If you work at a job with three or more employees, then you are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance from your first day of employment. Workers’ comp is a state-run benefits program that offers medical coverage, income loss protection, and death benefits for qualifying injuries. You may be wondering whether an injury you have suffered is covered as compensable work injuries in Loganville by workers’ compensation insurance. We are here to provide the answers you are looking for.
The lawyers who work here at the Loganville, GA location have decades of experience handling injury claims in the state of Georgia. These lawyers are well-versed in workers’ comp guidelines and can help you reach a better understanding of your options moving forward after a workplace injury. If you are still in need of guidance or wish to seek legal representation for a claim, then we advise reaching out to our staff. Contact us at 770-796-0919 for a completely free workers’ comp case evaluation.
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What Are Compensable Injuries?
The first point of confusion in many cases is whether or not a particular injury is considered compensable. Georgia law clearly states that any injury or illness that arises from and during your normal work duties is considered compensable. They do not enforce strict guidelines regarding the type of injury suffered. However, it does not cover injuries that occur during unassigned duties like a break or during your commute to work. They also do not cover injuries that result from willful misconduct.
A workplace injury can happen in any industry or place of business. That is why nearly all businesses require workers’ comp insurance aside from government corporations, farms, and railroad companies. Some industries, such as construction, are considerably more dangerous than others and experience a much higher rate of injury. And certain types of accidents and injuries are more common than others.
Some examples of compensable injuries include:
1. Injuries Caused By A Slip-And-Fall Accident
More than 9 million patients visit an emergency room annually due to slip-and-fall accidents. These are some of the most common workplace accidents and they can occur in any industry. Falls are considered the leading cause of workplace fatalities and organizations like OSHA have put a lot of effort into creating safe work environments that limit their likelihood.
A slip-and-fall accident could result in a wide variety of injuries and the severity often increases with a person’s age. The most common injuries associated with slip-and-fall accidents are:
– Soft tissue injuries: This includes sprains and tears of tendons. These can result in long-term chronic pain and increase your risk of suffering a subsequent injury.
– Broken bones: Ankles and wrists are among the most commonly broken bones during a slip-and-fall accident. It’s a natural reaction to reach forward and brace yourself, which often results in damage to the wrists.
– Spinal cord injuries: A spinal injury can range from moderate to severe. A herniated disk can be treated with advanced medical care, but more serious spinal injuries can result in paralysis or death.
– Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A TBI is a result of striking the head against a hard surface during a fall. Despite the name, some TBIs can be very minor. The most severe TBIs can cause seizures and permanently impair cognitive functions.
2. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSI)
An RSI develops over time and can persist for quite a while before it is detected. In most cases, the symptoms of the RSI eventually become so severe that medical attention is required and the injury is discovered. They are caused by performing certain routine tasks in a repetitive cycle on an ongoing basis. These tasks can include slouching at a desk, lifting heavy objects, or typing at a computer.
Some repetitive stress injuries are very common in specific industries. They are:
– Tendonitis: The inflammation of a connective tendon that is often caused by its overuse. Tendonitis is common in the knees, wrists, and shoulders. Symptoms can range from mild tenderness to severe chronic pain.
– Bursitis: The inflammation of fluid sacks near the joints known as bursae. Bursitis is a common condition near joints that perform repetitive motions regularly. It can result in swollen, stiff, and painful joints that impair normal movement.
– Carpal tunnel syndrome: The compression of the median nerve running through the carpal tunnel located along the side of the hand. Symptoms can include weakness, numbness, tingling, and pain. Severe carpal tunnel syndrome may require surgery to correct.
3. Occupational Diseases
Not all workers’ compensation claims involve physical injuries. Many employees work in environments that expose them to hazardous materials and chemicals. These employees are at an increased risk of developing occupational illnesses. Georgia’s workers’ comp law ensures that these illnesses are covered as well. Some examples include:
– Respiratory conditions: This can include any number of illnesses that are caused by inhaling hazardous substances. That includes pneumonitis, silicosis, tuberculosis, and asbestosis.
– Poisoning: These illnesses result from concentrations of toxic chemicals in the bloodstream that are above safe levels. The most common sources of workplace poisoning are carbon monoxide, lead, arsenic, and formaldehyde.
– Skin diseases: Prolonged exposures to external chemicals can result in various skin diseases. These diseases are often painful and difficult to treat. They include acne, eczema, contact dermatitis, and rashes.
What Types Of Compensation Can You Claim?
Every employee is entitled to the same types of compensation. However, you may not necessarily require all forms of compensation depending on your injury and how it impacts your ability to work. The types of compensation available are:
1. Medical Benefits: This covers your various medical bills, physical therapy costs, cost of prescriptions, and the cost for commute to and from the doctor.
2. Disability Benefits: These benefits provide compensation for lost wages if you are unable to return to work due to your injury. They are often calculated at two-thirds of your weekly wage prior to the injury.
3. Death Benefits: These benefits cover burial expenses following a workplace injury that results in death. It can also include compensation paid to the deceased’s dependents.
How Long Do You Have To File For Compensation In Atlanta, Georgia?
You have a period of 12 months following the injury to file a notice of claim for workers’ compensation benefits. That deadline is extended each time that you seek medical attention. However, you have a much shorter deadline of only 30 days to report the injury to your employer. We suggest filing your claim notice well before this deadline is reached.
How Can I Get Help With My Workers Compensable Injuries In Loganville?
Georgia law makes workers’ comp claims considerably easier to manage than many other states. Their statutes are straightforward in regards to what are considered compensable work injuries in Loganville. The important factor to remember is that the injury must arise from and occur during your work duties. Any injuries or illnesses that do not meet that criteria will not be covered. If you are still unsure whether your injury should be covered, then we advise speaking to a professional workers’ compensation attorney. Reach out to our local office at 770-796-0919 for a case review.