New Georgia Workers’ Compensation Laws Offer a Mixed Bag for Injured Workers, Says Workplace Accident Attorney at Parsons & Associates, P.C.

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The good news is that weekly temporary disability benefits will increase, but the bad news is that workers with non-catastrophic injuries will no longer receive lifetime medical benefits, says J. Michael Parsons, an Atlanta workers’ comp lawyer.

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J. Michael Parsons

Many injured workers have serious injuries that may not be considered catastrophic under the new law, yet they will continue to need therapy and other medical attention, perhaps for a lifetime. A time limit on benefits could be devastating for them.

A new Georgia workers’ compensation law taking effect on July 1 offers both good and bad news for injured workers in terms of the benefits they can receive under the law, according to Georgia workplace injury lawyer J. Michael Parsons.

“The good news for injured workers is that weekly disability benefit rates will increase with this new legislation,” said Parsons, founder of Parsons & Associates, P.C., a workers’ compensation law firm with offices in Atlanta and Savannah. “Unfortunately the new law also limits medical benefits for those with so-called ‘non-catastrophic’ injuries, changing how long employers are required to pay for claimants’ injury-related medical treatments. That’s the bad news about the new law.”

Under the new Georgia workers’ compensation law, known as Georgia House Bill 154, the maximum workers’ compensation benefits for those who qualify for temporary total disability will increase to $525 per week, up from $500. The maximum weekly benefit for those with temporary partial disability will increase from $334 to $350 per week.

“For people who have been injured on the job, workers’ compensation benefits are a lifeline that helps them to get by until they can return to work,” Parsons said. “Our firm supports the state’s decision to increase the maximum weekly disability benefits for these workers who need financial assistance while recovering from their workplace injuries.”

But Parsons raised concerns about a provision of the legislation that places a limit on the amount of time medical benefits are provided to injured workers. Under current Georgia law, medical benefits are provided as long as the injured worker reasonably requires them. Under the new workers’ compensation law, workers injured after June 30 will be limited to 400 weeks of medical treatment benefits from the date of the injury.

The new law makes an exception to the time limit for injuries deemed “catastrophic,” which are injuries that typically involve serious bodily harm and often lead to an inability to work. Such injuries include loss of limbs, loss of sight, serious burn injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and paralysis.

“Many injured workers have serious injuries that may not be considered catastrophic under the new law, yet they will continue to need therapy and other medical attention, perhaps for a lifetime. A time limit on benefits could be devastating for these workers,” Parsons said. “Four hundred weeks may sound like a long time to receive medical benefits, but when you need continued medical care because of a workplace accident, it won’t be enough.”

Parsons encouraged workers injured on the job to consult with a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer such as those at his firm to determine how the changes in Georgia law might affect them and to make sure they get the full benefits they deserve.

“At Parsons & Associates, P.C., we have the experience and knowledge to serve as a strong advocate for injured workers,” he said. “We make sure those injured in the workplace understand their legal options and we work hard to deal with insurance companies, doctors and the workers’ compensation system to make sure that they get the benefits they are entitled to under the law.”

About Parsons & Associates, P.C.

With offices in Atlanta and Savannah, Parsons & Associates, P.C., represents injured people throughout Georgia. Our experienced attorney and staff handle workers’ compensation claims for people who have been injured on the job or developed occupational diseases. We also represent victims of car accidents, railroad accidents and defective products in personal injury lawsuits in Georgia. We have secured hundreds of settlements in workers’ compensation claims totaling more than $5 million, plus millions of dollars in personal injury lawsuits. Our office is located at 307 14th St., Atlanta, GA 30318. To find out how we can help you, call Parsons & Associates now at 678-974-0254 or fill out our online contact form.

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