Georgia Workers’ Compensation FAQ
Workers’ Compensation in Georgia can be a difficult system to navigate. Here are some FAQ’s to assist you in filing and getting through the beginning stages of your claim.
Does my injury have to be my employer’s fault ?
No. Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system, which means you can collect benefits in Georgia even when the employer is not responsible for your injury. This also means that you give up the right to sue your employer.
If I accidentally hurt myself, is that covered?
Yes. Accidents not of the fault of the employer are covered under Workers’ Compensation, but you cannot file a lawsuit with your employer if you file a Workers’ Compensation claim. There might be some exceptions, such as if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the accident happened.
Is workers’ compensation the same in all states?
No. Workers’ Compensation benefits vary from state to state. Though many are very similar, each state has differences that somehow affect your claim, so make sure you pay attention to them as an injured worker.
If I am released to light duty work, is my Employer required to hire me?
No, there’s nothing in the Workers’ Compensation law requiring them to do so. There’s no recourse under the Workers’ Compensation law for those who are fired as a result of their injury. However, some state and Federal discrimination laws may apply.
Do I have to return to work with my Employer?
If you are offered light duty and refuse to return to work, your benefits could be impacted. If they don’t offer you light duty, then the decision is ultimately yours if you choose to go back or not.
Do I have to go to the doctor my boss tells me to go to see?
When you are initially injured, you will select from a panel of physicians. You choose from a doctor on that panel and treat with him at the insurer’s expense. You can also make one allowable change from one panel doctor to another one without having to consult the insurance company or the Workers’ Compensation Board first. During the claim period, the insurer has a right to request an independent medical examination.
Can I get a second opinion?
According to Section 202 ( e ) of the Act, within 120 days of having received income benefits, you are entitled to a second opinion with a doctor of your choice. You can also appeal to the Workers’ Compensation board for a second opinion.
How is my income benefit calculated?
Your average weekly wage is calculated by average the 13 weeks prior to your injury. Your benefits are 2/3 of that amount.
What should I do if a medical bill is sent to me?
Send it to the medical provider with the insurance company information.
Every state’s Workers’ compensation is different. Contact Bobe and Snell Law to determine what rights you have in Georgia.