Workers’ compensation is an accident insurance program that your employer pays to provide monetary assistance to employees injured on the job. This assistance includes medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits. By law in Georgia, if a business has three or more employees and one of those employees sustains a work-related injury while on the job, the business is required to provide workers’ compensation benefits to them. There are many common types of injuries that happen frequently on the job.
Some of the routine workplace injuries that victims can receive workers’ compensation benefits for include:
- Repetitive use injuries, such as arthritis and carpal tunnel
- Head injuries
- Electrocution and burns
- Toxic inhalation or exposure
- Joint injuries
- Spine injuries
It is important to be aware that workers’ compensation will cover work-related injuries with certain limits. Compensation can be denied if the work-related injury was self-inflicted, occurred due to the employee breaking the law, or did not happen while working.
The types of damages you can receive in Georgia for workers’ compensation are:
- Medical expenses
If the injury the victim sustained was caused by their employment, the employer is responsible for paying for 100% of the injured employees’ medical expenses related to the injury. The employer must also pay for the victim’s transportation costs for traveling to and from medical appointments.
- Lost wages
If the injured employee cannot work because of the work-related injury, they can be entitled to wage benefits. These wage benefits are known as Temporary Total Disability benefits and are based on a percentage of the employee’s average earnings for the thirteen weeks prior to the injury taking place. For all workplace injuries that took place on or after July 1st, 2019, the Temporary Total Disability benefits are capped at $675.00 a week for up to 400 weeks.
In a case where the injured employee returns to work at a reduced pay rate or a reduced work schedule, they are entitled to Temporary Partial Disability benefits. These benefits require the employer to give the injured employee supplement wage benefits to assist with the loss of income. For all workplace injuries that took place on or after July 1st, 2019, the Temporary Partial Disability benefits are capped at $450.00 a week for up to 350 weeks.
- Permanent disability
If the employee sustained a permanent and total disability, such as losing a limb or becoming blind, they could be entitled to disability payments. If the permanent disability is partial, the employee can receive the amount of their temporary total disability for a limited time. The benefits are determined by the percentage of disability for each body part multiplied by the maximum number of weeks listed in a state schedule for different body parts. If the body part that has the permanent disability is not listed in the schedule, the duration of permanent disability benefits will be decided based on the percentage of disability multiplied by 300 weeks. Permanent Partial Disability benefits are equal to two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wage for the decided number of weeks, with a cap of $675.00 per week.
- Survivor benefits if the injured worker passed away
If an employee dies from an injury they sustained at work, and the death occurred on or after July 1st, their dependents can receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage with a maximum of $675.00 per week. Dependents include a surviving spouse, children, and dependent stepchildren. The workers’ compensation system also requires employers to cover funeral costs up to $7,500.00.
If you have experienced a work-related injury and want to seek workers’ compensation, contact us at Glass & Robson. Our attorneys assist workplace injury victims in holding the people or companies involved responsible. With our extensive experience, we are well equipped to recover any lost earnings and damages that our victims deserve. Give us a call to get started.