First of all in Georgia settlement in a workers’ compensation claim is optional. That means both the Employer/Insurer and the Claimant/Employee have the option to settle there is no requirement that your claim settle. That said, if a case does not settle, you are still entitled to medical benefits as it relates to your work injury so long as you were doing the job you were hired to do and provided timely notice to your employer about your work injury.
If you have been taken out of work for more then seven days by your authorized treating physician, you may be entitled to weekly income benefits called either temporary total disability or temporary partial disability.
Lastly, you are entitled to permanent partial disability which is income based upon your impairment rating. In your case 50% of the use of your hand. In Georgia the legislature has set a number of weeks on each body part. Georgia legislature has determined a hand is worth 160 weeks. Your permanent disability payment will be your weekly check amount multiplied by the impairment rating which is then mutiplied by the number of weeks for the body part.
There is no pain and suffering in workers compensation, this is one of the complaints many people have regarding the permanent injuries they sustain never being able to work in the same field. Regardless, the job of workers’ compensation in Georgia is to return you to gainful employment, not necessarily in the same field or the same job you were working.
There are always exceptions to every rule, and many cases are fact specific so if you have a question you are encouraged to reach out to a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer for specific answers to your questions.