Thousands of people get hurt at work every year. Some of these injuries are minor while others are much more serious. Depending on the kind of work you do, you may be more at risk than others. For example, people who work in construction or do manual labor are much more likely to suffer a workplace injury.
That doesn’t mean that people who work in an office don’t get hurt at work. It happens more than you think. You could slip and fall. Or you may end up with something like carpal tunnel syndrome. There are lots of people who work corporate jobs and end up on workers’ compensation in Georgia.
Your workers’ compensation attorney in Albany handles dozens of cases every year. He understands the law and knows what to do to protect your rights under workers’ comp law. He also understands how workers’ compensation settlements are calculated.
To put it simply, workers’ comp settlements are based on the part of your body that was injured. For example, if you hurt your back in a work accident, you’ll receive more than someone who broke a finger. Now, this is only in terms of your workers’ comp settlement. It has nothing to do with the weekly benefits you received.
Workers’ compensation law is one of the more complicated types of personal injury law. It’s not like a car accident where you have to prove the other driver was at fault. In most personal injury cases, your lawyer adds up your medical bills and lost wages and demand you be compensated for both.
In workers’ comp, settlements are determined in a very different way. Your workers’ comp attorney in Albany is an expert at calculating your settlement value.
How Are Workers’ Compensation Weekly Benefits Paid?
If you get hurt at work, you’ll more than likely receive weekly workers’ comp benefits. This is money that’s meant to replace the wages you would’ve received had you been able to work. You should receive these weekly benefits until you’re able to return to work.
Workers’ comp benefits are not meant to be long-term. The whole goal is for you to return to work once your injuries have healed. For some people, however, they never fully recover. Some workers’ comp plaintiffs are unable to work ever again. Or, even if they can work again, they can’t do the same kind of work due to their injuries.
In Georgia, if you are receiving workers’ compensation, you’ll be entitled to the following temporary benefits:
- 2/3 of your average weekly wages, up to $575 per week
- Medical treatment for your work-related injuries
- The maximum amount of time you can receive benefits is 400 weeks (or about 8 years)
Very few workers’ comp cases every pay out for the full 400 weeks. Most cases settle long before then. Once your workers’ comp attorney in Albany realizes that you’re going to be out of work for more than a few months, his goal will be to settle your workers’ comp case.
How Does a Settlement Work?
In Georgia, if you aren’t able to return to work in a reasonable amount of time, you’ll be deemed permanently disabled. For the most part, workers’ comp plaintiffs are declared partially disabled. This means that some part of your body is never going to be 100% recovered.
When you get hurt in a work accident, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance will cover your medical care. You’ll be treated by a company approved doctor. At some point, the doctor is going to say that you’ve recovered as much as you’re ever going to recover. This is called “maximum medical improvement.”
Once you reach this point, your workers’ comp attorney in Albany will then have to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company. Your settlement is based on a few things:
- The specific body parts injuries
- The percentage that body part is disabled
So, for example, you may be said to have a permanent back injury of 50%. This means that, no matter what treatment you receive, your back will never recover more than 50%. Your lawyer will then check the workers’ compensation charts in Georgia. It will say how much a back is worth. It will also say how many weeks of benefits you’d be entitled to for a back injury.
So, in this example, the chart may say your back is worth $150 per week for 500 weeks. That would be a settlement of about $75,000. Your workers’ comp attorney in Albany will argue that you be paid the entire $75,000. Your employer may argue that your injury is only worth half as much. The two will negotiate back and forth until they agree on a fair amount.
The final amount will represent your settlement.
Contact a Workers’ Comp Attorney in Albany
Call and speak with a workers’ comp attorney in Albany, Georgia today. He can review your case and give you an idea of what it may be worth. He can also answer any questions you may have. Your initial consultation is free and you pay nothing until you settle your case.