Workers' Compensation FAQ

  • What is the Georgia Workers' Compensation Act (GWCA)?
    The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act (GWCA) is a state-mandated program that requires employers to purchase insurance for the benefit of employees who have suffered an injury arising out of and in the course of employment.
  • Does the GWCA apply to all employers?
    No. An employer must have three or more employees before it is required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for the benefit of its employees.
  • Does the GWCA apply to all workers?
    No. Railroad workers, domestic servants, and farm laborers are specifically excluded from the protections afforded under the GWCA. The same rule applies to independent contractors unless it can be shown that the employer exercised a sufficient right of control over the independent contractor on the date of the accident.
  • I’m a Georgia resident, but I was injured while on the job in another state. Do I have any rights under the GWCA?
    Georgia residents who are injured while on the job in another state are subject to the GWCA as long as their employment meets certain requirements. The following must be true to have rights under the GWCA: the contract of employment was made in the state of Georgia, the employer’s place of business or the residence of the employee is in the state of Georgia, and the contract of employment was not expressly for services exclusively outside of the state of Georgia.
  • What are the benefits I can receive under the GWCA?

    Generally speaking, an employee injured on the job is potentially entitled to receive both income and medical benefits. Income benefits consist of temporary total disability benefits (capped at $675 per week, not to exceed 400 weeks in duration), temporary partial disability benefits (capped at $450 per week, not to exceed 350 weeks in duration), and permanent partial disability benefits. Medical benefits, on the other hand, consist of the medical, surgical, and other treatments which are prescribed by a licensed physician and are reasonably required to effect a cure, provide relief, or restore the injured employee to suitable employment.

  • How long do I have to work for my employer before I qualify for benefits under the GWCA?
    An employer’s workers’ compensation insurance takes effect and protects the employee beginning on day one of their employment.
  • My employer sent me to see the company doctor, but I don’t feel as if I’m being treated fairly. What can I do?
    The GWCA addresses the issue of bias by giving an injured employee the right to a one-time change of their authorized treating physician. Additionally, the GWCA gives an injured employee the right to a one-time independent medical examination, partially funded by the employer. Whether or not an injured employee should exercise either of these rights is an important decision that should be made in consultation with a workers’ compensation attorney.
  • What is a panel of physicians?
    A panel of physicians refers to the list or network of medical treatment providers that an employer is supposed to give to an employee who has been injured on the job. Generally speaking, the panel identifies who the injured employee is authorized to treat with in the event of an injury arising out of and in the course of employment.
  • Does the GWCA require my employer to pay for my travel expenses?
    An employee who has been injured while on the job is entitled to receive medical mileage reimbursement, at a rate of 40 cents per mile, from the employer. As such, an injured employee should keep a log of the miles driven to and from his or her doctors’ appointments, including physical therapy.
  • Does the GWCA protect me if I have a preexisting condition?
    An employer is not legally required to pay for medical treatment stemming from an injured employee’s preexisting condition. However, if the workplace accident has aggravated his or her preexisting condition, then the employer is required to pay for the injured employee’s medical treatment so long as the aggravation persists.
  • What does a workers' compensation attorney do?
    A workers' compensation attorney can help you file your claim as well as assist in settling with the insurance company. Fighting for fair compensation can be a difficult and time consuming task and working with an experienced workers' compensation lawyer can help you get compensation for your necessary leave of absence from work as well as for the medical care you need if you were injured on the job.
  • Who is eligible for workers' compensation?
    Anyone who is employed by a company with at least three employees on the payroll. Under Georgia law, you are covered from your first day on the job.
  • How can a workers’ comp lawyer help?
    I can help you fill out all the necessary legal paperwork to ensure your claim doesn't get denied. I can represent you in a hearing or in court if your claim is denied or challenged. I can also help you strengthen your case by collecting evidence, enlisting the help of experts, and standing up to your employer so that you receive the maximum compensation you deserve.