Published on:

Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy for employees injured on-the-job. That rule is applicable only insofar as employers and workers’ compensation insurance companies are concerned. When a work injury is due in full or in part to the negligent actions of a third party, the worker may pursue a personal injury lawsuit against that party – in addition to collecting workers’ compensation benefits. brakelights

However, it is crucial for employees to understand that if they do pursue a third party action, their employer and/or insurance company may be entitled to something called “subrogration.” In this scenario, it would mean the entity that paid workers’ compensation benefits would have a right to reimbursement from the third-party litigation damage award. That hold that an employer has on the third-party damage award is called a “subrogration lien.” The statute under which this is permitted is O.C.G.A. 34-9-11.1.

This does not mean a worker will get nothing by pursuing third-party action. The reality is, personal injury lawsuits tend to glean higher damage awards than workers’ compensation, and they also reimburse for losses such as pain and suffering – which workers’ compensation does not. It is imperative that injured workers in this situation employ an experienced attorney because failure to do so could mean a loss of critical benefits. Continue reading →

Published on:

In many workers’ compensation claims, the primary issue is the fact the employee can no longer work. He or she needs coverage not only of medical bills, but of a portion of the wages lost and, in some cases, the loss of earning potential via permanent partial disability.upstairs

However, there are some cases in which a worker’s injuries are so severe, a spouse or other loved one has no choice but to forego their own employment to care for the injured person full-time. This is referred to as “attendant care,” and it is something for which spouses of injured workers can be compensated.

Compensation for attendant care in Georgia is often awarded in cases where a worker has suffered an injury to the spine or loses function in the arms or legs, such that the worker requires assistance to perform daily activities of life. Although sometimes nurse assistants are called to perform these duties, it’s often more cost efficient and better for everyone involved if a loved one is to be the one rendering care. Continue reading →

Published on:

The preliminary Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2014, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicates a 2 percent increase in the number of deadly work accidents compared to 2013. worker5

Early national estimates are that 4,679 workers were killed on the job last year, compared to 4,585 in 2013. Still, the rate of deaths for both years was 3.3 workers per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers.

Although revised final data from the report won’t be available until spring, it’s safe to say the increase is not a fluke or within the margin of error. That’s because over the course of the last five years, there has been a net increase 173 deaths on average a year. In 2011, it was up 2 percent from the previous year, while in 2012, the figure climbed 6 percent. Continue reading →

Published on:

In workers’ compensation case law, a “clincher agreement” is a compromised settlement between an injured worker, the employer and the employer’s insurer. mining

Clincher agreements indicate a final resolution of a case. Usually, this involves some lump sum cash settlement in exchange for release of all future liability against the employer and insurer. It will address payment of all outstanding medical bills, and may provide some stipulation for future medical bills related to the work injury.

Such an agreement can be beneficial for both parties, as it provides injured worker with necessary compensation and takes the guesswork out of future disputes. However, it’s imperative that these agreements be carefully drafted and reviewed. Failure to do so can result in signing away important rights and leaving you stuck paying for work-related medical bills with no option for further recourse. Continue reading →

Published on:

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 →

Published on:

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 →

Published on:

In Georgia, as in most other states, almost all employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance, which provides coverage to employees in the event of a work-related injury. The guideline here is that all companies with three or more employees must capaintingthesetrry this coverage.

There are state-issued penalties for companies that fail to comply with this order. However, these businesses sometimes aren’t identified until a work injury happens. So where does that leave the worker?

A couple of options may be available. The first is to petition the state board to issue an order mandating the company pay for medical expenses, lost wages, attorney’s fees and other civil assessments for violation of the law. The second is to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. Although employers are typically protected from litigation via the exclusive remedy provision of workers’ compensation law, those who break the law by not carrying insurance don’t have that protection. The caveat is that worker has to be able to prove the company was negligent in causing the injury. Finally, there may be an option for third-party litigation if some other person or entity was liable. Continue reading →

Published on:

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 →

Published on:

A global floor mat manufacturer has been fined more than $50,000 after a worker was seriously injured while working in the company’s Calhoun plant, about an hour north of Atlanta. hand

According to a news release by the U.S. Department of Labor, the 42-year-old maintenance worker experienced enormous pain and had to undergo surgery and the placement of a shunt inside his hand after the incident. Reports are the worker had his left hand injected with fluid from a hydraulic line that was leaking. He had been performing maintenance on a machine at the time of the incident.

He was rushed to the hospital, where he was admitted and had to undergo surgery. A shunt was placed to drain the fluid and bring down the extensive swelling. While the Occupational Safety & Health Administration was investigating the incident, investigators learned of at least nine major safety violations at the company. Continue reading →

Published on:

It’s not highly unusual that a 16-year-old boy would inflate his athletic ability or academic prowess at some point. However, those alleged statements by one teen in Idaho appear to have cost him a higher disability rating that could have led to a greater sum of workers’ compensation benefits. teenwork

That’s because the state hearing officer and the courts took into consideration his credibility when weighing his work injury case. He was hurt in 2004 when he slipped and fell on a patch of ice while taking the garbage outside of the fast food restaurant where he worked at the time.

More than 10 years later, in continuing to seek permanent partial disability benefits, plaintiff appealed a whole body impairment rating of 3 percent to the Idaho Supreme Court in Fairchild v. Kentucky Fried Chicken. The state high court took note of the fact that plaintiff “appeared prone to exaggeration” with his doctors, had inconsistent testimony and seemingly was untruthful regarding the reason he was fired from the chain after his injury. Continue reading →