Articles Posted in Atlanta work accident

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The Georgia Supreme Court recently held that a bus driver’s second job during the summer should be counted as part of her “average weekly wage” in ascertaining how much she should receive in workers’ compensation benefits for an injury suffered in a fall. schoolbus

In Fulton County Board of Education et al. v. Thomas, the bus driver’s employer never contested that she’d been hurt at work or that the injury was compensable. The issue was how much she should be paid.

In Georgia, the average weekly wage is defined in OCGA 34-9-260, and is properly calculated by looking at what the employee earned in the 13 weeks immediately prior to the injury – whether for the same or another employer – and then dividing that figure by 13. If the employee hasn’t worked the whole 13 weeks, benefits can be determined by looking at the wages of a similar employee in the same employment who worked substantially the whole of those 13 weeks. If neither of those methods is feasible, the full-time weekly wage can be used. Other provisions for more detailed calculations are contained in the statute as well. Continue reading →

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A Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) employee was critically injured in a recent work zone crash. It was the second incident in less than a week, with the other resulting in the death of a motorist and injury of another worker. roadconstruction

GDOT is urging caution by motorists, especially as road construction projects are now picking up across the state.

State DOT Commissioner Russell McCurry released a statement saying workers must be allowed to return home to their families at the end of each work day. He said while motorists must always be alert, attentive and cautious on the roads, nowhere is that more important than in a work zone.

“We must keep our employees safe,” McCurry said.  Continue reading →

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Employees who are injured on-the-job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. These include a portion of lost wages, plus coverage of all reasonable and related medical bills.worker3

As a general rule, employees can’t collect damages for pain and suffering, loss of life enjoyment or loss of consortium, and they can’t sue their employer on top of receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, they can pursue third-party litigation against others whose negligence caused or contributed to the severity of their injuries.

In third-party liability claims, workers are entitled to collect these other non-economic damages – and maybe even punitive damages, depending on the circumstances. Continue reading →

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When it comes to accountability from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for work safety hazards, employers aren’t going to be able to rely heavily on the narrow exception courts have carved for “rogue supervisors.” assortedtools

That was the ruling recently handed down by 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Atlanta, in which the court affirmed a review by the Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission. The earlier ruling held that an employer based in Claxton, GA broke industry safety standards when it allowed employees to work without fall arrest systems. The company was also accused of failing to prevent a worker from unsafely using a stepladder.

In Quinlan v. U.S. Department of Labor, the company argued it wasn’t responsible for paying government fines for these actions because it was a supervisor who was engaging in misconduct – not the company. In making this argument, it relied on the 2013 case of ComTran Group Inc. v. U.S. Department of LaborContinue reading →

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A new study shows that work-related injuries increase the risk of job loss.sad4

Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston sifted through six months of data among nursing home industry workers, comparing those who had reported job injuries and those who had not.

What they found was, workers who had been injured were twice as likely to be fired within six months. Of course, it is illegal for employers to retaliate against workers for filing injury benefit claims for on-the-job injuries. Unfortunately, it still does happen. Continue reading →

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There are some work injuries where one knows immediately the effects are serious and lasting. However, there are other situations in which the injury may well be serious, but the worker may not instantly know it’s disabling.tires

That’s why it’s important to report each and every injury and to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney, in the event it becomes necessary to file a claim for medical benefits and wage loss.

In the recent case of Baker v. Bridgestone, an employer sought to cut medical benefits to an injured worker for whom it had covered after a back injury. The problem was, he hadn’t formally filed a workers’ compensation claim, and once the two-year statute of limitations for such claims was up, the employer asserted it would no longer cover the worker’s medical benefits. It had never up to that point covered lost wages when he had to miss work for the injury.  Continue reading →

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In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia, the employee must have fallen ill or gotten injured while acting in the course and scope of employment. There are also allowances when some aspect of work exacerbated an existing condition. foggymorning

Usually, if an employee who is injured in an auto accident commuting to or from work isn’t eligible for benefits (this is called the “coming-and-going rule), but there are exceptions to this too.

The recent case of Kelly v. Blue Ribbon Linen Supply, recently considered by the Idaho Supreme Court, is an interesting one that involves all these elements. Justices were asked to consider whether a commute from an independent medical exam, requested by the employer as part of an earlier work injury claim, may be considered an action that is in the course and scope of employment. Continue reading →

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Settlement of a workers’ compensation claim should only be entered into by workers who have had time to consult with an experienced attorney. The reason is settlement agreements are binding contracts, and signing off on one may prohibit any future claim for injuries, even if the injury or illness worsens. cooking

Careful review of these documents is imperative so that the affected worker isn’t cheated out of future benefits to which he or she may otherwise be rightfully entitled.

A settlement may result in:

  • No more weekly benefits.
  • Continued medical payments.
  • A lump sum damage award.

All agreements must be approved by the state workers’ compensation board. Continue reading →

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Local news reports from Euharlee, about 1.5 hours northwest of Atlanta, indicate a contractor at the Georgia Power plant suffered injuries to both arms in an electrical accident.energytransfer

A spokesperson for the company said the worker was conducting off-line maintenance when an electrical arc occurred between two pieces of equipment. The worker suffered burns on both arms, and emergency crews immediately responded to transport the worker to a local hospital.

Plant Bowen, where the incident occurred, is the ninth-largest power plant in the country in terms of net electricity, and it provides energy to a substantial swath of the Southeastern U.S. It was the same site where two years ago an explosion occurred during a planned maintenance outage. Two people were injured in that incident, it also resulted in significant property damage to equipment and facilities. Continue reading →

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A military veteran is slated to receive $15.2 million in damages for injuries he sustained when his foot was crushed by a forklift at an event center in Illinois. forkliftdrivers

The 33-year-old from Wisconsin, who previously served two tours in Iraq and served as a staff sergeant in the National Guard, lost his heel and had to endure seven surgeries after the work accident. The injury occurred while crews were working to tear down the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago.

An investigation by the Occupational Safety & Health Administration revealed the company responsible for setting up the show did not make certain the forklift driver who struck plaintiff was trained and certified, nor did the company hire a spotter. Both of these things – which are required by law – would have prevented this accident. Continue reading →