I was hurt at work. How long will it take for me to start receiving workers’ compensation benefits?
That depends. In an Atlanta workers’ compensation case in which your employer and its insurance company agree that your claim is compensable, medical benefits are available as soon as you report your injury (although you will have to follow the rules requiring you to see a company doctor).
You will become eligible for temporary total disability (TTD) benefits to partially replace your lost income after you have been off work for seven days.
How much will I receive in temporary total disability payments?
Since workers’ compensation is basically a “compromise” in which the injured worker does not have to prove fault by the employer, but the employer does not have to pay the full damages that would be due in a traditional negligence case, your employer only has to pay TTD benefits to replace 2/3 of your average weekly wages. It should also be noted that TTD damages are subject to a state maximum that is adjusted annually for inflation. (Currently, that amount is $575 per week.)
How long can I receive TTD benefits?
Technically, TTD benefits are payable for up to 400 weeks. However, TTD benefits cease once a worker reaches a point of maximum medical improvement. After that, he or she may be eligible for permanent total disability (PTD) benefits or permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, if he or she suffered a permanently disabling injury at work. Whether the worker receives PTD or PPD depends primarily on whether he or she is able to return to work.
What happens if my claim is denied?
If your employer or its insurance company denies that you were hurt during the course and scope of your employment or that you are at least temporarily disabled from working, you will have to file the appropriate paperwork with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation to assert your legal rights. Unfortunately, this process can be lengthy and complex, involving weeks, months, and sometimes even years of litigation. (Although Georgia law does not provide for a traditional judge and jury in workers’ compensation cases, contested cases are heard by an administrative law judge and may be reviewed by an appeals tribunal.)
How do I go about hiring an attorney to represent me in an Atlanta work injury case?
Under Georgia law, those who are hurt at work have a right to hire legal representation. This is true regardless of whether the worker’s claim is deemed compensable or is denied by the employer or its insurance company. To schedule an appointment to discuss your case with a knowledgeable Atlanta work injury lawyer, call the Law Offices of T. Andrew Miller, LLC, today at 678-605-9109. We will be glad to provide an evaluation of your case at no charge to you.