Stephen Hasner | Workers' Compensation | March 30, 2023
If you’re injured at work and are protected by workers’ compensation insurance, you may qualify to receive compensation and benefits. Your benefits typically depend on the severity of your injuries. You may be entitled to more extensive compensation when your injuries are classified as catastrophic.
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is a special type of insurance employers provide to their employees. Georgia workers’ compensation insurance is available to provide employees with benefits in the event of a workplace accident or work-related medical diagnosis.
Employers have workers’ comp insurance for their employees in exchange for protection from civil liability. This means if you’re injured at work, you usually cannot sue your employer. You are only entitled to file a lawsuit against a third party if one was involved in causing your harm.
Workers’ compensation insurance can be a helpful tool in case of an injury or medical diagnosis. It can provide valuable benefits to help you and your family during a challenging time.
What Is Considered a “Catastrophic Injury” Under Georgia Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ comp in Georgia covers several types of injuries, including catastrophic injuries. If you’ve sustained what Georgia workers’ comp would consider a catastrophic injury, this could significantly affect the type of benefits you’re eligible to receive.
Under Georgia law, a catastrophic injury includes any of the following injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury/closed brain injury
- Spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis of arm(s), leg(s), or trunk
- Amputation of a hand, arm, foot, or leg
- Second or third-degree burns over 25 percent of the body
- Third-degree burns to at least five percent of the hands or face
- Industrial or total blindness
Along with these specific injuries, other injuries may be classified as catastrophic if the injury or condition affects the employee’s ability to perform their prior work or any other work for which the employee would otherwise be qualified.
Because catastrophic injuries can qualify you for more extensive benefits under workers’ compensation, it’s important to determine whether your injury is catastrophic under Georgia law. If you’re unsure whether you’ve sustained a catastrophic injury, make sure to discuss it with a workers’ compensation attorney.
Benefits Available for Catastrophic Injuries Under Workers’ Compensation
If you have a catastrophic injury, you may be entitled to receive:
- Income benefits
- Medical benefits
- Rehabilitation and therapy benefits
Your benefits and compensation typically depend on the details of your injuries. A workers’ comp lawyer can better help you determine what kinds of benefits you’d be eligible to receive in order to ensure you get what you deserve after your workplace accident.
How Long Do Workers’ Comp Benefits Last for a Catastrophic Injury?
Catastrophic injury benefits last longer than benefits for other types of injuries. Typically, benefits have time limits depending on your level of disability.
Temporary total disability benefits are available for no more than 400 weeks, counted from the date of the accident that caused your injury, and temporary partial disability benefits are available for no more than 350 weeks, counted from the date of the accident that caused your injury.
Because catastrophic injuries are more severe than other types of injuries, Georgia law eliminated time limits. Therefore, you may be entitled to receive lifetime benefits.
A Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help You Get the Benefits You’re Entitled To
When you want to help ensure you receive the workers’ comp benefits you qualify for, discuss your situation with a workers’ compensation attorney. A skilled lawyer can help provide the guidance you need to achieve a successful insurance claim outcome.