When an employee is hurt on-the-job in Atlanta, that worker should be able to feel confident that his financial losses will be covered. The state workers’ compensation system restricts the rights of employees to sue employers and requires employers to buy insurance coverage for virtually all workers. In exchange for employees not being able to sue, workers’ comp should guarantee that their medical bills will be paid and that they will receive disability benefits if their injuries prevent them from working either temporarily or permanently.
Unfortunately, the effectiveness of workers’ compensation laws are being undermined nationwide. As the Centers for Effective Government explains, workers’ compensation has protected injured employees from financial loss for close to a century but benefits are being eroded at the cost of employee’s financial stability after an injury.
As the workers’ compensation laws change and become less protective of injured employees, it has become more important than ever to have an attorney looking out for your interests if you get hurt at work. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer at Parsons & Associates, P.C. can provide you with the legal guidance and advice necessary to fight hard to get full and fair compensation after you suffer an injury or illness while doing job tasks.
Workers Face Challenges Getting Full Atlanta Workers’ Comp Benefits
The Centers for Effective Government reports that the amount of money employers are paying into workers’ compensation programs is at historic lows nationwide. In 1988, employers paid an average premium of $3.42 per $100 of each workers’ wages into the workers’ compensation system. By contrast, in 2014, employers were paying in just an average of $1.85 in workers’ comp premiums for every $100 in wages. While private employers spend an average of $31.32 on each worker hour when factoring in wages and benefits, just .44 cents of this money goes to pay for workers’ compensation. This means that the entire workers’ comp program only makes up 1.4 percent of the costs of employees compensation.
Even as workers’ compensation premium payments are declining, ProPublica reports that workers’ compensation insurers had their most profitable year in 2013 in over a decade, making an 18 percent return. If this profit is not coming from higher premiums, there is only one place where it can come from: lower benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits are only covering about 21 percent of the costs associated with worker injuries. State governments are picking up five percent of workplace injury costs and the federal government is paying about 11 percent. This leaves a full 63 percent of the costs falling onto the worker. Around 13 percent of the costs are paid by private health insurance that covers employees, and the remaining 50 percent of expenses associated with work injuries are being paid by injured workers out-of-pocket.
A workplace illness or injury can cause thousands of dollars in medical bills and can leave you with reduced earning potential, time off from work with no wages coming in, and a significant reduction in earning power if your injuries are serious ones. You need to get the full benefits afforded by workers’ compensation programs and you cannot afford to be deprived of any of the compensation you need because of insurers who don’t want to pay or employers who try to force you back to work before you are ready.
When you have sustained an injury at work and you want help maximizing the benefits available to you, it is time to call in a legal professional to advocate for you.
Parsons & Associates, P.C. is a workers’ compensation law firm serving Atlanta, Savannah, and surrounding areas throughout Fulton County. Contact Parsons & Associates, P.C. today at 770-422-9000 or contact us online if you have been injured at work.