How Does Georgia Workers' Compensation Law Define a "Catastrophic" Injury?

Any injury can seem like a catastrophe, especially when it results in lengthy medical treatment and the bills that come with it. But what constitutes a catastrophic injury under Georgia workers’ compensation law? The designation is important and could mean a substantial difference in benefits!

Here are the benefits that a catastrophic injury designation provides:

  • You could continue getting medical treatment past 400 weeks after your injury
  • You can continue to receive temporary total disability benefits past 400 weeks after your injury as long as you are still truly unable to work
  • You can work with a rehabilitation professional who can help you recover and try to find a new career or job
  • The insurance company cannot reduce your workers’ compensation check if your doctor cleared you for light duty work if a position is not actually available

Types of Catastrophic Injuries

So what is a catastrophic injury? According to the Official Code of Georgia, Section 34-9-200.1, any of the following injuries may be considered catastrophic:

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputation of a hand, arm, leg, foot
  • Second or third-degree burns to over 25 percent of the body or third-degree burns to 5 percent or more of the hands and face
  • Blindness
  • Severe brain injury

In addition, catastrophic injury may include any other severe injury that prevents a person from being able to work in the same capacity they once did. To qualify under this “catch-all” category, you must be able to show that you are a) unable to perform your prior work, and b) are unable to perform any work that is available in substantial numbers within the national economy for which you are otherwise qualified. Essentially, the assessment and restrictions provided by your doctor will play a big role in determining your eligibility. It is important to work with a lawyer who can guide you through the process and ensure that your condition is adequately assessed.

If you have been seriously injured at work, you should speak with an attorney who can help ensure that you receive all of the benefits that you are due. Without the legal guidance of someone familiar with workers’ compensation cases, you could miss out on valuable wage and disability benefits that you are entitled to. The Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers at The Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC have successfully won millions of dollars for injured people throughout Georgia and Alabama. We offer free consultations, so do not hesitate to get in touch with us as soon as possible for more information on how we can help.

Call us at (770) 629-9321 to get started.

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