You’ve just been involved in a work-related automobile accident and have sustained a serious injury. As frightening and traumatic as this experience can be, it’s not unusual for your job to be the first thing you think about. Your natural instinct may be to contemplate your job security and how you are going to support your family.
There are likely dozens of questions running through your mind about what you should do, but the most important thing is to remain calm. Next, you should contact a Marietta workers’ compensation lawyer or car accident attorney to determine what benefits you’re entitled to. No matter what happened or who’s responsible, you deserve answers about your workers’ compensation, and Morrison & Hughes is here to provide them.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance that provides wages and benefits for employees that are injured on the job. With the advent of more private transportation, delivery, and direct-to-consumer services, work-related vehicular injuries are at an all-time high. Work-related car accidents can occur at any time, but the most common causes of them include:
- Making a delivery
- Running work-related errands
- Traveling between work sites
- Driving another employee to a work site
- Using a company vehicle to complete tasks
- Driving passengers to their destination
- Driving to an off-site job
What Workers Compensation Benefits Am I Entitled To?
Every state has its own specific laws about workers’ compensation, and Georgia is no different. The full amount that an employee is entitled to varies by case, but there are rights you’re guaranteed regardless of the situation:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Compensation for disabilities
- An independent medical examination
- Out-of-pocket expenses
The workers’ compensation system will pay for your necessary and appropriate medical expenses related to your injury. While you can expect this to cover all of your emergency care, on-going treatment, and physical rehabilitation, there are limits. Your employer may try to deny overly expensive or risky treatments.
While workers’ compensation pays for your necessary medical expenses and emergency care, costs for on-going treatments, physical therapy, and rehab may not be completely covered. This is why it’s important to speak with a worker’s compensation lawyer, so you can get a better idea of exactly what you’re entitled to. All Georgia employees have the right to speak to an attorney about getting legal representation for their workers compensation claim.
What Financial Benefits Can Workers’ Compensation Provide?
- If an employee is out of work for more than seven days, employees are eligible to receive up to two-thirds of their weekly earnings, with a maximum of $500 a week. Depending on the nature of their injury, employees may be able to receive these benefits for up to 400 weeks.
- If an employee is able to return to work but is not able to work at the same level as their pre-injury performance, they may receive a reduced benefit to compensate earnings for up to 350 weeks after the date of injury. This benefit cannot exceed $334.00 per week.
- If an employee is unable to return to work in the same field they were previously employed in due to injury, they may receive aid in the form of vocational training or job assistance.
Is Workers Compensation in Georgia Required By Law?
Before you can file your suit, you must confirm that your employer provides workers’ comp benefits. By law, all Georgia businesses with three or more employees must carry workers compensation insurance.
Despite this, some employers may withhold information about exactly what workers compensation benefits they provide, which is why it’s critical that you contact a workers comp attorney immediately.
How Much Time Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim After a Car Accident?
If your employer provides workers’ compensation benefits and you were injured in a vehicular accident on the job, it’s pertinent that you notify your supervisor immediately. If you fail to notify them within one month of the incident, you may not be able to receive the full benefits.
It is not uncommon for a workers’ compensation claim to be denied. If it is, your employer or employer’s insurance provider will provide a reason why. If you are not satisfied with the determination, you may need to request a hearing with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation that must be held within one year of the date of injury. Your workers’ compensation attorney can handle all of this for you.
How Do I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
- The first thing you need to do is report your accident to your employer.
- Next, get an independent medical evaluation. You should always get a medical diagnosis from a doctor unassociated with your employer or their insurance company. They may try to downplay the extent of your injuries to reduce the amount of compensation they will have to pay you.
- Thirdly, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to walk you through the process
- From there, your attorney will fill out a Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and send a copy to your employer/workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Your attorney will assist you, don’t try to do this alone.
What If a Third Party is Involved?
If you were in a car accident while on the job, the person responsible for your injury may not be your employer; you may have been injured by a random driver or employee from another organization. Regardless, you still have the right to compensation, and may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party who is responsible for your injuries.
For employees that aren’t covered by workers’ compensation insurance, this may be the only option to get the funds required for medical costs and lost wages. Our team of personal injury attorneys are experienced with handling matters like these, and should be contacted if that is the case.
Experienced Work-Related Vehicular Accident Attorneys
Getting injured in a work-related auto accident can have catastrophic implications on your financial security and quality of life. Don’t allow your employer to take advantage of you by withholding the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with getting the workers’ compensation you’re entitled to.