3 Realities of Workers Comp in Atlanta
No matter what type of work you do, accidents happen. Unfortunately, many workers just don’t take the time to understand workers compensation until they need to draw on it. Whether you are a worker looking to understand what workers comp is all about or have been injured on the job, understand that laws vary from state to state. In fact, some states have no workers comp legislation whatsoever. If you live in Atlanta, Georgia, you are among the lucky. Georgia does have laws to protect workers. Anyone living and working there should know these three realities of workers comp in Atlanta.
1) You Have Rights as an Employee
Since you work in Atlanta, your rights as a worker are protected under legislation entitled, State Board of Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights for the Injured Worker. All your rights are outlined in this handout that should be given to you at the time of employment but you can also download it online. If you are injured in the line of duty, whether on the job site or off as when traveling for the company, you are entitled to compensation for the amount of time you are unable to work as a direct result of that injury. This is because your employer must carry workers’ comp insurance to mitigate risk for him and to cover your injuries if work related. It’s the law.
2) Your Employer Has Responsibilities
In some states where there is no legislation regarding workers comp, employers do not need to carry workers comp insurance. However, as mentioned above, in Georgia it is the law. Your employer has the responsibility of carrying adequate coverage and it is also their responsibility to help you make a claim against that policy if there is verifiable proof that the injury, illness or even death resulted from work-related activities while on the clock. In the event that a person dies on the job, from causes directly related to that job, family members such as a spouse or surviving dependents can make a claim against the policy.
3) You May Need to Fight for Your Rights
Unfortunately, many employers won’t help your claim and may even dispute it when the facts are indisputable because they are afraid their premiums will rise drastically. This is often the case when the accident resulted in death. At these times, surviving members of the deceased’s family may need to fight for his or her rights. If an employer is not following through on legally mandated responsibilities, it is your (or your family’s) right to fight for just compensation. There are a number of lawyers in the Atlanta area that specialize in workers’ comp cases.
If you can’t get satisfaction from the State Board or from your employer’s insurance, don’t sit back without filing an appeal. A well-versed workers’ comp attorney can fight for you. So then, the 3 realities to be aware of are your rights, your employer’s responsibilities and the potential for an all-out battle. Take the time to understand each of these three things and be prepared for the fight of your life. Believe it or not, this happens more times than you can imagine.