Many workplace injuries can fundamentally change your ability to perform your job, making it difficult or impossible to go back to the position you had before. This is almost always true of catastrophic injuries, and severe spinal cord injuries, but it can also be true of other types of injuries as well. For instance, if your job requires you to be in good physical shape and to lift or carry things, then neck and back, hip injuries or shoulder injuries can all make returning to work impossible. If your job requires you to be on the computer all day, then carpal tunnel can mean the end to your career.
In any case where you have suffered a work injury that makes it difficult or impossible to go back to your old job, it is important to speak with an Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Comp Attorney to learn how to receive disability benefits that will provide you with the income you need.
Workplace Accidents and Returning to Work
In Atlanta, your employer is supposed to provide you with compensation for work injuries through the Georgia workers' compensation system. Workers' comp insurance that employers must purchase for employees covers not only medical bills but also provides for employees who cannot return to work right away as a result of their injuries.
When you need to miss work because of your injuries, you can receive lost wages benefits as soon as seven days of work have been missed. If you are going to be unable to work for a period of time, you can also be entitled to either temporary or permanent disability benefits. You should not try to go back to work after suffering a work injury unless or until your doctor clears you fully to return to work and, if your doctor has restricted your work duties, then your employer will need to either try to accommodate you in a lighter duty position or may be responsible for paying you until a light duty position that you can do becomes available.
In some cases, employers will try to encourage or even force you to return to work before you are ready. You should never ever give in to this type of pressure. Instead, contact an Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Comp Attorney for help so you do not put your health at risk. Your employer may also try to get you to sign something when you do go back to work absolving them of any further liability for benefits. Don't sign this unless you have a lawyer look it over, since you don't want to give up workers' comp benefits that you are entitled to.
What if You Cannot Go Back to Your Job after an Atlanta, Georgia Workplace Accident?
If you are not able to go back to your job for a limited period of time, then you may receive temporary disability benefits under workers' compensation. Disability benefits can generally last for up to 400 weeks. However, if you have suffered a catastrophic injury and are never going to be able to go back to work, then you may receive lifetime disability benefits.
The disability benefits you are eligible for after a work injury may be for total disability or for partial disability:
- Total disability benefits are available if you can't work or make money at all. They are equal to 2/3 of your prior weekly wage, up to a maximum of $500/week.
- Partial disability benefits if you can do some work but not the job you had prior. These are equal to a percentage of the amount of income that you lost (i.e. the difference between your prior wages and current earning potential).
An Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Comp Attorney can help you to obtain both total disability or partial disability benefits on a temporary or permanent basis, depending on your condition and the advice of your doctor.
Getting Help from an Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Comp Lawyer
Workers' comp claims can always raise certain legal complications, but the issue of when you can return to work, and what happens if you can't, is very complex. As such, you need an experienced Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Comp Attorney representing you.
Have You Been Injured On The Job?
If you've been injured at work you need to speak with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our office directly at 855.GA.INJURY or 404.991.5950 to schedule your free consultation.