Atlanta Workplace Accident Lawyer
Workplace injuries can be devastating.
Not only does an injury at work threaten your health, but it can also be damaging to your finances and even to your future earning capabilities in some cases.
An Atlanta workplace accident can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Hazardous work environments
- Malfunctioning equipment
- Lack of job training
- Errors made by another employee
- Mistakes made by the injured employee
Regardless of the cause of your workplace injury, an Atlanta workplace accident lawyer can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve—and not a penny less.
Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries
It’s a common misconception that workplace accidents and injuries only occur in industries that have hazardous conditions. While construction sites and factories tend to see more workplace injuries, that doesn’t mean an employee can’t get injured in an office setting.
|Common Workplace Accidents||Common Workplace Injuries|
|Stress or physical strain||Muscle strains, torn ligaments, and carpal tunnel|
|Slips, falls, and objects striking the body||Puncture wounds, broken bones, and fractures|
|Electric shock and explosions||Burns and infection|
|Toxic chemical exposure||Loss of hearing or vision|
|Car accidents||Damage to spinal cord, paralysis, brain injuries, and wrongful death|
Workers Compensation Benefits in Georgia
Georgia Law requires that employers carry workers’ compensation coverage if they employ three or more workers at any given time, whether full- or part-time. Workers’ comp covers injuries only if the injured employee was actually on the clock and performing their job duties.
Who is Eligible for Workers Compensation?
Workers’ comp covers the majority of injuries that occur in the workplace for the majority of employees. Your workers’ comp coverage starts on your first day of employment and requires no probationary period like other types of employee benefits.
If you are injured on the job, chances are you’ll have the option to receive benefits from the company’s workers’ compensation insurance company.
Some instances where workers’ compensation would NOT apply include:
- The worker is an independent contractor
- The worker was on an unpaid break when the injury occurred
- The worker failed a drug test or was intoxicated
- The worker does not report the injury in the allotted time frame
- The worker does not seek medical attention
- The worker does not disclose a relevant previous injury
Speak with an Atlanta workplace accident lawyer to be sure your claim is filed correctly, and you get the compensation you need.
What Does a Workers Compensation Claim Cover?
When you file a claim for workers’ compensation in the state of Georgia, you could be eligible for the payment of:
- Medical expenses associated with the injury
- Costs of rehabilitation
- Lost wages during recovery from the injury
Georgia law mandates that injured workers be compensated for lost income at four different levels, depending on the severity of the injury.
Partial and Temporary Disabilities
Injuries that will eventually heal can still place the employee on limited work duty for a while. These workers are entitled to workers’ comp payments that amount to two-thirds of the decrease in wages, with a cap of $450 per week.
The employee can collect those benefits for up to 350 weeks.
Total and Temporary Disabilities
Some injuries cause the worker to be entirely out of work for a temporary timeframe. In these cases, the worker must be out of work for at least seven days before benefits start.
Two-thirds of your regular paycheck will be paid out until you’ve reached “maximum medical improvement” or up to 400 weeks. The workers’ compensation cap for total and temporary disabilities is $675 per week.
Partial and Permanent Disabilities
When a workplace injury results in permanent but partial disability, the employee can typically return to work in a limited capacity moving forward. The employee would be entitled to two-thirds of any decrease in pay, and the type of injury determines the length of time.
Total and Permanent Disabilities
Workplace injuries resulting from a permanent disability and complete inability to continue working entitles the worker to lifetime income. Depending on the settlement, the payment may be distributed in increments or a lump sum.
What Should I Do if I Am Injured at Work in Georgia?
If you’ve been injured on the job in Georgia, you must follow some essential rules and guidelines to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
Seek Emergency Medical Attention First
While medical treatment for workplace injuries must be performed by a doctor on the approved list provided by your company, this does not apply to emergency treatment. If your injury is life-threatening, seek emergency care immediately, regardless of the provider.
If your injury is not life-threatening, obtain a list of approved doctors and physicians from your employer and select whichever one you want to use from the list.
How Long Do You Have to Report a Workplace Injury in Georgia?
If you’ve been injured at work, you must report your injury to your supervisor, another authorized individual, or the department at your place of employment. Failure to report your injury within 30 days of the incident could result in losing your workers’ compensation benefits.
File a Workers Compensation Claim
After you’ve been treated for your injury and received a prognosis, you must file a claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation within one year of the injury incident. Your claim must also pass through your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company.
Appeal if Your Claim is Denied
Should your workers’ comp claim be denied, or if you receive benefits that amount to less than you’re entitled to, you have the right to file an appeal. Be sure to contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney for a free consultation. A personal injury attorney can ensure you’re treated fairly and get the compensation you deserve.
Workers Compensation Claim vs. Personal Injury Lawsuit
While a workers’ comp claim entitles you to compensation for medical bills, recovery costs, and lost wages, you cannot collect other types of compensation typical in personal injury lawsuits.
Those types of compensation include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress or mental anguish
- Punitive damages
It’s important to understand that a workers’ compensation claim is not the same as a personal injury suit.
Can You Sue Your Employer in Georgia?
An injured worker can file a lawsuit against their employer only for specific acts of wrongful termination. Typically, Georgia law prevents employees from bringing personal injury claims against their employer.
Speak with a personal injury attorney to determine your options regarding workplace injury and the compensation you’re entitled to receive.
Third-Party Workplace Accident Claims
While you may not be able to sue your employer for your work-related injury, there are situations where you can still bring a personal injury case against a negligent third party.
For example, suppose you are driving while on the clock and are struck by another vehicle. In that case, you can collect workers’ comp and pursue additional compensation from the at-fault third party for damages that workers’ compensation doesn’t provide, like pain and suffering or emotional distress damages.
Speak With an Atlanta Workplace Accident Attorney
Getting compensation for injuries caused by a workplace accident is a complicated and arduous process. Contact us today, and an Atlanta workplace accident attorney will help you recover all the damages to which you’re entitled.
FAQ: Atlanta Workplace Accidents
Does it matter if I’m at fault for my work injury?
One benefit of Georgia workers’ compensation laws is that no fault is placed on any party. This means that if the workplace accident you’re injured in were caused by a mistake you made, you’d still be able to receive the compensation you need.
How long does it take to get a workers’ comp settlement check in GA?
Once the claim is approved and the settlement is agreed upon in a Georgia workers’ compensation claim, it will take only one to two months for your payment to be processed and sent.