Worker’s compensation law differs significantly from state to state — and Georgia’s rules and laws have their fair share of quirks. As you pursue compensation for your workplace injury, it is in your best interest to keep the following considerations in mind:
- Penalties for Late Worker’s Compensation Payments
Penalties for late payments may be assessed in several states, but they are lower in Georgia than in many regions. Depending on the situation, the employer may be required to pay a 15 percent penalty. This penalty can be assessed if benefits were inappropriately denied or if the employer simply forgot to send a payment. For this reason, it behooves injured employees in Georgia to keep track of worker’s compensation payments and to take note when they do not arrive on time.
- Catastrophic Versus Non-Catastrophic Injuries
Under Georgia law, worker’s compensation cases are either defined as catastrophic or non-catastrophic. Typically, a case is deemed catastrophic if the injured employee would qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Injuries deemed catastrophic include limb amputation, severe brain injury, and industrial blindness, among others.
- Choosing From a List of Six Doctors
Georgia employers must maintain a list of six approved doctors that employees can visit after being injured on the job. In an emergency, employees can obtain treatment from a doctor not included on this list, but in all other situations, the physician treating the workplace injury must be one of the employer’s six approved medical professionals. Unfortunately, many employers choose physicians that they feel will take their side, should employees pursue worker’s compensation. As a result, injuries may be blamed on preexisting conditions, rather than on workplace mishaps.