It might surprise some readers of our Brunswick workers’ compensation and personal injury blog to learn that the state has outlined some very specific employee rights. The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation says on its website that you have certain rights and responsibilities if you are injured on the job.
At the very top of the list, the agency lists your right to receive medical care and income benefits to help you return to your job. The workers’ comp board adds that in some cases, your dependents can be eligible for benefits as well.
The board mentions other employee rights as well, including the following:
- In an emergency, you have the right to choose to receive medical care from any doctor. After the emergency is over, you can get medical attention from any of the six physicians your employer is required to post in the workplace.
- Your doctor and hospital bills, physical therapy, related travel expenses and prescription costs will also be covered, as will (in certain situations) rehabilitation costs.
- You’re entitled to weekly income benefits if you lose more than seven days of time from work. You won’t be paid for that first week unless you miss 21 consecutive days.
The rules and rights regarding catastrophic injuries are a bit different from workers’ comp for non-catastrophic injuries. It should be noted that catastrophic injuries involve amputations, severe head injuries, severe burns, blindness and “severe paralysis.”
Catastrophic injuries also include injuries that “prevents the employee from being able to perform his or her prior work” and any other job.
Last but not least, if you have been denied due workers’ comp benefits, you have the right to request a hearing with an administrative law judge and to be represented by an attorney at every step of the process.