Employee Rights

Chapter 9 in Title 34 of the Georgia Code is dedicated to workers’ compensation, and multiple rights are established in the statutes listed in this chapter of state law. Employees have the right to certain medical rehabilitation and income benefits. 

Many of the rights provided under state law relate to certain types of accidents or injuries, and it is important for people to know the distinctions in order to fully understand their rights in these cases. People have the right to represent themselves in workers’ compensation hearings, but employers or their insurance companies will typically have attorneys.

Lawyer for Employee Rights in Atlanta, GA

If you suffered catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed on the job in Georgia, it will be in your best interest to immediately seek legal representation. The Balams Firm represents clients in communities throughout Clayton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Fulton County, and Gwinnett County, including Forest Park, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Norcross, Smyrna, Sandy Springs, Milton, East Point, and many others. 

ReShea Balams is an experienced personal injury attorney in Atlanta who can fight to help you obtain the benefits you are entitled to. You can have her provide a thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (404) 445-2005 to schedule a free initial consultation.


Georgia Employee Rights Information Center


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Medical Benefit Rights in Atlanta

The State Board of Workers’ Compensation created the Bill of Rights for the Injured Worker, which includes nine specific rights. The first right is that a person who is injured on the job is entitled to receive medical, rehabilitation, and income benefits. 

An employer is required to post a list of at least six doctors, or the name of the certified workers’ compensation managed care organization (WC/MCO) that provides medical care. A person has the right to choose a doctor from the list and make one change to another doctor on the list without the permission of the employer. 

A person may seek temporary medical care from any doctor in an emergency, but subsequent medical treatment must be from a doctor on the posted list. When an injury is caused by an accident on the job, the victim has the right to have all authorized doctor bills, hospital bills, rehabilitation in some cases, physical therapy, prescriptions, and necessary travel expenses paid. 

An injured person is also entitled to weekly income benefits if they have more than seven days of lost time due to an injury. The first check should be mailed to a victim within 21 days after the first day he or she missed work. Victims can also be entitled to receive medical and vocational rehabilitation benefits to help in recovering from their injuries.


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Income Benefit Rights in Fulton County, GA

In Georgia, accidents are classified as being either catastrophic or non-catastrophic. Catastrophic injuries involve: 

  • amputations; 
  • severe paralysis; 
  • severe head injuries; 
  • severe burns; 
  • blindness; or 
  • of a nature and severity that prevents the employee from being able to perform his or her prior work and any work available in substantial numbers within the national economy. 

A person injured in a catastrophic accident has the right to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage but not more than the maximum allowed under the law for a job-related injury. Catastrophic accident victims receive these weekly benefits as long as they are totally disabled, up to 400 weeks. 

Victims involved in non-catastrophic accidents are also entitled to receive two-thirds of their average weekly wage up to the maximum allowed by law for as long as they are disabled, up to 400 weeks. When the victim of a non-catastrophic accident is not working, and it is determined that he or she has been capable of performing work with restrictions for 52 consecutive weeks or 78 aggregate weeks, his or her weekly income benefits will be reduced to two-thirds of his or her average weekly wage, up to the maximum allowed by law for up to 350 weeks.

When a person is able to return to work but can only get a lower paying job as a result of his or her injury, he or she is entitled to a weekly benefit of up to the maximum allowed under the law for up to 350 weeks.

When a person dies as a result of an on-the-job accident, his or her dependent or dependents will receive burial expenses up to the maximum allowed under the law and two-thirds of the deceased’s average weekly wage, up to the maximum allowed under the law.

A widowed spouse with no children will be paid a maximum allowed by law at the time of injury, and benefits continue until he or she remarries or openly cohabits with a person of the opposite sex. If a victim does not receive benefits when due, the insurance carrier or employer must pay a penalty that is added to his or her payments.


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Georgia Employee Rights Resources

Bill of Rights for the Injured Worker | State Board of Workers’ Compensation — The State Board of Workers’ Compensation is required under Georgia Code § 34-9-81.1 to provide this summary of the rights of people injured on the job. You can view all nine of the listed rights as well as the 12 responsibilities of people injured on the job. As this document notes, the Workers’ Compensation Law in Georgia provides coverage for work-related injuries, even if they occur on a person’s first day.

Law | State Board of Workers’ Compensation — Visit this section of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation website to find answers to frequently asked questions about Georgia’s workers’ compensation law. Learn how to verify an employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. You can also obtain a Form WC-14.


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Find an Employee Rights Attorney in Atlanta, GA

Did you sustain severe injuries or was your loved one killed in a workplace accident in Georgia? You will want to contact The Balams Firm as soon as possible.

Atlanta personal injury lawyer ReShea Balams helps injured workers and families in Smyrna, Forest Park, Milton, East Point, Alpharetta, Dunwoody, Norcross, Sandy Springs, and many other surrounding areas in Gwinnett County, Fulton County, DeKalb County, Cobb County, and Clayton County. 

Call (404) 445-2005 or submit an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, no-obligation consultation. 


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