ATLANTA WORKERS' COMPENSATION ATTORNEY: UNDERSTANDING WORKERS' COMPENSATION IN GEORGIA
Barker Law Group will aggressively advocate for your claim and will seek a maximum recovery for your loss. We will protect your rights and ensure that you are properly compensated for neck, back, shoulder, head, lung injuries, etc. We are here to fight for you!
There is always a risk of injury at work regardless of the type of job you have. Of course, some positions are prone to more accidents than others, like jobs where you have to operate heavy manufacturing machinery. Minor injuries can become significant if left untreated while major injuries may take time to fully heal, if ever. For people injured on the job or while at work, federal and state governments offer protection. Workers' compensation laws are just part of these protection efforts. Sometimes, a personal injury or wrongful death claim provides better outcomes, but they are not always the best option.
At Barker Law Group, LLC., our workplace accident lawyer will guide you through the process. We take the time to learn all about the accident, injuries, and the impact of the latter on quality of life. We take the facts and circumstances into consideration when determining all your legal rights and options. Contact us today at 844-344-3055 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how you can obtain optimal protection for an injury you suffered while working.
Workplace Accidents in Georgia
Workplace accidents involve unexpected incidents that result in an employee sustaining an injury or illness in the course of performing their job.
Compensation for workplace accidents is typically covered by state-mandated workers' insurance. The availability of workers' compensation and how it applies varies between different states and policies.
Some scenarios often fall outside the scope of workers' compensation. These include accidents that occur when an employee is:
- Traveling to and from work
- On a break outside of the workplace
- Attending an offsite event (depending on the circumstances of the event)
- Under the influence of drugs or alcohol at work
- Joking around or play fighting at work
- At a work social event
Whether workers' compensation is available turns on the specific facts of a case, and there are always exceptions to the above exclusions. If you've been injured during the course of your work, you should speak to a workers' compensation attorney in Gwinnett or Dekalb County to find out if you are eligible for workers' compensation.
Common Workplace Accidents in Gwinnett and Dekalb Counties
Common workplace accidents include:
- Falls, trips, or slips
- Vehicle-related accidents
- Machinery-related accidents
- Falling objects
- Explosions or fire
- Electric shocks or electrocution
- Exposure to hazardous materials
- Repetitive stress
The injuries caused by these common workplace accidents can range from temporary, minor ailments to severe, long-term conditions.
Common Workplace Injuries in Gwinnett and Dekalb Counties
Examples of common workplace injuries include:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Head, neck, and back injuries
- Crushed limbs
- Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries
If you sustain any of these as a result of a workplace injury, you should consider seeking compensation via either workers' compensation or a personal injury lawsuit.
Occupations with the Most Job-Related Injuries and Illnesses
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) keeps track of employer-related workplace injuries and illnesses. Below is a list of occupations that routinely have high rates of workplace injuries.
- Nursing assistants
- Heavy truck and tractor-trailer truck drivers
- Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers
- Light truck drivers
- Construction laborers
- Maintenance and repair workers
- Stockers and order fillers
- Janitors and cleaners
- Registered nurses
- Retail salespersons
In most instances, when you are injured while working in any of these occupations or any other, workers' compensation offers protection, but sometimes, as mentioned, a personal injury lawsuit may be the better legal option in certain situations.
Should You File a Workers' Comp Claim or Personal Injury Lawsuit in Georgia?
Workers' compensation is a form of insurance taken out by an employer that compensates employees for injuries and illness within the course and scope of their employment. With workers' compensation, it doesn't matter who is at fault as long as the injury occurred as a result of a workplace accident (as defined by the specific policy).
By comparison, a plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit must prove negligence on behalf of the defendant to succeed. While harder to establish, a personal injury lawsuit allows a plaintiff to seek full compensation.
The benefits available via workers' compensation, on the other hand, are limited. Importantly, you can't recover damages for pain and suffering via workers' compensation.
Workers' Compensation Claim vs Personal Injury Lawsuit
It is often clear when you should file a workers' compensation claim versus a personal injury lawsuit, but other times, the circumstances are such that it is not so clear. Here's an overview.
When to File a Workers' Compensation Claim
If an employer has workers' compensation, employees generally don't have the right to sue their employer. They can only make a claim via workers' compensation.
When to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There can be exceptions to this, such as where an employer's intentional act caused an injury. If an employer isn't subject to mandatory workers' comp (or doesn't have it but is required to have it), then you can file a personal injury lawsuit.
When to File Both Claims
There are also situations where you may consider filing both a workers' compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. This can happen when a person has a compensable work injury and is covered by workers' compensation insurance. But the injury, though it happened at work, was caused by a third party (e.g., a contractor who is not employed by the injured party's employer). The injured employee can sue the third party in a personal injury lawsuit. When this option is available, the injured party may be able to recover a fairer or more just compensation package.
What Compensation Can I Receive for a Workplace Injury in Georgia?
The compensation available to you for a workplace injury depends on whether you file a workers' compensation claim or a personal injury lawsuit. As you will see, what you can recover under a workers' compensation claim is less than what you could receive under a personal injury claim, that's why it is critical to know what is the best legal option in your specific situation.
