Did You Just Get Hurt at Work? Here’s What You Should Do Next
If you work in the construction or manufacturing industries, or any field involving repetitive lifting or heavy machinery, you could be at risk for suffering a work-related accident and injury.
Employees who sustain injuries on the job in Georgia should be eligible to receive medical coverage and other benefits through the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Workers injured on the job are entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, lost pay and disability benefits, regardless of fault in the accident, as part of Georgia’s workers’ compensation insurance program.
Workplace injuries in the United States claimed the lives of 4,585 people in 2013, and more than three million non-fatal injuries and illnesses were reported as well, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some 917,100 of those non-fatal injuries involved days away from work for the employee, and the median number of days out was eight.
Sprains, strains and tears were involved in 327,060 cases, and 170,450 involved back injuries. Another 229,190 dealt with falls, slips and trips, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports.
These types of workplace accidents frequently leave workers with injuries that affect your ability to return to work for an extended period of time, from a few weeks to many months. During that time, you’ll need income to replace your usual wages.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can help you make ends meet while you are recovering from an accident and unable to work.
Third Party Claims
If your accident was caused by a subcontractor that created hazardous conditions on a construction work site or at the plant where you work, you could be eligible to file a third-party claim. As part of the workers’ compensation insurance program, legal action typically cannot be taken against an injured worker’s own employer. However, an injured worker can bring a claim against another company that working on the same worksite and cause an injury.
Here is an example of a third party claim:
Hiring a law firm that handles work-site injuries and will review all your legal options is an important part of making sure you are fully compensated.
Steps to Take After Accidents
Georgia’s rules dealing with work-site injuries are complex and difficult to understand for workers who aren’t accustomed to dealing with the ins and outs of workers’ comp law on a daily basis.
In order to receive workers’ compensation, you should follow these steps.
Employers are to supply forms for reporting accidents, in addition to information about workers’ compensation free of charge. Make sure you ask for the proper form or have a family member or representative request the form.
Benefits Available for Injuries
Injured workers are eligible to receive fully paid medical care. In addition, depending on your injury, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits provided by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Workers who will have a lasting disability may qualify for permanent partial or full disability benefits.
The state has a specific benefits schedule for the loss of use of certain parts of the body, including arms, legs, feet and eyes, in addition to disfigurement and disability of the entire body.
If you are involved in a work-related accident, don’t let your injury get you down. Taking a few steps such as making sure your employer knows about your injury by word of mouth and by filling out the proper form could be the key to making sure you receive the payments you deserve to keep your family fed and your bills paid while you recover.
Contacting an Atlanta law firm that handles work related injuries is another crucial part of the puzzle. You need someone who will look out for your best interests and help you obtain the full compensation you deserve and need to care for yourself and your family.