Category: Workers Compensation

Workers Compensation | Medical Benefits Under Georgia Law

If you have been injured in the course and scope of your employment, it is important to know that the workers’ compensation system will provide you with two types of benefits – weekly income benefits and medical treatment.  This entry will discuss the types of medical benefits that an Injured Worker may be entitled to receive under Georgia law.

It is important to remember that the primary function of the workers’ compensation system in Georgia is to provide Injured Workers with the medical treatment needed in order to allow them to return to work.  In the event that your claim is accepted as compensable, the insurance company will be required to provide you with all medical treatment that your authorized treating physician deems to be reasonable and necessary to help you recover from your accident. This may include things such as hospital visits, treatment with your authorized treating physician, payment for prescriptions, physical therapy treatment, and expenses associated with traveling to and from medical appointment.  Remember that the Employer/Insurer is not under any obligation to pay for medical treatment which is not recommended by the authorized treating physician.  This being the case, under most circumstances, the Employer/Insurer will not pay for treatment that you receive from your personal physician.

Injured Workers are entitled to medical treatment for up to 400 weeks following the date of the accident.  Remember that as long as the medical treatment is approved by an authorized treating physician, the insurance company is required to pay for your medical treatment and you will not have to come out of pocket for medical treatment.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

Workers Compensation | Income Benefits Under Georgia Law

 

If you have been injured in the course and scope of your employment, it is important to know that the workers’ compensation system will provide you with two types of benefits – weekly income benefits and medical treatment. This entry will discuss the various types of income benefits that an Injured Worker may be entitled to receive.

Under Georgia law, there are three (3) distinctly different types of income benefits that Injured Workers may be entitled to:

  1. 1) Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD)

If a doctor removes you from work completely, or if your employer is unable to accommodate your light duty work restrictions, then you may be entitled to TTD benefits.  Workers entitled to TTD benefits receive two-thirds (2/3) of their average weekly wage up to a maximum of $575/week.  An Injured Worker is entitled to receive TTD benefits for up to 400 weeks from the date of their accident.

  1. 2) Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD)

If you return to work following your accident and are earning less money than you were prior to your workplace accident, then you may be entitled to TPD benefits.  Workers entitled to TPD benefits receive two-thirds (2/3) of the difference between what they were earning prior to the accident and what they are receiving after the accident up to a maximum of $383.00.  An injured worker can receive these benefits for up to 350 weeks from the date of their accident.

  1. 3) Permanent Partial Disability Benefits (PPD)

In the event that your authorized treating physician assigns you what is known as a “permanent impairment rating,” then you could be entitled to PPD benefits.  These PPD benefits can be paid out in one lump sum payment, or on a weekly basis.  The amount of PPD benefits that you will receive will depend upon the impairment rating assigned, your average weekly wage, and the body part to which the impairment rating is assigned.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

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Are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Considered “Taxable Income?”

 

It is that time of year again. The deadline for filing personal income tax returns is fast approaching and the dreaded April 15th deadline will be here before we know it.  If you have received workers’ compensation benefits, you may wonder whether the income benefits that you have received need to be reported as taxable income. The good news is that, generally speaking, workers’ compensation benefits are not considered taxable income. Accordingly, Injured Workers are not required to report workers’ compensation benefits on their W2s or other tax documents.

There are certain exceptions to this general rule, however.  Specifically, if an Injured Worker has received Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) certain tax implications may be involved.  If you have any questions regarding the specific nature of the tax implications involving either SSDI or SSI benefits, it is recommended that you contact a tax professional.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

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Georgia Workers Compensation Average Weekly Wage Calculation

Georgia Workers Comp: Average Weekly Wage and How It Is Calculated

In Georgia, if you have been involved in a compensable workers’ compensation claim, you are entitled to two types of benefits – income benefits and medical treatment.  When discussing income benefits, it is important to understand what is meant by the term “average weekly wage” and how the average weekly wage is calculated.

By law, there are three (3) methods through which your average weekly wage can be calculated:

  1. Thirteen (13) Weeks of Employee’s Earnings:  Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-260 (1), the preferred method of calculating an injured worker’s average weekly wage is by reviewing the worker’s wages from the thirteen (13) weeks preceding the date of the accident and then taking the average of those thirteen (13) weeks of earning.  For example, if the injured worker earned $13,000.00 during the thirteen (13) week preceding his accident, then he would have an average weekly wage of $1,000.00.
  1. Thirteen (13) Weeks of Similarly Situated Employee’s Earnings: If the injured worker has not worked “substantially the whole” of the thirteen (13) weeks preceding the injury, then the injured workers’ average weekly wage must be calculated by using the wages of a similarly situated employee.  Pursuant to O.C.G.A § 34-9-260 (2) a similarly situated employee is a person who performs a similar type of job for the same employer.  If a similarly situated employee can be found, then the injured workers’ average weekly wage will be calculated based upon the same metrics above, only the wages will be those of the similarly situated employee.
  1. Contracted Rate of Hire:  If neither of the first two methods can be utilized in determining the injured worker’s average weekly wage, then the third method of determining the injured worker’s average weekly wage is to take the injured worker’s contracted rate of hire (or their hourly wage) and multiplying that rate by the number of hours they are contracted to work.  For instance, if the injured worker earns $10.00 per hour and is contracted to work 40 hours per week, then the injured work would have an average weekly wage of $400.00

Accurately determining your average weekly wage is significant in that it serves as the basis for determining what your weekly compensation rate will be.  An injured worker is entitled to receive 2/3 of their average weekly wage as their weekly workers’ compensation payment — up to a maximum of $575.00 per week.  Using the example above, if the injured worker has an average weekly wage of $400.00, then the corresponding compensation rate would be $266.67.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

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Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney - what to expect at mediation

What to Expect at Mediation

When it comes to settling your workers’ compensation claims, mediation is often a useful tool the parties can utilize in resolving a claim.  Mediation is a process in which representatives from both parties (the Injured Worker and the Employer/Insurer) sit down with a neutral third party – called a mediator – in an effort to resolve a case.  There are two types of mediation – private mediation, which often take place at a mediator’s office, and a Board mediation, which takes place at the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.

