Work-related accidents resulting in physical or mental injuries often have a devastating impact on a person’s life. Under state workers’ compensation laws, workers are not required to prove that the employer was at fault. Instead, liability is imposed as an incident of the employment relationship and employers (except for businesses with less than the minimum number of employees) are automatically required to pay employees compensation for injuries that occur in the course of the employment, regardless of who was at fault.
Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, but in all states, they are designed to provide medical care for on-the-job injuries, and to provide some monetary compensation to partially offset the loss of earnings. In Tennessee, coverage is compulsory as to all employers of five or more, but not including local governments. Local governments can opt into the system, however. Those engaged in the construction industry in Tennessee, including subcontractors, must carry workers’ compensation insurance, even if fewer than five workers are employed. In Georgia, workers’ compensation coverage is compulsory for all employers with three or more employees, including state and local governments. Both states require notice to the employer within 30 days of the injury.
In Tennessee, the employee can draw a disability check equal to two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage, subject to a maximum of $867.90 per week for temporary benefits (TTD) for accidents occurring after July 1, 2011. In Georgia, the two-thirds rule applies as well, but the maximum benefit is much less, only $500 per week for accidents occurring after July 1, 2007. In both Tennessee and Georgia, 100% of necessary medical expenses are covered, provided the treatment is obtained through an authorized physician selected off a panel or otherwise agreed upon. This can include travel expense to and from authorized health care providers. Workers’ compensation benefits are generally not allowed for willful misconduct or injury due to intoxication by alcohol or drugs. Additionally, compensation may be denied for refusal to submit to a drug test.
In the event of an injury on the job, the employee should consider seeking legal advice as to his or her rights and obligations. This is particularly important for truck drivers, who could be injured far from home. Benefits vary from state to state, and in some cases, there may be a choice as to which state the claim should be filed in.
The attorneys at The Hamilton Firm understand the importance of working closely with clients to keep them informed as to all issues that may impact their workers’ compensation claim. If you have been injured in a workplace accident, The Hamilton Firm can expertly guide you through the workers’ compensation process to help you receive all the benefits to which you are entitled. Contact The Hamilton Firm today for a free initial consultation.
For more detailed information about workers compensation benefits in Georgia or Tennessee, please click on the links below: