What is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that provides financial benefits for employees that are injured or become ill as a result of their employment. These financial benefits include:
- Medical expenses,
- Lost wages, and
- Rehabilitation costs.
Workers’ compensation also pays death benefits to employees’ families if the employee was killed on the job.
Can You Be Fired While on Workers’ Compensation?
Yes, you can be fired while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Georgia is an “employment at will” state. This means your employer may fire you for any legal reason or no reason at all.
While you may be fired, you can continue receiving benefits owed to you.
Can You Still Get Workers’ Compensation Benefits Even If You Caused the Accident?
If your inattentiveness or carelessness caused the accident, you will still be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, if willful misconduct like fighting, alcohol use, or drug use were the cause of the accident that led to your injuries, you will not receive compensation.
Can You Choose Your Doctor?
Under Georgia workers’ compensation laws, employers are required to provide a list of doctors for employees to choose from. You may be compensated only for medical treatment you received from one of the listed doctors.
Can You Receive Workers’ Compensation for a Pre-Existing Condition?
If you have a pre-existing condition that is aggravated by an accident or injury you suffered while on the job, you may receive benefits. Georgia workers’ compensation will cover only the aggravation of the condition, not the actual condition itself.
Can You Work While Receiving Workers’ Compensation?
The effect of returning to work will depend on your specific circumstances. For example, if you are receiving temporary total disability benefits, your benefits will end when you return to work. A Georgia workers’ compensation attorney can help you assess your situation.
Can You Continue to Receive Benefits Even After Returning to Work?
There are certain situations in which you may be able to return to work and still receive workers’ compensation benefits. These include:
- You return to work and are receiving less compensation than you were before the accident; or
- You suffer a permanent partial disability.
In these scenarios, you may be able to receive partial income benefits for a fixed period.
Can You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Your Employer?
Generally, you cannot file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. When employers provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees, they are usually protected from personal injury claims brought by employees.
Do You Need an Attorney?
While you are entitled to handle your workers’ compensation claim on your own, it is better to have an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorney on your side. Workers’ compensation claims can be challenging, but an attorney streamlines the process to help you obtain the benefits you deserve.
The Pritchard Injury Firm aims to provide clients with the highest and most professional experience possible. Navigating a workers’ compensation claim can be frustrating and stressful, but we are here to guide you through the process every step of the way. Contact us, and let’s discuss your case.