Georgia Rules for Workers’ Compensation Coverage
There are many rules regarding Workers’ Compensation coverage and injury reporting that employers in Georgia should familiarize themselves with.
Each state has rules for Workers’ Compensation coverage that all companies must follow. In Georgia, coverage requirements are based on the size of a company’s workforce, meaning any business with three or more employees must have Workers’ Compensation. Employers must also post information about their coverage in an area viewable by employees and provide details about how employees can get approved medical care following a workplace accident. Employers must also promptly report any workplace injuries to their carriers. Breaking these rules comes with consequences. Violations of Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation code can lead to civil and criminal penalties, as well as work injury lawsuits.
For more insight into how our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers can help your company, call NPN brokers now at (866) 340-9120.
What Workers’ Compensation Rules Do Employers Need to Follow in Georgia?
There are many Workers’ Compensation rules that employers need to follow to avoid civil and criminal penalties in Georgia. First, employers must get coverage if required by law. After securing coverage, employers must post a notice of insurance for workers. Employers must also report injuries as they occur and provide the necessary medical care to injured employees.
All companies that employ three or more part-time or full-time employees are mandated to have Workers’ Compensation in Georgia. Companies that can prove their financial stability can self-insure, meaning they will accept the cost of paying Workers’ Compensation benefits themselves instead of relying on a carrier. There is no state fund for Workers’ Compensation in Georgia. Because Workers’ Compensation is required for most companies, employers might feel at a loss when it comes to the cost of coverage. While that is understandable, our Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers are practiced in sourcing the best, most comprehensive policies for affordable prices, even for companies in high-risk industries. All companies required to have coverage must always have a policy in place. Using Workers’ Compensation exemptions for select LLC members or corporate officers will not eliminate a company’s insurance liability in Georgia.
Notice of Insurance
In addition to getting Workers’ Compensation, employers must post notice of their coverage in a place that workers can see. This notice must include a copy of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation Bill of Rights for the Injured Worker and a list of an approved panel of physicians so that employees are aware of this information. Furthermore, the name of the company’s insurance carrier must be posted, or its certificate of self-insurance. Failing to post this information is in violation of Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation rules.
Employers also have a responsibility to inform their carriers of workplace injuries as they occur. Employers can do this by completing an Employer’s First Report of Injury or Occupational Disease form. Furthermore, any injuries that result in seven or more days of missed work must be reported to the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation within 21 days of an employer’s knowledge of the injury. This is done to ensure that workers do not experience unnecessary delays in receiving their benefits.
Medical Care for Injured Employees
Employers have two options when it comes to medical care for injured employees in Georgia. They can either choose a traditional panel of physicians, comprised of at least six doctors, that are approved resources for medical care for workers following workplace accidents, or may enter into a contract with a Workers’ Compensation Managed Care Organization that is certified by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Employers must provide this information to employees after accidents so that they can choose from the appropriate medical professionals to seek care for their injuries.
Consequences for Breaking Georgia’s Rules for Workers’ Compensation Coverage
If employers break the Workers’ Compensation rules in any capacity in Georgia, they are likely to be fined by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Furthermore, employers that remain illegally uninsured might be criminally prosecuted.
For more minor violations of the Workers’ Compensation code, employers will be given a fine of anywhere between $100 and $1,000. Violations that result in such fines include failure to report an injury, failure to post insurance information, or failure to post medical care information. If an employer interferes in the claims process, they might be given a fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $10,000. The State Board of Workers’ Compensation will assess an additional civil penalty if an employer is illegally uninsured. For these violations, employers might be given a fine of no less than $500 and no more than $5,000 per violation.
Because securing Workers’ Compensation is required by law for many companies, failure to get it is considered a criminal act. Employers that refuse or willfully neglect to get Workers’ Compensation might be punished with a fine of no less than $1,000 and no more than $10,000, a year in jail, or both. These criminal penalties will be imposed on top of civil penalties assessed by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Reimbursement of Damages
Workers’ Compensation remains the sole path to recovery for injured workers, even if their employers are uninsured. This means that employers will have to pay equitable Workers’ Compensation benefits to injured employees, including compensation for their lost wages and medical bills. Employees cannot sue their employers, even if their employers are without the necessary coverage in Georgia. That said, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation might require an employer to pay a 10% increase in damages to an injured worker because of their non-compliance, on top of attorney’s fees, civil penalties, and criminal penalties.
Call Our Brokers to Get Workers’ Comp in Georgia
You can call (866) 340-9120 to learn more about getting coverage from the Georgia Workers’ Compensation insurance brokers at NPN Brokers.
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