Answers To Your Workers' Comp & Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Doubt, uncertainty, and confusion can quickly cause painful situations to escalate into catastrophic traumas. Personal experience has taught us that when an accident victim allows his concerns to overwhelm his determination for justice, he neither gets relief nor justice. This is why we feel that getting answers to your injury questions are extremely important not only to relieve stress, but also to build a stronger injury claim. Allow us to address your concerns and come see for yourself how a simple answer can make a difference.
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Am I going to lose my job if I file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia?
Many employees who have been hurt on the job are concerned that their employers will fire them for making a workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if your employer is going to terminate your employment because you assert your right to file a workers’ comp claim after being hurt on the job.
In Georgia, employees are hired on an employment at-will basis unless there is a contract that says otherwise. That means that your employer can fire you at any time for cause—or for no cause at all—so long as the employer does not fire you for a reason that is protected by federal or state law. Filing a workers’ compensation claim is not a reason that is protected by federal or state law.
Three Things You Need to Know
If you’ve been hurt at work and you are concerned about losing your job, then it is important to know that:
- You may lose your job regardless of whether you file a workers’ compensation claim. However, a workers’ compensation attorney will be able to give you advice which may help you keep your job.
- You may file for workers’ compensation even if you are fired.
- You have the right to contact an attorney to discuss whether or not you should pursue a workers’ compensation claim. You and your lawyer can discuss whether workers’ compensation benefits are worth pursuing given your unique injury and employment situation.
If you are disabled or you can’t work because of your workplace injuries then you need help. You need information that you can trust so that you can make informed decisions about exercising your rights and protecting your future. Please start a live chat with us today to learn more.
Can I get workers’ compensation if I am injured in a fight on the job?
In order to receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia, you must show that your injuries arose out of and in the course of your employment. In other words, if you were injured while doing something work-related and during work hours, you are typically covered by GA workers’ compensation. However, you are not eligible for workers’ comp benefits if your injuries were the result of your willful misconduct. For example, if you get into a fight at work unrelated to the performance of your job, and suffer injuries as a result, you are not eligible for workers’ comp benefits in Georgia.
Can my Workers' Comp claim be denied for lying on my application?
Georgia workers’ compensation laws allow employers to deny work injury claims based on certain conduct on the part of the injured worker. This includes instances in which an injured employee lied about his medical condition on his job application if the new injury is associated with the worker’s misrepresentation. Called the “Rycroft defense,” the employer must prove the following three elements in order to properly deny your claim:
- The employee knowingly and willingly made a false representation as to his physical condition
- The employer must have relied on the false representation, and this reliance must have been a substantial factor in the employee’s hiring
- There must have been a causal connection between the false representation and the injury
Can I Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits If I Re-injure A Body Part I Hurt Previously?
In Georgia, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you aggravate a preexisting injury or condition on the job. In some cases, workers with preexisting injuries or illnesses are still able to perform their duties at work. However, if your job exacerbates your condition and you become unable to work or you need medical treatment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
How long can I get workers’ compensation benefits?
Unless your work injury is deemed “catastrophic,” you can only collect Georgia workers’ compensation benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks from the date of your injury. Unfortunately, few injured workers receive benefits for the full 400 weeks, as workers’ comp insurance carriers typically do everything in their power to limit or discontinue benefits for workplace injuries. For catastrophic injuries however, a worker may be able to receive lifetime weekly wage benefits in return for their inability to return to work or gain an income. You can use our Georgia Workers’ Compensation Calculators to determine how many more weeks of workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to.
How long do I have to be on the job before I am covered by workers’ compensation?
If your employer has three or more employees regularly in his or her service in Georgia, your employer is subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act, and is required to have workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Your employer may be any individual, corporation, sole proprietor, partnership, non-profit organization, limited liability company, or other entity which has employees in its hire. In Georgia, you are covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation policy beginning with your first day on the job.
When do I get my Workers' Comp settlement?
The amount of time it takes for you to receive a settlement or for your case to be resolved depends on a number of factors, including the severity of your injury, the duration of appropriate diagnostic and medical care, and more. Approximately 95% of all workers’ compensation claims are resolved through a settlement, with about one claim in twenty actually going to trial at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.