What Compensation Can You Recover If You Suffer a Catastrophic Injury at Work in Georgia?

Whether you perform hands-on work in one of Georgia’s biggest industries — like agriculture, film and energy — or you help a business grow from behind a desk, you are entitled to certain benefits from your employer if you’re injured on the job. Though most people will never need to worry about the help they can expect after suffering a catastrophic injury at work, workers’ compensation benefits can be a lifesaver if the unthinkable happens.

In Georgia, an injury can be considered catastrophic if it involves any of the following:

  • Severe paralysis of a limb or the trunk
  • Severe brain or closed head injury
  • Amputation of a limb or appendage
  • Second- or third-degree burns to more than 25 percent of the body
  • Third-degree burns to at least five percent of the face or hands
  • Total or industrial blindness
  • Any other injury that prevents a person from performing his or her prior work and from performing readily available work in his or her field

An injury can be designated “catastrophic” by either the employer or by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Once this designation has been established, the employer must fulfill its legal duty to provide compensation in the form of:

  • Two-thirds of the employee’s weekly wage up to $575 per week for as long as the employee is unable to return to work
  • Medical, surgical and hospital care and treatment as well as items and services prescribed by a licensed physician, for as long as the employee needs them
  • Reasonable and necessary rehabilitation services from a registered rehabilitation provider
  • Reasonable costs of temporary care sought by the employee if an emergency arises and the employer fails to provide medical care or other appropriate care

Entitlements for employees with serious or catastrophic injuries are outlined in Georgia Code Title 34 Labor and Industrial Relations sections 34-9-200 and 34-9-200.1, and in the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights for the Injured Worker. To prove continued eligibility for benefits over time, the injured employee will be required to be evaluated by an authorized treating physician at reasonable intervals.

Because catastrophic injury benefits can last a lifetime, an employer may try to reject a claim when an employee’s injury qualifies as catastrophic. Consulting an experienced and knowledgeable Georgia personal injury attorney may help you to better understand your rights and the steps you should take to protect your current and future interests. At Jason & Bradley, LLC in Stone Mountain, Georgia, our dedicated lawyers represent people in the Atlanta area and statewide injured in catastrophic accidents within and outside of the workplace. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 404-297-9933 or contact us online.