Workers' compensation focuses on income protection and typically covers:
- Lost income
- Medical bills
- Temporary and permanent disability benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
You can't recover damages for pain and suffering through a workers' compensation claim. So, you can recover the costs of your economic expenses but will not recover for the toll it takes on your quality of life.
Personal Injury Lawsuit
Compensation available through a personal injury suit is usually higher, as it includes damages for pain and suffering, which can be substantial. Punitive damages may also be available to you in a personal injury case.
However, the circumstances of your case may prevent you from filing a personal injury lawsuit. On the other hand, when you are able to file a personal injury lawsuit, you need to prove negligence on the part of the defendant before damages will be ordered.
What Should You Do After a Workplace Injury in Georgia?
What to do after a workplace injury in Georgia depends on the circumstances, but generally, you should:
- Report the accident and/or injury or illness immediately to a supervisor – reporting it in writing is preferable so that you can start a paper trail.
- If the injury or illness requires it, you should seek medical attention immediately – even when the injury is minor, seeking medical care is important because it continues the documentation process of the accident that you may need when you file a claim to recover compensation.
- Follow any doctor's orders or medical care plan – if you do not, then this creates vulnerabilities and may result in a denial of a claim.
- Keep any evidence you may have, like names of eye witnesses, statements, pictures, video, etc. – in fact, if the circumstances allow it, take your own pictures of the scene of the accident, the injuries you sustained, and any other details that may be important.
- Contact legal counsel as soon as possible – you may not think you need a personal injury or workers' comp attorney, but it never hurts to speak to one, especially when there are statutes of limitations limiting the time you have to file a claim.
Contact a Workplace Injury Attorney in Gwinnett and Dekalb Counties Today
To make sure you and your loved ones receive the best outcome after any workplace accident situation, make sure you pursue the most appropriate legal option. At Barker Law Group, LLC., our workplace injury attorney will help you identify all legal options and advise you accordingly. Contact us today either by filling out the online form or calling us at 844-344-3055 to schedule a free consultation.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AS AN EMPLOYEE:
If you are injured on the job, you may be entitled to monetary and medical benefits--depending on the circumstances. Please feel free to call us to investigate further with a free case evaluation.
In Georgia, injured workers are typically entitled to all necessary and reasonable medical benefits--including surgery. However, you do not have the right to visit your own primary physician. On the contrary, you must choose from a panel of physicians--listed by your employer and paid for by the company's workers' compensation insurance carrier.
Additionally, you may be eligible to recover money benefits if you have missed seven consecutive days or more of work resulting from your workplace injury. As such, you can receive benefits for the entire time that you are unable to work when injuries are catastrophic. However, you may receive up to 400 weeks of wage benefits if the injury is non-catastrophic.
Furthermore, workers' compensation provides for a benefit payout for your dependents if your injury results in death. You're claim must be filed within one year from date of injury so time is of the essence.
When should I report an accident to my supervisor?
You should report any workplace accident occurring on the job IMMEDIATELY. If you wait longer than 30 days, you may lose your benefits.
How long am I eligible for benefits?
You are entitled to benefits for up to 400 weeks but if your injury is catastrophic, you may be entitled to lifetime benefits. Additionally, your benefits may be reduced after a medical provider releases you to return to work with limitations or restrictions. Your benefits may also be suspended if you are released to return to work with no limitations or restrictions.
Who is responsible for my medical coverage?
Your company's workers' compensation insurance carrier will pay for your authorized medical treatment if the injury stems from an on-the-job incident.
How much am I entitled to in weekly benefits?
As of July 1, 2022, you are entitled to two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum of $725.00 per week in Georgia.
If my injury results in death, how much is my family entitled to?
Your dependents will be eligible to receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage or a maximum of $725.00 per week. Your dependents are defined as your surviving spouse, children, and/or your dependent stepchildren. However, if you and your spouse had no children, he or she is limited to a total amount of $290,000.00 unless he or she remarries or cohabitates in a meretricious relationship.
When do I receive my benefits?
You are entitled to money benefits if you are unable to work more than 7 days. However, your first check should be mailed to you within 21 days after the first day of absence from work. If your injury causes you miss more than 21 consecutive days, you should be paid for the first week.Contact the "RIGHT" Premises Liability Attorney in Georgia Today
Contact the "RIGHT" Workers' Compensation Attorney in Georgia Today
At Barker Law Group, LLC., our premises liability attorneys will help you fight to obtain the compensation you deserve due to injuries you suffered. Contact us at 844-344-3055 to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and outline your best legal options so that you can make an informed decision about how to move forward.
We offer a free consultation to evaluate your injury claim. It will cost you nothing to consult with an attorney to see if you have a case. The Atlanta injury lawyers at Barker Law Group, LLC. will ensure that action is taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident and/or conduct in question and to file a lawsuit, when necessary prior to a deadline imposed by the Georgia statute of limitations.
NO FEE UNTIL WE WIN YOUR CASE
We give all our injury clients a promise that if we do not recover monetary damages in your case, we will not charge you an attorney fee. If we take your case, we only get paid when we win your case.