So, you suffered an on the job injury or believe your medical condition is related to your work duties. Work injuries do occur and are more common than you might think. Many workers will suffer some form of a work-related injury during their working lives. You may drive a vehicle as part of your job or work around heavy equipment or machinery. If so, you have likely witnessed accidents happening. To better keep yourself safe, you are probably asking how you can prevent an injury at work. You may have questions about your rights once you are injured.
While what constitutes a work injury may seem easy to define, the Workers’ Compensation Laws are murky and vary depending upon the state. So, it is important for you to be clear about what the workers’ compensation laws mean to you.
Lets’ start with some of your most important questions.
How Common Are On The Job Injuries?
Work-related accidents can occur at any moment, in any sector and involve both workers and employers alike. Private sector workers recorded 2.9 million nonfatal accidents and illnesses in 2016 according to the U.S. Office of Labor Statistics.
Fractures are a common work injury due to severe trauma. Fractures are most prevalent in manual labor and construction jobs. The worker’s proximity to heavy equipment and machinery increases the likelihood of suffering a fracture at work. However, fractures from severe trauma can occur in all work environments. Careful preparation and machine quality and maintenance can help to lessen the chances of work-related accidents. As a worker, it is important that you monitor the machinery, and make sure the employer is performing all necessary safety checks and maintenance.
Contusions are wounds or markings on tissue created by blood lodged under the skin and caused by crushed tiny blood vessels trapped underneath. Contusions can occur when workers drop items due to excessive weight, or unsafe work environments. Contusions, of course, can occur in all types of work-related accidents. It is important to use correct lifting techniques and be aware of your work environment and safety protocols. Further, you should request that the employer perform hazard assessments at the workplace and ensure appropriate safety training for all workers. Further, always wear personal protection equipment, including hard hats and safety goggles when required. You can also ask your employer about work safety certifications and other training that may be available to avoid accidents at your workplace.
Can I Receive Workman’s Compensation Benefits?
In Georgia, if your employer has three (3) or more employees in their regular employ, and is otherwise not exempt, the employer is subject to the Workers’ Compensation Act. This means, the employer must carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage or be self-insured.
Following an injury, the law requires the employer help employees obtain reasonable and necessary medical care with an authorized treating physician. If the treating physician takes you out of work, or otherwise provides work restrictions, you may receive weekly workers’ compensation income benefits. It is certainly not uncommon for an injured worker to receive weekly benefits after being injured at work. However, the injury must be related to an on the job accident arising out of and in the course of your employment.
In Georgia, workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. This means that you as the injured worker do not have to prove your accident was due to the negligence of your employer. However, under most circumstances, you are not entitled to sue your employer for a work-related accident. Rather, your exclusive remedy is the benefits available to you under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Have I Experienced Work-Related Injuries?
While most injuries occurring at work are due to a specific accident, cumulative trauma can also be the cause of an accidental injury. Further, you may have been exposed to chemicals or other substances at work that could give rise to an occupational injury or disease. You can even claim a psychological injury to be covered under workers’ compensation. However, your psychological injury must be related to a physical injury occurring at work. Generally, psychological injuries are only covered after medical opinions are received from psychologists or psychiatrists. If you believe your physical or mental condition arises from your work activities, or a specific work injury, report it immediately to your employer. If your employer refuses to provide medical treatment, or otherwise does not report the injury to their workers’ compensation insurer, you likely will need the assistance of an attorney to pursue your claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The workers’ compensation statutes and rules are intricate and are often difficult to navigate without the assistance of an attorney. If you have any questions, or if you feel your claim is not being appropriately handled by the employer/insurer, now may be the time to seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in representing injured workers.
How Can I Get Prepared For A Day In Court?
On the job injuries can be both painful and stressful. If you are injured at work and not familiar with the complex statutes and rules surrounding workers’ compensation, you may feel trapped with no where to turn. Get yourself some help. An attorney experienced in representing injured workers can assist you and provide options regarding ongoing medical treatment and weekly benefits.
Because you deserve experienced representation, contact the best workers’ compensation attorney in Augusta to help sort out your claim. Visit our website today and call or e-mail to receive answers to any questions you may have. You will feel much better once you do. Start your healing process now. Find the legal help you have been looking for.