What Happens to Your Worker’s Compensation if You Get Fired?

Yes, you can still get workers’ compensation if you get fired

After getting injured at work, you may be unsure of what your next course of action should be. Concerns about your physical well-being, financial status, and capabilities can easily cloud your mind.

If your employer fires you in the process, your future might look even bleaker. Worker’s compensation appears less certain when you no longer work at the place where you got hurt. Despite the troubles you are enduring, you can ease the burden by knowing your rights and standing up for yourself.

At-Will Employment in Georgia

Georgia law has an at-will employment clause. This means that your employer can fire you at any time, for any reason, as long as the cause is not illegal. Your worker’s compensation claim would be an illegal cause for termination, but your employer can try to get around this issue by finding another reason to fire you. If you run into employment problems after getting hurt, it is important to know where you stand as a former team member.

Workers' Compensation

Getting hurt on the job is a bad situation for almost everyone. You suddenly have to worry about how long it will take you to return to your job. You also have to worry about the medical bills that you incur while treating your injury. That’s a lot of expense right at a time when you probably don’t have much income.

Thankfully, in most cases, you can qualify for Georgia workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury. Those benefits can pay you a portion of your lost wages if you are temporarily disabled. They can also cover the cost of medical treatment and rehabilitative care.

Eventually, the worker will be able to return to the job and benefits will end. In some cases, they don’t have a job to go back to. Sometimes, employers choose to fire employees after they seek benefits. It’s important to understand that even if you lose your job, you still have a right to your claim and the benefits you need to recover from your injury.

As long as your employer has at least three personnel, you are eligible for worker’s compensation if you get hurt on the job. This insurance should cover your income benefits and medical fees in weekly installments, and it can carry on until 400 weeks pass. Once you have a worker’s compensation claim, your employer cannot get out of his or her duties by firing you. Termination can prolong your benefits if you have trouble finding a new job.

Your injury and employment status do not have to wreck your life. When you put your body on the line for your work, you should get something in return. It is up to you to make sure this happens.

Employment status at the time of the accident is what matters

Your ability to receive workers compensation is not contingent on remaining employed at the same company. If that were the case, every employer in the country would find a reason to discharge workers after they got hurt.

Your employer should work with you as you file the claim and accommodate your injuries when you attempt to return to work. Unfortunately, not all employers comply with the law. Some may still find a reason to discharge you after you seek your workers’ compensation benefits for an injury. It’s important to understand that even if you get fired, you can still receive benefits.

The law in Georgia focuses on your employment status at the time of your injury. Even if it is your first day on the job, any injury you suffer should be covered under workers’ compensation. This remains true if your employer terminates your position with the company after your injury.

Don’t let fear of retaliation keep you from your benefits

Some workers are so worried about losing their job or facing other forms of employer retaliation that they don’t seek the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. This can leave them struggling to keep up at work and cover medical expenses due to co-pays and deductibles on their medical coverage.

Don’t fall into this trap. If your employer would discharge you for seeking benefits now, they could very well discharge you for no reason in the future. Filing your claim protects your right to benefits and can help ensure that you can make ends meet while you recover from your injury.

Georgia workers’ compensation should protect workers

Blue collar workers, especially those who work in construction, manufacturing or meat processing, are often at higher risk for injuries at work. When you suffer a work injury, you should immediately report it to management, if you are able to do so. After advising your employer, you should seek medical attention for your injuries right away. You typically have 30 days from the date of the incident to seek workers’ compensation. Within those 30 days, you must file a claim with the state. Failing to do so, unless there is a medical reason preventing you from filing, could result in a loss of benefits.

Typically, all medical expenses related to a work injury are covered by workers’ compensation. In some cases, however, if your employer tries to deny your claim, you may need to request a hearing with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. During this hearing, you can present documentation and testimony about your work injury, as will your employer. Chances are, your employer will have an attorney arguing for their side of the case. You want to work with an experienced Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer to get the benefits you’ve earned.

A Workers Comp Attorney can make all the difference

It can be difficult to comply with paperwork and procedural requirements when you’re trying to recover from a work injury. An attorney can help ensure that you are following all rules and laws, while also advocating for the best possible outcome to your case. Even if your employer fired you and you are no longer employed, you may receive workers’ compensation benefits if you were employed when you suffered your injuries. A workers’ compensation attorney helps determine what your options are if you were unfairly fired for filing a claim.

Is Your Job Making You Sick?

What To Do If Your Job Is Making You Sick

If you believe you are becoming sick because of your job, you may be right. Occupational diseases — which may be illnesses or chronic conditions — are real.

Is your job making you sick? Find out how to recover compensation for your occupational illness or injury by calling 770-489-3456  today.

It is well-known that certain types of occupations or professions often lead to certain types of illnesses or injuries. Health care workers often develop back pain, welders often develop respiratory ailments and office workers often develop carpal tunnel syndrome. Your job may be making you sick because of:

At the Law Office of Ellene Welsh in Douglasville, Columbus, and the Atlanta metro area in Georgia, we help injured and sick workers recover benefits for medical treatment, lost income and any disabilities.

