Most employers in Georgia are required to have workers’ compensation insurance, but not all follow this law. Fortunately, if you are hurt while on the job, you have options to seek compensation for your injuries from your employer if you find yourself in this situation.
Penalties Your Employer May Face for Failing to Provide Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Companies employing three or more full- or part-time people are required to have workers’ compensation insurance under Georgia law. Here is what can happen if your company fails to provide these required benefits:
- They could be subject to fines and civil penalties.
- They could be required to pay a 10 percent increase in compensation to you.
- If your business intentionally failed to provide benefits, they could face criminal charges. This is a misdemeanor offense. If convicted, your employer could face up to one year in prison and a fine of between $1,000 and $10,000.
Your Right to Sue Your Employer
When receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you are entitled to medical benefits to pay for your reasonable medical care and a portion of your lost wages. In exchange for this guaranteed right to payments, you are not allowed to sue your business for additional damages.
When there is no workers’ compensation to cover your injuries, you would have the right to file a personal injury claim against your employer. In a civil lawsuit, you may be entitled to much more than you would be under workers’ comp, including past and future medical expenses, past and future lost wages, and pain and suffering, which is not recoverable in a workers’ compensation claim.
Navigating the workers’ compensation system and pursuing your rights to compensation when your employer does not provide benefits can be complicated. Our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys have years of experience fighting for the rights of injured workers to receive the compensation they deserve. We handle these cases in Georgia and South Carolina. To discuss your workplace injury and legal options, contact us online or call our office directly at 706.863.6600 to schedule your free consultation.