When you get seriously hurt at work, you may just assume that your medical needs will get covered. While that is a reasonable expectation, as you have worked for years or even decades, in reality there are situations when workers' compensation just doesn't offer enough coverage for workers hurt while performing their jobs.
Georgia prides itself on being an employer and industry-friendly state, which means that workers have less protection here than in other parts of the country. People who work in factories and other industrial settings, like construction sites, can get seriously and permanently injured in the line of work. Sadly, the current state workers' compensation system may leave some of these people without adequate medical coverage for conditions resulting from work.
Georgia now limits the length of medical coverage
Prior to July 1st, 2013, injured workers could receive lifetime medical coverage for serious and catastrophic injuries. Ongoing physical therapy, home nursing and other needs were paid for by workers' compensation. Any injuries incurred at work on July 1st, 2013 or later are now subject to limitations. Specifically, you will only receive 400 weeks of medical coverage. 400 weeks is less than eight years, which could leave you with real medical expenses after workers' compensation payments stop.
Physical and occupational therapy could be necessary for many years. In other situations, regular treatments, medications or even staggered surgeries could remain medically necessary after your 400 weeks of coverage are finished. Understanding the limits to your coverage can help you ensure that you approach your medical care practically, trying to get treatment, surgery and other care before your period of eligibility ends and leaves you without coverage.
Other compensation may be necessary for permanent disability cases
If you sustain severe injuries while working or develop a debilitating disease, workers' compensation may not offer adequate protection for you and your loved ones. You may need to explore other options, such as a civil lawsuit, to protect yourself and your family from financial issues. A lack of ongoing medical care could leave your finances in terrible disarray. If there is another party partially responsible for your injuries or if your employer failed to provide a safe working environment, you should see what options for compensation are available.
For those with serious physical limits after an injury, ongoing therapy or private nursing assistance could remain necessary for life. In other cases, expensive medications could be necessary well after that 400-week point has been reached. Instead of struggling to pay these costs on your own, you deserve protection and compensation after getting seriously injured while working. No one should have to live in poverty because he or she got hurt while working to earn an income.