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How to Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to workers who have become injured on the job. Workers’ compensation benefits include wage replacement benefits as well as medical benefits. In exchange for using workers’ compensation benefits, the injured worker must relinquish his or her right to sue the employer for negligence. Workers’ compensation plans differ between jurisdictions. 

At Smith Hulsey Law, we have been helping injured workers obtain the money they need through the workers’ compensation system with over 18 years of combined experience. We understand how employers and insurance companies can make the process difficult. 

In many cases, employers flat out deny workers compensation benefits, or they pressure employees to return to work too soon. We can protect and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve and that you are treated fairly throughout the process. Contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation. 

Understanding Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that an employer must purchase to protect their employees. According to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC), employees with at least three or more regular employees must carry workers’ compensation. Regular employees include part-time, full-time, and seasonal employees. 

Workers’ compensation benefits provide supplemental income when the employee is unable to work for seven or more days. The program also includes medical benefits and benefits for vocational rehabilitation benefits. When the worker is killed by a work-related injury, workers’ compensation provides compensation to the worker’s dependents. 

Workers’ Compensation is a “No-Fault” System 

In personal injury lawsuits, the plaintiff needs to prove that the defendant was at fault for the accident that caused their injuries. Plaintiffs who do not meet this burden of proof cannot recover compensation for their injuries. This is not the case in workers’ comp cases; the employer’s fault does not need to be proven in order to receive compensation.  

As long as the worker can prove that the injury happened at work, or that it was work-related, he or she is entitled to benefits. In other words, employees do not need to prove that their employers were at fault for their injuries to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, workers still have problems obtaining the workers’ compensation coverage they deserve. 

Insurance Companies do Not Like Paying Workers’ Compensation Claims

Insurance companies are for-profit companies, and they do not like to pay out claims. They will look for different ways to deny a worker’s coverage or reduce how long they must provide the worker with coverage. In many cases, insurance companies will pressure the worker to return to work so they can stop paying disability benefits. Insurance companies often downplay the severity of the worker’s injuries. 

Qualifying for Disability Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation

At Smith Hulsey Law, we can help you determine whether you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Your work injury needs to prevent you from working for at least seven days in order to become eligible for disability benefits. Work-related injuries are those that arise out of and in the course of their employment. The work-related injury must happen while the employee is working and the injury must be caused by conditions required for the employee to perform the work. 

An injury arises out of a worker’s employer when “a reasonable person, after considering the circumstances of the employment, would perceive a causal connection between the conditions under which the employee must work and the resulting injury.” Hennly v. Richardson, 264 Ga. 355, 356 (1994). Our legal team can help you determine whether your injury is work-related. Common types of work-related injuries include the following:

  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Injuries from heavy machinery
  • Overextension of joints or muscles
  • Injuries caused by moving vehicles
  • Slip and fall injuries
  • Falls and falling objects
  • An assault at work 

Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits

When an employee cannot return to work for at least seven days, he or she can obtain temporary total disability benefits. These benefits provide two-thirds of the employee’s average weekly wages. They are capped off at $675 a week, with a minimum amount of $50 per week. The worker may be able to receive TTD benefits for up to 400 weeks, or until the employee reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI). When you return to work, these benefits stop. 

Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) Benefits

TPD benefits help employees who are able to return to work after an injury but return to a lower-paying job. In many cases, an employee’s injury may disable them from performing certain kinds of work accidents. TPD benefits are intended to help cover the difference between your average wages and the wages you are currently earning. 

TPD benefits are limited to $450 or less per week. Eligible beneficiaries can receive TPD benefits for up to 350 weeks after the date of the injury. TPD benefits are equal to two-thirds of the difference between the average weekly wages you made before your injury and your current weekly wages. 

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefits are available to workers who experience a permanent total disability that prevents them from working. The amount of benefits a qualified worker receives is calculated based on the percentage of the workers’ disability and your type of disability. Applicants will need to undergo a comprehensive medical examination. 

The doctor will evaluate you for permanent disability after you have recovered from your injuries as much as possible. Depending on the doctor’s findings, you could qualify for permanent total disability or permanent partial disability. 

Contact Our Workers’ Compensation Benefits Lawyers Today

The best thing you can do to protect yourself after a work-related accident is to contact a workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible. At Smith Hulsey Law, we will examine the facts of your case, and make sure you understand all of your options. 

If you do qualify for workers’ compensation benefits, we will ensure that your employer or the insurance company does not take advantage of you during the claims process. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.

Smith Hulsey Law

Smith Hulsey Law
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