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Workers’ Compensation Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about workers’ compensation in Georgia? Van Sant Law has compiled this list of workers' comp FAQs to help you understand your rights after becoming injured on the job. Our goal is to make the process of claiming workers’ compensation benefits as simple and straightforward as possible, so you can get the support you need to recover.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONSQ: What Does Workers’ Compensation Mean?

A: Georgia’s workers’ compensation law is designed to protect workers from financial losses related to on-the-job injuries. Most employers in the state are required to purchase workers’ compensation accident insurance. If a worker gets hurt while working, the insurance pays for their medical costs like doctor visits and medicine. Workers’ compensation benefits also include payments for lost wages and rehabilitation to help injured employees return to their jobs. If a worker is killed in a workplace accident, workers’ compensation pays death benefits to the worker’s dependents.

Q: Can I Take Legal Action if I Injure Myself on Someone's Private Property While Working?

A: In general, workers’ compensation in Georgia is a “no-fault” program. This means there is no need to prove that the injury was the result of someone else’s negligence in order to collect benefits. Sometimes, if you’re hurt at work because of a property owner’s carelessness, you can sue them.

You can’t sue your employer or coworkers, but in some situations, you can sue someone else who might be responsible. Talk to a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney who can help you identify responsible parties and help you understand your rights and options.

Q: What Compensation Can I Ask for in a Workers’ Compensation Case?

A: Each workers’ compensation case is unique, and how much money you get depends on many things. Your workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand the potential value of your claim. Generally, injured workers can receive compensation for medical expenses including:

  • Doctor visits
  • Hospital visits
  • Ambulance rides
  • Medications
  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation

In addition, injured workers whose injuries are expected to keep them away from work for at least seven days can receive temporary disability compensation as weekly benefits for up to 400 weeks. Temporary disability is two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wages (with a maximum benefit that is adjusted periodically).

Q: Are Workers’ Compensation and Negligence the Same Thing in Georgia?

A: Under Georgia’s workers’ compensation system, an injured worker is entitled to workers’ compensation benefits — regardless of who was responsible for their injuries — even if the worker was personally responsible for the accident.

For personal injury cases, you must prove that someone else was supposed to be careful, wasn’t, and that caused your injury.

If you were injured in the course of your employment, you should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. You may also have a personal injury claim based on a third-party’s negligence, however, you cannot take legal action against coworkers or against your employer.

Q: What Steps Should I Take After Slipping or Tripping and Getting Injured at Work?

A: Slip and fall accidents in the workplace are quite common. In fact, they are the leading cause of workplace injuries, according to the National Floor Safety Institute. If you slip and fall at work, seek prompt medical attention for your injuries. Even if you think your injury was relatively minor, it is still important to get checked out by a medical professional.

You also need to notify your supervisor or manager of the injury and the circumstances surrounding it. You have 30 days to tell your employer you fell, but it’s best to tell them as soon as you can.

There are time limits for filing workers’ compensation claims in Georgia. Because of this, it is important to file your claim promptly. A workers’ compensation attorney can help by answering your questions, assisting with the claims process, and helping you understand your legal rights.

Q: How Do I Show Negligence in a Workers’ Compensation Case?

A: In many workers’ compensation claims, there is no need to show negligence. That’s because Georgia is a no-fault workers’ compensation state. If your employer or a coworker’s mistake caused your accident, you usually can’t sue them for money. However, the worker will still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

There are some exceptions to this rule. You may be able to claim damages from a third party if that party’s negligence caused your injuries. For example, if you are in a car accident while on company business, you may have a negligence claim against the other driver. Talk to an experienced attorney who can help you evaluate your rights. If you pursue a negligence claim, your lawyer will work to compile evidence.

Q: What Proof Is Necessary to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

A: Typically, injured workers should have the following documentation to support their claims for workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Documentation that the injury was reported to the employer within 30 days
  • Proof that an approved physician provided medical treatment
  • Receipts and records of medical expenses, necessary travel, and wages/earnings

A workers’ compensation law firm can help you evaluate whether additional documentation could be helpful, based on the facts and circumstances of your claim.

Q: Who Can I Take Legal Action Against in a Workers’ Compensation Case?

A: Georgia workers cannot sue their employers or coworkers for injuries sustained in the course of employment except in very limited circumstances (such as where the injury was the result of an intentional, malicious act).

However, you may have a claim against an equipment manufacturer, a safety foreman, or a third party whose negligence caused the accident.

Nobody wants to get hurt while working. At Van Sant Law, we understand how workplace injuries can disrupt your life. If you were hurt, we can help you through the legal process so you can focus on recovering. For answers to workers’ compensation questions specific to your situation, contact us to schedule an initial consultation.

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From the first time I called them to the current status of my case, has been by my side through it all. I would like to thank everyone in Van Sant Law for answering any questions that I have in a timely manner. I can personally say, Everyone in deserves recognition for being honest, hard working, ethical, logical, dedicated people. The only reason I rated them 5 stars is because it would not let me go higher! Hilary
I was in a car accident with a tractor trailer two years ago and David Van Sant came highly recommended for someone I could talk to about the situation. Best decision I've ever made! He fought for me in ways that was truly amazing. David and his crew worked so hard to come to a great conclusion on my case. Thank you David, Michael and everyone in the office. Mary
Attorney David M. VanSant is one of the best injury trial attorneys here in the Atlanta area. They are precise and unique in their approach. When I had my car accident, my whole world was turned upside down, but with Attorney VanSant and his team of professionals dedication and quality of service, my life is back on track. Let the VanSant team handle your case! You're in good hands. Crystal