Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney: Defective Equipment

If you’re hurt at work while using a piece of defective equipment, you may have multiple claims to file. Obviously, you’ll have to file a worker’s comp claim. Your Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney can also file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured and services the faulty equipment.

You Still Need to File Your Workers Compensation Claim

Even if you think you’re entitled to file suit against the manufacturer of the equipment, you still need to file your workers compensation claim. If you want, you can call our office and retain one of our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys to help you file your initial claim. They’ll make sure your claim is filed properly. They will also appeal your claim if need be. If you don’t file a claim under the workers’ comp, the defendant in your civil case may argue that they shouldn’t be held accountable. After all, the damages they’ll be ordered to pay would have been less if you did pursue a workers compensation claim.

You Should Be Approved for Workers Compensation Benefits

Most people who are hurt at work are approved for workers compensation benefits. In fact, more than 90% of all people who apply for workers comp are approved the first time around. As long as your Georgia workers comp lawyer can demonstrate that you meet the basic criteria for workers compensation, you shouldn’t run into a problem. However, there is always the chance that your employer or their insurance carrier may deny your claim. This could happen for a variety of reasons, including:

  • They don’t believe your injuries happened at work
  • They think you’re exaggerating your injuries
  • You failed to report your injuries
  • You refuse medical treatment
  • You tested positive on your drug test
  • You are caught working a second job

If your claim is denied, that doesn’t mean your lawsuit will be dismissed. Your Atlanta workers compensation attorney will do their best to make sure you get the benefits and compensation you deserve.

Your Atlanta Workers Compensation Attorney May be Able to File Suit as Well

If your injuries were caused by a defective or broken piece of equipment, your Atlanta workers compensation attorney may be able to file suit against the manufacturer. If the machine worked properly until the maintenance company serviced or repaired it, then you may be able to sue them as well. In some cases, if your Georgia workers comp lawyer can demonstrate that your employer was aware of the dangerous equipment, you may be able to name them in the suit as well. Of course, your employer will argue that they shouldn’t have to pay you both workers compensation benefits as well as civil damages. However, if they were negligent, they won’t have much of a choice.

You Can’t Collect the Same Types of Benefits from Two Places

It’s important to remember that you cannot collect the same types of benefits from two parties. This means that, if you collect weekly benefits through workers’ compensation, you cannot demand damages for lost wages in your civil claim. The same is true for medical expenses. If your workers’ compensation claim covers the medical care related to your workplace injuries, you can’t ask the manufacturer of the defective equipment to do the same thing.

This does not mean that you can’t demand damages in your personal injury lawsuit. When your Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney sues the company that makes or maintains the piece of equipment that harmed you, they will demand damages. These will include some or all of the following:

  • Lost future income – If you are no longer able to do the same kind of work as a result of the accident, you can demand damages. Your Georgia workers comp lawyer will demand that you be paid the difference between what you would’ve earned compared to what you will now earn. Whatever this difference is, you can multiply it by the number of years you have left to work. For purposes of determining damages, your Atlanta workers compensation attorney will assume that you will retire at the age of 65.
  • Pain and Suffering – This is the biggest difference between a personal injury case and a worker’s compensation claim. With workers’ compensation, you are not entitled to damages for pain and suffering. With your civil case, however, you will be able to collect these damages. The general rule when it comes to pain and suffering is that you can demand three times whatever your medical expenses were. Your Georgia workers comp lawyer will look to see how much your medical care has cost and multiply it by three.

If You Want to Protect Your Rights You Should Hire a Georgia Workers Comp Lawyer

If you were hurt at work while using a piece of defective equipment, you have certain rights. Not only will you be entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits, but you may also have a legal claim. It depends on the circumstances of your workplace accident. If you’re having a hard time collecting the benefits you’re entitled to, you may need help. Our Atlanta workers compensation attorneys help dozens of clients get their benefits every year. We make sure their initial workers’ comp claim is filed properly. We also help them file an appeal if need be. If this doesn’t work, you can always consider filing suit against your employer.

In addition to pursuing your workers’ compensation claim, you may also need to sue the manufacturer of the equipment that injured you. If your Georgia workers comp lawyer can prove that the equipment was defective, it will go a long way toward your collecting damages. This is the best of both worlds for you. You’ll receive free medical care for your work-related injuries. You’ll also receive damages for lost future income and pain and suffering through your civil claim.

We suggest that you contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation. It can be hard to navigate both the worlds of workers compensation and personal injury. This is when it’s in your best interest to seek out a legal professional. It doesn’t cost you anything to retain our services. It also puts you on an equal footing with your employer and their insurance carrier.