The nation’s injured workers face a bleak fate, with a high risk of falling into poverty, according to a new US Department of Labor report. The reason: State workers’ compensation programs fail to provide them with enough benefits.
The report could lead to more federal oversight of workers’ comp programs at the state level. U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) stated recently that he is planning legislation to address the growing problem. The 43-page study was the result of a letter from 10 federal lawmakers that urged more action to better protect workers who have been hurt on the job.
How Georgia Workers Are Short-Changed By Workers’ Comp
The complaint that injured workers get shafted by paltry workers’ compensation benefits is nothing new. Workers’ compensation was developed to help workers obtain adequate compensation due to a workplace accident, illness or injury. The system was developed in all 50 states during the 20th century. It is considered one of the most significant pro-labor accomplishments in the country.
In some cases, workers’ comp in Georgia is adequate to provide enough income for the worker to recover. But there are many accident and injury cases where workers’ compensation is completely inadequate. While the benefits are tax free, they still are only approximately 60% of what you are earning. That is tough for many people to handle. Also, note that the maximum wage benefit in Georgia is only $550 per week.
How do you know if you are not getting enough benefits? Here are some signs:
- Your compensation from your employer fails to cover your medical and related expenses.
- You have to be out of work for months due to the injury.
- The loss of wages you have incurred due to the injury is more than your compensation.
- Your financial health is at risk due to your accident injuries.
- Your employer refuses to cover all of your expenses, or denies or delays payment.
- Someone in the workplace was negligent, which led to the injury or accident.
- Medical bills include excessive surgical or rehabilitation expenses that insurance will not pay.
- You encounter a situation after the workplace accident that causes serious financial problems due to nothing that you did.
What You Can Do
The good news is that there may be other ways to obtain compensation for your workplace injuries. You have the option of filing a personal injury claim against the individual or company that contributed to your injuries.
For example, if you are hurt in a driving accident while on the job, the other driver or insurance company could be held liable for your injuries. If you were hurt on a sales call at an office, the company you were calling upon could be liable.
These are merely two examples where financial compensation could be obtained in a personal injury claim.
Generally, you may be able to file a lawsuit for a workplace accident in the following cases:
- Defective product
- Toxic substances
- Employer misconduct that was intentional or egregious
- Employer does not have workers’ compensation insurance.
If you have been injured on the job in Georgia, remember that you have 30 days from the day of the accident to provide notice. It is not unusual for Georgia employers to delay or deny paying your benefits. Contacting a personal injury attorney with experience in this area may be necessary.
Short Changed by Workers’ Comp? Call The Mann Law Firm
If you have been injured on the job and believe your workers’ compensation benefits are not what you need and deserve, please contact our Middle Georgia offices today at 478-742-3381. Our law firm has helped injured workers in the Macon area for more than 50 years. You also can use our online form to set up a free consultation about your workers’ compensation case.