Living in Atlanta, GA offers many great perks. The southern landscape can be breath-taking and the town is bustling with things to do. Another great thing about the city is that they are the leaders when it comes to the job market.
Jobs are plentiful for residents and vary in fields, but are most common among warehouse and industrial workplaces.
In 2019 alone, Atlanta’s job market increased a whopping 1.5%. This may not seem like much in terms of a percentage, but when looking at the larger picture, that is an additional 2,800,000+ jobs. Those numbers definitely add up!
With such a vast job market, Atlanta has taken extra care to ensure that their residents and employees are rightfully covered in the event of a workplace injury. To meet that demand, they have the largest network of worker’s comp attorneys anywhere.
While no one wants an accident to happen, they unfortunately do. Atlanta has ensured that they are prepared to represent their injured workers.
Workers Compensation in Georgia
Briefly, worker’s compensation is the insurance that employers have to cover any lost wages and/or medical bills for an injured employee. Oftentimes, this may be limited or not fairly represented for the employee.
That is where the worker comp attorney comes into play. Atlanta work compensation lawyers work diligently to give the best representation for an injured worker. There are a large number of them that exist to make sure the large job market is fairly covered.
Georgia’s Worker Comp Benefits
Every state has its own set of worker’s comp laws. Georgia’s specific worker’s compensation benefits will be examined here.
An injured worker has the right to know how the system works and what to expect when it comes to these claims. This is especially true for workers in Atlanta as they are in more need of coverage due to the larger job market.
Below are some common facts about worker’s compensation in Georgia as well as benefits available.
No Employer is Exempt
It doesn’t matter if the employee is part-time or full-time, they are entitled to worker’s comp coverage. All employers who have 3 or more employees must provide a worker’s compensation insurance.
Employers Two Options
Employers have two options available when it comes to determining the amount to pay the injured worker. Firstly, the employer must report any injury immediately to their insurer’s claim department.
Documentation is critical and doing it as soon as possible after an injury is important. Then they have two options, a physician panel and a managed care plan for the injured.
Wrongful death does occur, unfortunately. Georgia provides benefits for the surviving family in the form of weekly compensation and up to $7,500 worth of help with the burial insurance.
This is extremely generous of them and helps the family in their trying times of need. These benefits are capped out at $150,000.
This applies to dependents and spouses. The spouse must have been legally married to the deceased to receive these benefits.
Two Variations of Worker’s Comp Settlements
The State Board of Workers Compensation Settlement Division is responsible for reviewing and approving all settlements related to worker’s compensation cases. There are two possible outcomes, liability and non-liability.
In a city with such a large job market, Atlanta’s workers compensation lawyers are aware of these two settlements. Liability refers to the insurance company agreeing to pay for the injured worker’s lost wages, medical bills, etc.
Their accident is not in question, however, the amount to be received may be up for debate. Non-liability refers to the accident being questionable.
This requires a more extensive examination and often proceeds into a court hearing process. While having a work injury lawyer handy is always recommended, this is when one is truly needed. They will represent the client in court to ensure they are fairly represented and getting what they deserved.
Common Additional Questions that Injured Workers May Have
Knowing the injured worker’s rights is half the battle. Every situation is unique and may have a slightly different aspect to it. With this in mind, the injured employee has a little bit more to consider when thinking of a worker’s compensation claim.
Below are some additional questions that a hurt employee may have during this process and how to assess each one.
Will benefits cease if the employee is fired?
Georgia is an at-will state which means they can legally fire an employee without any real cause. Even with their right to let an employee go, any rightfully owed worker’s compensation payments will still be processed.
Are pain and suffering Included in worker’s comp?
One of the biggest questions that any Atlanta workers compensation lawyer is frequently asked is if pain and suffering are included in a worker’s comp claim.
While there is certainly pain and suffering during this time of uncertainty, it can only be processed under a personal injury claim in Georgia.
Can employees file personal injury lawsuits against employers?
A common misconception about worker’s compensation is that the employee can file a personal injury lawsuit against their employers.
While they can be filed against any third party that may have been involved with the work-related accident (think of faulty machines and their manufacturers), they cannot be processed against employers.
Why? Because that is a workers’ compensation exists for; the receiving of payment and benefits through an employer’s workers compensation insurance company waives the right to file a personal injury lawsuit against them.
With a booming job market for Atlanta workers compensation, the city continues to take pride in having trusted attorneys and knowing their employees are covered if anything should happen.
The lawyers are there to give expert advice and help the injured worker through the entire process as smoothly as possible!