Proving Your Illness Is Work-Related

In order to prove that your illness or condition is work-related for purposes of collecting workers’ compensation, you must demonstrate:

Also in order to qualify for workers’ compensation for your occupational disease, you must file a claim within seven years of your last exposure to the risk factor(s) on the job (or within one year of the first disablement in the case of mesothelioma) and within one year after you knew or should have known about the condition and its connection to your work duties.

Skillful legal counsel can help ensure that you meet all requirements and properly confirm all qualifying elements such as your last exposure or your last diagnosis.

Find Out How To Get Workers’ Comp Benefits For Free

A knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer can help ensure that you get the compensation you are eligible for. We represent clients on a contingency basis. That means you will not owe attorneys’ fees until we obtain benefits for you. Contact us by calling 770-489-3456 to schedule a free initial consultation.

What to Do After an Injury at Work?

Injured At Work? Here’s What To Do.

If your workplace injury was sudden and severe, you may have been taken to the emergency room in an ambulance. Now, after the emergency is past, ongoing treatment and perhaps surgery or therapy lies ahead. You likely wonder about the financial, legal, and occupational consequences of your injury. What should you do next? What steps can you take to protect and maximize workers’ compensation benefits for which you may be eligible?

Consult with a workers’ compensation lawyer at the Law Office of Ellene Welsh. Call 770-489-3456  to schedule a free case analysis with us. We have offices in Douglasville and Columbus, and we advocate for workers throughout Georgia.

The First Step After A Workplace Injury

Perhaps your job-related injury was not a sudden, traumatic event, but rather, a medical condition that developed over time. You may not have seen a doctor at all yet, but you know or believe you were injured on the job. Perhaps you became ill because of your work environment or activities. You, too, wonder what to do.

Keep in mind that every case is unique. The best way to ensure your rights are protected is to contact a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer at our firm who can evaluate the facts and advise you. Meanwhile, you can take action to help yourself:

For more complete, personalized instructions on what to do after an on-the-job accidental injury, talk to us at the Law Office of Ellene Welsh.

Hurt at work? Keep these 3 helpful tips in mind

1. You should seek compensation immediately

Fortunately, termination does not mean you can’t seek out workers’ compensation. Regardless of your employment status today, the injury took place on the job, so you deserve to get the medical treatment you need. In truth, if you are fired simply because of your injury and the request to make a claim, you could have a lawsuit against your employer for a wrongful termination, too.

By law, your employer is not able to discriminate against you by terminating you or laying you off if you have a temporary disability. The only exceptions are if your employer needs to fill your position due to business needs or if you will be unable to return to work.

2. Your employer must carry workers’ compensation

Your employer must carry workers’ compensation and file a claim if you are hurt in the course of employment. When you are hurt, report the injury to your captain or supervisor immediately, and ask to see a doctor. Request and fill in the workers’ compensation form to begin your claim. You have the right to medical treatment and see the company doctor when you first begin treatment. If you would like to change doctors, discuss this with your employer or the local Bureau of Workers’ Compensation.

3. You may receive several benefits

Medical treatment is just one of many benefits you’re entitled to. Disability payments cover a portion of your lost wages if you are temporarily unable to work. Permanent disability covers your lost wages in the case that you’ve suffered a permanent, long-term disability. Vocational rehabilitation also provides paid training for a new job if you can’t go back to your old work.

Talk to your employer before seeking vocational rehabilitation and see if there is other work you can do instead of your old job. If not, transferring to another position in a different field may be an option. Before you go into a new occupation, the agency assesses your current physical skills. You have a choice while finding a new occupation and school for training. Each of these benefits comes from a private insurer that provides workers’ compensation benefits to your employer.

These are three important things to keep in mind when you’re considering a claim. If your claim is denied, you can appeal through your attorney.

Free Information, Advice And Advocacy For Injured Georgia Workers

If you wonder how to get the medical care and benefits you need after a work injury in west Georgia, contact us online or call 770-489-3456. Initial consultations are free. We look forward to the opportunity to advise and guide you with the goal of protecting your right to full, fair compensation.

Also, learn what to do if your job is making you ill. We represent Georgia workers who suffer from occupational diseases as well as those who have suffered traumatic injuries on the job.

We handle workers’ compensation cases on a contingency fee basis. In other words, you will not pay attorney’s fees until we help you recover compensation.

Should I Quit if I Get Hurt at Work?

Should I Quit if I Get Hurt at Work?

As worker compensation lawyers in Douglasville, GA, we receive many questions about the possibility of leaving your current job if you have filed a workers’ compensation claim. People tell us they no longer feel comfortable working at the same job or that a new job has opened that they would like to apply for. Of course, each workers’ compensation claim is unique, and everyone has their reasons for quitting. Even so, resigning from your job during a Georgia workers’ compensation claim can negatively affect your claim. In short, my answer would be no, don’t quit your job if you have a workers’ compensation claim. 