During the course of mediation, a representative from each party will provide the mediator with a brief summary of the facts of the case as they see it.  The parties will then go into separate rooms to “caucus” and the mediator will go back and forth between the parties with updated settlement demands and settlement offers.  Throughout the mediation the mediator will often provide their input with respect to the relative strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case.  During this process it is important to remember that the mediator is a neutral party, meaning they do not side with either party.  It is also important to remember that the mediation process is confidential and information shared or disclosed during the course of the mediation will not be shared outside of the mediation.

In most instances, the mediation process is a voluntary process.  This means that both parties have the right to leave the mediation at any time.  Having said that, Injured Workers are strongly advised to allow the mediation process run its course.  The mediation process is aimed at providing both parties with a resolution and is certainly a worthwhile endeavor.  While the process may be frustrating to some at times, mediation is ultimately a powerful tool in resolving claims and typically results in equitable results for Injured Workers.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

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Workers’ Compensation and Workplace Violence

Unfortunately, there are often instances in which employees are the victims of violence in the workplace.  If you have been the victim of workplace violence, depending upon the specific circumstances of your case, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

Generally speaking, if the violence takes place in the course and scope of your employment, and is related to the work that you are performing, then you will likely have a compensable workers’ compensation claim.  Conversely, if the violence is related to something stemming from outside of the workplace, then it will likely not be compensable under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.  Cases involving workplace violence are incredibly fact specific.  This being the case, if you are a victim of workplace violence, it is recommended that you consult with an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation as soon as possible.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

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Workers Compensation Fees

Attorney’s Fees in Georgia Workers’ Compensation Cases

Attorney’s fees in Georgia workers’ compensation cases are regulated by statute. Specifically, O.C.G.A. § 34-9-108 dictates that with respect to workers’ compensation claims, attorney’s fees cannot exceed 25% of the injured worker’s award of weekly benefits or settlement.  As it relates to settlements, it is important to note that attorney’s fees are not taken against any portion of a settlement that is specifically designated for the injured workers’ future medical treatment.

While attorney’s fees for other types of litigation may exceed this amount, when it comes to workers’ compensation cases within the state of Georgia, no attorney can charge a fee of greater than 25%.  This is yet another way in which workers’ compensation claims are drastically different

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

If you’d like to discuss your Georgia workers compensation case, please call at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below.

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Georgia Workers Compensation Benefits - Mileage

Mileage Reimbursement

Something that Injured Workers’ often overlook when dealing with a workers’ compensation claim is an entitlement to reimbursement for mileage and other expenses associated with traveling for treatment related to your workers’ compensation claim. Whether you are required to travel locally or across the state, Georgia law allows for Injured Workers to be compensated for their travel.

As of the time of this writing, Injured Workers are entitled to receive 40 cents per mile as reimbursement for the travel associated with their workers’ compensation claim – including traveling to and from authorized medical appointments. It is important to note that there is a time limit within which you must request your reimbursement. All mileage must be presented for reimbursement within one year.

Further, if you are forced to come out pocket to pay for parking, it is important to note that those expenses are also subject to reimbursement. Just make sure that you keep any receipts associated with parking for your medical appointments. Also, be aware of the fact that there are certain circumstances in which you may be reimbursed for overnight stays and meals. It is recommended that you speak with an attorney in order to ensure that you are receiving all of the benefits that you are entitled to.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident? It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented. Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates. We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

If you have questions about your workers compensation benefits, please call us at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below!

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georgia-workers-compensation-benefits-child-support

Outstanding Child Support Obligations and Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

Following a workplace accident, you may find yourself facing significant financial strain.  Faced with such financial strains, Injured Workers often find themselves falling behind on a number of financial obligations – including child support.

In the event that you fall behind on your child support payments, your workers’ compensation benefits may be impacted in two ways.  First, your weekly workers’ compensation checks may be reduced in order to pay back child support.  Alternatively, in the event that your claim involves a lump sum settlement, your portion of the settlement may be reduced by the amount of child support that past due.  These financial arrangement are often negotiable, but it is recommended that you speak with an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of situations.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

If you’d like to discuss your Georgia workers compensation case, please call at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below.

Workers Compensation Evaluation

Atlanta Workers Compensation Intake
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Stipulation and Agreement in Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claims

Stipulation and Agreement in Georgia Workers’ Compensation Claims

After you claim has settled and the settlement documents have been approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, by law, the Employer/Insurer will have 20 days (17 days if the insurer is located outside of Georgia) in which to issue the settlement checks.  In the event the settlement checks are not issued within 20 days of the Board’s approval of the settlement documents, then the Employer/Insurer may be subject to a late-payment penalty equal to 20% of the total settlement amount.

It important to note that the Employer/Insurer will issue two separate checks – one check to cover the attorney’s fees and expenses, and a second check made payable to the injured worker.  These checks will often be mailed to your attorney’s office and your attorney will contact you once they have received the settlement proceeds.

Have you or a loved one been involved in a workplace accident?  It is important that you contact an attorney who specializes in workers’ compensation in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.  Contact the attorneys at Dan Chapman & Associates.  We offer free case evaluations and collect no fees unless you win!

If you’d like to discuss your Georgia workers compensation case, please call at 678-242-7626 or complete the intake form below.

Workers Compensation Evaluation

Atlanta Workers Compensation Intake
  • Please tell us who you work for.