Top Five Georgia Workers Compensation Myths
1) You are entitled to compensation for pain and suffering.
If you are receiving medical treatment for an on-the-job injury under a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia, you will not be awarded a monetary settlement for pain and suffering. It is common to seek compensation for pain and suffering in a Georgia personal injury claim, such as a car accident, but this is not the case with workers’ compensation. You are not able to recover additional compensation for the pain and stress that you go through as a result of your work injury.
You may be eligible for weekly benefits, however. If you are instructed by your doctor to remain off of work for at least seven days, then you may be able to receive weekly benefit checks up to $500 until you are cleared to return to work.
2) You can choose to see any doctor you want.
While you do have some choice as to which doctor you see, you cannot just go to any doctor for medical treatment when you’ve been hurt on the job. Your employer should have available a posted panel of physicians. This is an approved list of doctors who you may seek treatment from. You have the right to receive medical care from any doctor on that list that you choose. If you begin seeing a doctor who you determine is not the right person to treat you for your injury, it is usually possible to seek treatment from a different doctor on the list.
3) You will always have a workers’ compensation claim if you were hurt on the job.
Many people think that all employers in Georgia have workers compensation coverage, and any on the job injury is protected by workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, that is not the case. If you employer has fewer than three full time employees, then they are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
There are also many strict rules governing workers’ compensation in Georgia. There is a very short deadline for reporting your injury to your employer. If you wait too long to do so, you might not have a valid claim.
4) You can force the insurance company to settle your claim.
The truth is, you really can’t force the insurance company to do anything. A workers’ compensation claim is not like a personal injury claim. If you are injured in a car accident and the insurance company will not make a fair settlement for your claim, you will eventually be able to try the case in front of a jury. In a workers’ compensation case, you cannot just force a hearing and a resolution.
It is important that you handle your workers’ compensation claim properly. If not, you could end up losing what could be a valuable claim. The best way to ensure that your case is handled properly is to hire an experienced attorney.
5) You can handle your claim without hiring a lawyer.
For most injured workers, it is a bad idea to try to handle your own claim. Especially in Georgia, where workers’ compensation laws can be very confusing, it is always a good idea to at least consult an experienced attorney before trying to handle a claim on your own. Keep in mind that your employer’s insurance company is trying to spend as little money as possible. It is not their goal to make sure you are all right, in fact, it is their goal to get you back to work as soon as possible. The insurance adjuster does not always have your best interests in mind.
Additionally, without the help of a lawyer, it’s very likely you could make a mistake that could cause irreparable damage to your claim. Simply put, it is a very difficult process to pursue a workers compensation claim in Georgia, and you need someone who has gone through the process many times before to successfully walk you through it.
Ty Wilson is a Savannah workers’ comp attorney who strives to provide the injured with as much information as possible about their Georgia workers’ compensation claims. Visit tywilsonlaw.com to download his FREE Workers’ Compensation Special Reports and to read his articles and watch his videos.
If you have been injured at work in Savannah and have questions for a workers comp lawyer, give Ty a call at 912-508-4711.