Have you been injured at work? Are you thinking about quitting your job? Get free advice from an attorney today with a free consultation. There is no obligation to hire us after your consultation. Call us today at (770) 489-3456 to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Douglasville, GA.

Keep reading to learn how quitting your job can jeopardize your claim and how to protect your right to workers’ comp benefits. Hopefully, this information will help you make the right decision regarding your compensation claim and future employment.

Does Quitting Disqualify Me From Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia?

Quitting your job doesn’t automatically disqualify your workers’ comp claim, but it could make it more complicated. You don’t want to give your employer a reason to argue that you aren’t eligible for workers’ comp benefits, and quitting could do that. Unless your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage was terminated while you were still employed, you may still qualify for benefits under it. You can follow up with a worker’s compensation attorney if you do not have a good working relationship with your employer (previous or current) to discuss if you should quit or not.

You Could Lose Your Wage Replacement and Medical Benefits

It is a requirement of Georgia law for employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. If you leave your job voluntarily, you may not be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re already receiving benefits, your weekly benefit payments may stop altogether when you quit your job. If you give your employer notice, they could cancel your benefits before you even leave. You may not be reimbursed for medical care costs if that happens.

It’s Best to Focus on Your Health First

It’s best to wait until you completely recover from the injury before leaving your job for another position. You could be liable for medical costs accumulated during a lapse in coverage. In addition, your injury is at risk of relapsing or worsening if you return to full-time work. Let a doctor weigh in with their professional opinion and tell you if you are released for work.

You could be left without any benefits if you aggravate the injury before it’s fully healed and return to work. Your new company could also fire you for misrepresenting your condition if you are not honest about your injury and are unable to perform your work correctly. You can avoid situations like that by waiting until you’re fully healed before switching jobs. Always focus on your health first and participate in all of your medical appointments.

What is Forced Resignation?

Some employers force injured employees to quit instead of firing them, either by explicitly telling them to quit or by making their work life so difficult that they are forced to leave. They may see the injured employee as a liability to keep at their company. This would be considered “forced resignation” instead of “voluntary resignation.”

Can You Be Fired After Reporting an Injury at Work?

Yes. You can legally be fired if you seek Georgia workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, this is permitted by Georgia law.

There is, however, some good news as well:

Sadly, Georgia workers’ compensation law does not prohibit a company from firing an injured employee if they cannot return to work. Insurance companies often insist that the injured employee be terminated due to liability, even if your supervisor does not want to fire you.

You will not lose your workers’ compensation benefits if you are terminated due to a work injury. In fact, you may actually benefit from getting fired in some cases. For example, the insurance company may owe you more compensation if your doctor releases you to light work after you’ve already been fired. This is because the insurance company can no longer offer you a “light duty” position since you are not employed.

In addition, if you are fired, you may have rights under the Americans With Disability Act (ADA) or Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) that you can waive for a bigger settlement. Lastly, you won’t have to worry about returning to your previous job since you’ve been fired. Instead of focusing on work, you can concentrate on getting better.

At the Law Office of Elene Welsh, we understand how frightening it can be when your job disappears, especially when sitting at home unsure of the future. So our team fights to ensure our clients receive quality medical care and the benefits they need. We want to guide you in recovering as much money as possible to help you move on to the next phase of your life. Call our team today at (770) 489-3456 to learn more about how we help our clients with their workers’ compensation cases.

Your Benefits May Be Terminated if You Don’t Comply with the GA Workers’ Compensation Act

Injured workers can use workers’ compensation to recover from their injuries, return to gainful employment, and remain financially stable while out of work. However, your benefits may be terminated if you fail to comply with the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act in the following ways:

Proving That a Previous Job Caused Your Workers’ Comp Injuries

If you quit your job, you may face an uphill battle to prove that you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, even if you file your claim by the deadline. A solid medical record is required to prove that your medical condition is related to the duties you performed in your previous job rather than activities you have engaged in since leaving.

Many insurance companies deny workers’ compensation claims if they think the fired or laid-off employers are trying to get back at their old employers. In addition, they may try to deny or reduce your benefits by arguing that your most recent job isn’t the reason you need medical treatment.

In any case, you should not be prevented from filing a legitimate workers’ compensation claim after leaving your job or from appealing the denial of your claim. To support your workers’ compensation claim after quitting, you can do the following:

Hurt at Work and Want to Quit Your Job? 

Before letting your employer know you intend to leave, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney for advice. Don’t make an uninformed decision and lose your medical and wage replacement benefits.

You can count on the attorneys at the Law Office of Ellene Welsh to examine the details of your claim and advise you on what your best course of action might be. Call us today at (770) 489-3456 for a free consultation with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer in Douglasville, GA.