How much can I get from a workers’ compensation injury?
If you have been injured on the job in Georgia, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Workers’ compensation is a system that provides medical care, income replacement, and disability benefits to workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses.
Some of the most common types of injuries that qualify for workers’ compensation are:
- Back and neck injuries
- Shoulder and knee injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries
- Burns, cuts, and lacerations
- Fractures and sprains
- Hearing and vision loss
- Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries
But how much can you expect to receive from a workers’ compensation injury? The answer depends on several factors, such as:
Factor 1: The extent and duration of the injury
The severity of your injury will determine how much you can receive in temporary total disability (TTD) benefits, which are paid while you are unable to work due to your injury. TTD benefits are equal to two-thirds of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum of $675 per week in 2021. You can receive TTD benefits for up to 400 weeks, unless your injury is deemed catastrophic, in which case you can receive them for as long as you are disabled.
The extent of your injury will also affect how much you can receive in permanent partial disability (PPD) benefits, which are paid when you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI) but still have some degree of impairment. PPD benefits are calculated based on a percentage of disability assigned by a doctor, multiplied by a number of weeks specified by law for each body part. For example, if you have a 10% disability rating for your arm, you can receive PPD benefits for 22.5 weeks (10% x 225 weeks).
Factor 2: The average weekly wage of the worker
Your average weekly wage is based on your earnings in the 13 weeks before your injury. It includes not only your regular wages, but also any overtime, tips, bonuses, commissions, or other income that you received from your employer. The higher your average weekly wage, the higher your TTD and PPD benefits will be, up to the statutory maximum.
Factor 3: The availability of medical and vocational rehabilitation services
Workers’ compensation covers all reasonable and necessary medical expenses related to your injury, such as doctor visits, hospital bills, prescriptions, surgery, physical therapy, and prosthetic devices. You have the right to choose a doctor from a list of authorized physicians provided by your employer or insurer. You also have the right to request a change of doctor once during your claim.
Workers’ compensation also provides vocational rehabilitation services to help you return to work or find a new job if your injury prevents you from performing your previous duties. These services may include job training, education, counseling, and job placement assistance.
Examples of workers’ compensation settlements in Georgia
The amount of workers’ compensation settlement that you can receive depends on the facts and circumstances of your case, such as the nature and extent of your injury, your medical expenses, your future earning capacity, and the likelihood of litigation. A settlement is a lump sum payment that ends your claim and releases your employer and insurer from any further liability. You should always consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney before accepting or rejecting a settlement offer.
Here are some examples of workers’ compensation settlements in Georgia for different types of injuries:
- A warehouse worker who suffered a herniated disc in his lower back received a settlement of $120,000.
- A nurse who sustained a rotator cuff tear in her shoulder received a settlement of $75,000.
- A construction worker who lost his leg in an accident received a settlement of $250,000.
- A teacher who developed post-traumatic stress disorder after witnessing a school shooting received a settlement of $100,000.
How to file a claim and negotiate a settlement
If you have been injured on the job in Georgia, you should follow these steps to file a claim and negotiate a settlement:
- Report your injury to your employer as soon as possible, but no later than 30 days after the accident.
- Seek medical attention from an authorized physician and follow their instructions.
- File a Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the accident or the last payment of benefits.
- Cooperate with your employer and insurer during the investigation and evaluation of your claim.
- Hire a qualified workers’ compensation attorney to represent your interests and protect your rights.
- Negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement with the help of your attorney.
Need a hand?
Workers’ compensation is a complex and often confusing system that can affect your financial security and quality of life. The amount of benefits that you can receive from a workers’ compensation injury depends on many factors that require careful analysis and evaluation. That’s why it is important to consult a qualified workers’ compensation attorney who can guide you through the process and maximize your recovery.
If you have been injured on the job in Georgia, contact John Morrison Law today for a free consultation. We have the experience, knowledge, and skills to help you obtain the compensation that you deserve. Don’t wait, call us now at (770) 951-8900 or fill out our online form to get started.