Category: Workers Compensation

Catastrophic Job Injuries Under Georgia Law

Sustaining Catastrophic Injuries On The Job

In some tragic instances, a worker may sustain injuries so severe that he or she may never be able to work again.  Typically, injured workers are only entitled to receive 400 weeks of income benefits.  However, in the event that an Injured Worker is determined to have sustained what is known as a “catastrophic injury,” then he or she may be entitled to receive a lifetime of income benefits, along with required medical treatment.

Under Georgia law, you may be entitled to a catastrophic designation if you have suffered one of the following types of injuries: 1) a spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, leg, or the trunk; 2) the amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg involving the effective loss of use of that appendage; 3) a severe brain or closed head injury; 4) significant second or third degree burns; or 5) total industrial blindness.  Further, if your injuries render you unable to perform your prior job or any other job for which you may be qualified, then you may also be entitled to receive a catastrophic designation.

If you have been involved in a workplace accident resulting in any of these traumatic injuries, it is important that you speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in order to ensure that you get all of the benefits to which you are entitled.

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!  Let us help you get the money you deserve!

Call us at 678-242-6272 or fill out the intake form below for a free case evaluation. There are no fees unless we win.

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Can I Sue My Employer?

Georgia Workers Rights – Employment Lawsuit

If you have been involved in a workplace accident, you may wonder whether you have the right to sue your employer.  You were hurt at work, so it would stand to reason that you should be allowed to sue your employer, right?  Unfortunately, in most instances, the answer to that question is no.  Under Georgia law, if you have been involved in a workplace accident, you are not permitted to sue your employer.  This being the case, the workers’ compensation system (i.e. filing a workers’ compensation claim) is your exclusive remedy against your employer.  Having said that, the workers’ compensation system is beneficial to employees in that they do not have to file a lawsuit against their employer – a process which can take years – and that employees do not have to prove that their employer was at fault for their injuries in order to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

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!  Let us help you get the money you deserve! Call: 678-242-7626

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What To Do If Hurt On The Job

What Should I Do If I Am Hurt At Work?

If you have been involved in a workplace accident, it is important to take the following steps in order to ensure that your rights are adequately represented.

  • NOTIFY YOUR EMPLOYER

Under Georgia law, an Injured Worker has 30 days in which to notify his or her employer of a workplace accident.  Notice can be verbal and can be given to your direct supervisor.  While you may have 30 days to notify your employer of your workplace accident, it is always in your best interest to notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible.

  • GET MEDICAL TREATMENT WITH A PANEL DOCTOR

By law, nearly all employers in Georgia are required to maintain what is known as a “panel of physicians.”  In most cases, this panel must include a list of at least six (6) doctors from which you are allowed to choose to seek medical treatment.  After you have notified your employer of your injury, be sure to ask your employer to see the panel of physicians and then choose a doctor from that list.  Your employer cannot tell you where to seek medical treatment – you have the right to choose.

  • YOUR HEALTH IS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT 

When you have been hurt at work, getting medical treatment is the most important thing you can do.  In the event that your employer either does not have a panel of physicians or does not make the panel of physicians available to you, seek treatment at an emergency room or walk-in clinic.  Should you be forced to treat at an emergency room or walk-in clinic, make sure that you tell the doctor that you were hurt at work and explain to them the circumstances surrounding your accident.

  • MAKE SURE THE DOCTOR ADDRESSES WORK RESTRICTIONS

Whether your end up seeking medical treatment with a panel physician or at an emergency room/walk-in clinic, make sure that the doctor treating your specifically addresses your ability to return to work.  When treating for a workplace injury, a doctor will likely either remove you from work completely, allow you to return to work with certain light duty restrictions, or release you to return to work at full duty without restrictions.  The type of work restrictions placed upon you following your accident will be of vital importance moving forward, so be certain that your doctor addresses your work restrictions following the accident.

  • CONTACT AN ATTORNEY WHO SPECIALIZES IN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

When you are injured at work, it is never too early to obtain legal counsel in order to ensure that your rights are protected and to ensure that you receive all of the workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled.

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! Call:  678-242-7626

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Liability and Your Workers’ Compensation Case

Georgia Workers Compensation Liability

If you are injured in the course and scope of your employment, and your injury may have been fault, you may wonder whether you are barred from filing a workers’ compensation claim.  The good news for workers injured in Georgia is that, generally speaking, even if your workplace accident is your fault, you are still entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.  This is because Georgia is what is known as a “no-fault state.”  Under Georgia law, unless your injury is the result of horseplay or is caused by your willful disregard for a company policy, then you should be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits.

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!

Call Us For Your FREE CASE EVALUATION 678-242-7626 or complete the form below:

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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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Atlanta Workers Compensation Intake
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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!

Workers Compensation Evaluation

Atlanta Workers Compensation Intake
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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!

Workers Compensation Evaluation

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