Some jobs are extremely hazardous; others appear to be less so. Nonetheless, all jobs carry the risk of workplace injuries. Some of these injuries are the result of the dangerous nature of the job. Others might stem from safety violations. Still others can be more mundane, such as repetitive motion injuries or slip and falls. Then there are workplace injuries that are essentially unrelated to the job itself, such as injuries that stem from human interactions, not from work-related incidents. All of these fall within the umbrella of “workplace injuries”—and many of them entitle victims to significant compensation.
If you have sustained an injury while at work, you may be able to recover compensation for your losses. To schedule a free case evaluation with a Georgia workplace injury attorney, call David Brauns today at (404) 418-8244 or contact us online.
Workplace Injuries Come in Many Forms
Many people think of workplace injuries as strictly resulting from actions performed during the course of performing the duties of your job. This is largely true. However, the causes of some workplace injuries could surprise you. Among the leading causes of injuries in the workplace are:
- Acts of violence by co-workers: These can include attacks by co-workers resulting from personal animus, mental illness, or other, less obvious causes.
- Repetitive motion injuries: The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that repetitive motion injuries caused the longest absences from work among all work-related injuries in 2002, with a median absence from work as a result of such injuries of 23 days. BLS statistics indicate that in 2013, such injuries accounted for roughly one-third of all worker injuries. Monitor activities such as meat-cutting, typing, computer use, or any other repetitive activity for these injuries.
- Machine entanglement: Most common around heavy machinery, this involves, clothes, shoes, body parts, and hair getting caught in machines used on the job.
- Traffic accidents: Employees frequently are required to drive in the course of their employment, either between job sites or for other reasons, such as in a sales job where the employee is required to drive from customer to customer, making sales pitches.
- Falling objects: Particularly common on construction sites, injuries caused by falling objects can occur in almost any kind of workplace where objects can be dropped from above or fall from shelves. These injuries often are serious, resulting in head injuries.
- Falls from heights: Also common on construction sites, these injuries happen when workers are performing tasks on roofs, ladders, and on stairways and elevated platforms. Such injuries can be quite serious and even fatal.
- Slips and trips: This is the second-leading cause of workplace injuries and can be difficult to guard against. Wet or slippery floors, or floors littered with foreign objects, are among the most common sites for this type of accident.
- Overexertion injuries: The top cause of workplace injuries might seem to be the least expected, but overexertion on the job consistently leads to the most common claims of injury. Such injuries can arise from difficult physical labor, including pulling, lifting, pushing, holding, carrying, and throwing activities at work. Overexertion is not only consistently the number one workplace injury, it also is the consistently the most expensive for employers.
- Back injuries: Lower-back pain related to employment affects approximately a million employees in this country every year, a University of Minnesota study found. In 1998, more than a quarter of all employees who missed at least a day of work because of non-fatal injuries or illnesses did so because of back injuries. Employees who suffer back injuries miss an average of six days of work, and 20 percent of employees who suffer a back injury miss more than a month of work.
Workers’ Compensation Covers Most Workplace Injuries in Georgia
For Georgia employees, workers’ compensation law provides a safety net for employees who are injured on the job. The law is intended to provide injured employees with income while they recover from their injuries suffered on the job and are unable to work. In general, medical bills are covered and wages for lost work time replaced, usually no matter who is at fault for the injuries. (Intentional injuries are an exception to this.) So long as the injury occurred during the course of your employment, you are covered. In exchange for this coverage, employees generally are not allowed to sue employers for work injuries covered by workers’ compensation.
Workers’ Compensation Does Not Always Bar Other Avenues of Compensation
Almost all injuries at work are covered exclusively by workers’ compensation. The intent of workers’ compensation plans is to limit employer liability while limiting costs to injured employees by providing guaranteed levels of compensation without the need to sue your employer to recover. There is a recovery schedule that applies to injuries, with a particular amount allowed for a particular injury suffered during the course of your employment. Georgia workers’ compensation law does not allow employees injured at work to sue their employers
However, Georgia worker’s compensation law does not bar lawsuits against third parties who might be responsible in some way for a worker’s injuries. This liability could arise where the negligence of a third party caused the injury, even though it occurred in the course of employment duties, such as a traffic accident during the execution of work duties where a third-party driver is at fault. You would still be eligible for workers’ compensation but would not be barred from pursuing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. To determine whether you can pursue a lawsuit against a negligent third party, you should seek legal counsel.
If You Are Injured in a Workplace Accident, You Should Consult with a Georgia Personal Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible
Attorney David Brauns routinely represents clients who are injured in accidents at their place of employment. While such accidents are generally covered exclusively by worker’s compensation, that might not be your only avenue for recovering damages from your injury. You should consult with an attorney to see what your options are. Mr. Brauns will review the facts of your case at no cost to you and advise you about your legal options. To schedule your free consultation, call Brauns Law today at (404) 418-8244 or contact us online.