If you get injured at work, you should be eligible for workers compensation benefits. As long as you meet the criteria for a valid claim, you’ll receive financial and medical benefits. It usually takes a week or two to start receiving your benefits.
In order to qualify for workers comp, you have to follow proper procedures. Some of these procedures include:
- You must report your injury or accident immediately
- You must be treated by a company approved a doctor
- Also, you must provide all information to your employer
- You must follow all medical treatment instructions
- You cannot work at another job while on workers comp
So, if you do everything right, you’ll get your benefits. That’s the good news.
The bad news is that you can do everything right and still run into problems. For example, you could get fired while on workers’ comp. There is no law that prevents an employer from doing this. Or, you could return to work on “light duty” only to be fired the next day.
Armchair lawyers will tell you that this illegal. They’ll say that your employer is not allowed to fire you while you’re on workers comp. This is not true. Don’t trust the word of an armchair lawyer. Call and actual workers comp lawyer in Albany to get the answers you need.
Your Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Albany Understand How the Law Works
Contrary to what most people think, you can be fired while on workers’ comp. Georgia is an at-will state. This means that you can be fired at any time, for any reason. Being on workers comp doesn’t protect you from termination.
In actuality, most employers aren’t going to fire you while you’re on workers comp. They may wait to do it until you return to work. This is just so it doesn’t look obvious. However, they don’t have to wait. Legally, they can fire you as soon as you go out on workers comp or disability.
Your workers’ comp lawyer understands this. As unfair as it may seem, there’s nothing stopping your employer from terminating you at any time.
Now, there are states that do protect you from being fired following a work injury. Unfortunately. Georgia isn’t one of them. The good news is that, if you are fired, you may be able to continue to receive your workers comp benefits.
How Can an Albany Workers Comp Attorney Help You?
If you are fired while on workers’ comp, you need to call a workers comp attorney. Your attorney will work hard to make sure your benefits continue until you are fully healed from your work-related injury.
Your attorney can also file a wrongful termination suit on your behalf. Know upfront that the odds of winning this type of case in Georgia is slim. You have to overcome the fact that you live in an at-will state. This is very difficult to do.
It’s not as if your employer is going to tell you that you’re fired because you got hurt. No employer is that foolish. What they do is find another reason to justify your termination. Some of these reasons may include:
- Your attendance record prior to and after the accident is terrible
- You have committed some type of fraud or crime against the employer
- You violated company policy
- Your performance is not up to standard
Your workers’ comp attorney will try to prove that your employer’s reasoning isn’t legitimate. If he can do this, you may prevail on your wrongful termination claim.
What Can You Do to Avoid Termination After a Work Injury?
Nobody wants to deal with a wrongful termination lawsuit. It’s important that you do your best to avoid being terminated once you return to work. Make sure you do the following to ensure that you don’t put yourself in a position to be terminated:
- Show up on time and don’t call out
- Do your job to the best of your ability
- Don’t slack off
- Don’t underperform
- Keep your head down and don’t discuss your situation with other employees
- Avoid posting on social media about your job or injury
If you do these things, you should be okay. However, there’s no guarantee that you won’t be fired.
Contact a Worker’s Compensation Attorney in Albany, Georgia Today
If you’ve been fired after a work-related injury, you need to contact a worker’s compensation attorney in Albany today. Your lawyer will do what it takes to protect your rights. He’ll make sure you continue to receive your workers’ comp benefits after your termination.
You do have rights in Georgia. You want to protect these rights. The best way to do that is to rely on an experienced workers compensation attorney. Call and schedule your free initial consultation today.