation. Rather, they take the form of civil lawsuits and are filed in state or federal courts.
In a third-party claim, you are generally are allowed to seek compensation for pain and suffering, which is a category of “non-economic” damages.
Bottom line is, if you get injured at work, you will get paid.
The benefits you receive in a workers’ compensation claim are reimbursement of medical expenses and lost wages.
Therefore, bear in mind that you get paid compensation if you get injured at work.