Articles Posted in Atlanta work accident

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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 →

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Workers who suffer successive work injuries also tend to have a tougher time securing benefits, particularly if the injuries occurred under the watch of different employers. medicaldoctor.jpg

In these cases, benefits must be apportioned based on what percentage of worker’s ailments were caused by which injury. This can result in a complicated process that will involve extensive review of medical records, numerous independent exams and testimony from expert witnesses.

The case of Warren Props. v. Stewart is illustrative, having ping-ponged through various courts trying to sort out the appropriate course of action for successive injuries at separate employers. Most recently, the case was before the Iowa Supreme Court. That court held an employer who is liable to compensate a worker for a work-related injury does not have to pay for pre-existing disability that arose from employment with a different firm, or from causes unrelated to employment when the worker’s earning capacity wasn’t re-evaluated in the competitive job market prior to the successive injury and after.
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Workplace injury can happen almost anywhere. From fast food restaurants to corporate headquarters, the potential is always there. However, certain industries and jobs pose a greater vulnerability to work-related injury.
The American Society of Safety Engineers and the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health recently released a report identifying a group of workers with multiple, overlapping vulnerabilities. These are employees who:

  • Work in construction
  • Are young
  • Are immigrants
  • Are Hispanic (minority)
  • Work for smaller companies

Each of these characteristics poses a higher risk of injury. However, workers who possess these traits are more likely to get hurt or sickened and more likely to have poor health outcomes as a result.
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In Georgia, companies cannot legally terminate an injured worker as retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim.
However, there is no law preventing an employer from terminating an injured worker who is receiving workers’ compensation – so long as that worker isn’t being punished for filing the claim. Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for employers to invent reasons for firing unrelated to injury. Because Georgia recognizes employment at-will, this means without a written employment contract, a company can fire a worker at any time for most any reason.

This puts injured Georgia workers in a tough spot, and may actually discourage some from reporting their work-related injury in the first place.
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In order for a workplace injury to be compensable, it has to arise out of and in the course of employment. This means there has to be some connection between the conditions under which employee was working the injury that resulted. feetwalking.jpg

Usually, if an injury is deemed idiopathic, or due to some internal weakness or breakdown, it’s not considered compensable by workers’ compensation because though it may arise in the course of employment, it does not arise out of employment.

An example might be a heart attack or seizure that occurs at work, but had nothing to do with work.
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In Georgia, there are many questions to consider for understanding whether an injured employee qualifies for Workers’ Compensation benefits. An employee who is injured in an on the job accident is faced with the tough battle of healing as well as complex legal issues that are difficult to deal with while recovering. The first step in any claim is to be certain that the employee is eligible for benefits.

qualifying-benefits.jpgThe first question to answer is whether the employee was injured during working hours at his/her place of employment. Sometimes, an employee is injured in a car accident while traveling for their employer. Other times an employee might be loaned from one employer to another. What about the employee who works from home? These are all questions that must be answered as the first step when making a claim.

It is very important for the employee to notify the employer of his injury as soon as possible. Failing to notify the employer can result in non-payment of benefits. This does not mean talking with a co-worker about the accident. A person in a supervisory position must be notified. This notification must take place within one year of the accident date.
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For an employee, one of the most difficult aspects of a Workers’ Compensation claim is communicating with their employer about their injury. Many times the injured worker is not comfortable speaking with their employer because they are afraid of angering their boss, saying something that will prevent them from getting their benefits or being fired from their job. In the worst case scenario, the worker’s injuries are so severe that they cannot communicate with their employer at all.

Problems-with-Employer-275.jpgTalking with an employer is not easy when you have been injured. The employer might take the position that the employee has not been injured at all, but is only faking the injury in order to get out of work. This often happens with injuries that do not cause broken bones or more severe injuries, but with soft tissue injuries such as back strains. In these cases, it is very important to have a medical examination so that a doctor can support your claim.

Another problem that often happens is that your employer will tell you something entirely different than the insurance adjuster tells you regarding your claim. The insurer is paid by the employer, so you would think that they would advise you in the same way. However, there are times when they disagree with their instructions. The employee is left not knowing what to do and in a state of confusion.
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