A little over a hundred years ago, the Georgia Legislature decided to implement a program that protected workers who were hurt on the job – workers compensation. Prior to 1920, if an employee got injured at work, they either worked through the injury or were fired. Some would try to sue their employer.
Unfortunately, since very few workers back then could afford to hire an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, most workers had no choice but to suffer in silence. Today, when an employee gets hurt while performing their job, they have recourse under the workers compensation program. Atlanta workers compensation lawyers meet with clients every week who have suffered a workplace injury and have nowhere else to turn.
In a perfect world, every employee who suffered a workplace accident would receive their workers comp benefits. However, there are many workers whose workers comp claims are denied. There are also others whose claims are approved but they don’t feel they have been fully compensated.
Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers can help you regardless of which situation you are in. For us to do that, you need to schedule your free, initial compensation. This gives us a chance to review your claim and see if you have a valid case. It also gives you a chance to decide if you want to move forward with legal action.
Here, we’ll discuss the benefits you receive under workers compensation in Georgia. We’ll also explain why you are limited to these benefits and are not entitled to receive damages for pain and suffering. If you still have questions regarding your case, don’t hesitate to contact our office directly. One of our associates is bound to have handled a case like yours in the past.
Injured Workers in Atlanta are Required to File a Claim Under Workers Comp
One of the hardest things to explain to a new client is why they can’t sue their employer for damages. If you get hurt while on the job, it makes sense that you’d be able to file a personal injury suit. After all, if you get hurt in any other type of accident this is what you do.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), Georgia provides employees with protection under workers compensation. This system was put into place a hundred years ago to protect both employees and employers. The State wanted to implement a program that took care of injured workers without breaking the back of the companies they work for.
What this means is that you can no longer sue your employer for damages in civil court. Instead, you’re to file a claim against their workers compensation insurance carrier. If approved, you’ll receive workers compensation benefits. These benefits entail medical coverage for your work-related injuries and weekly replacement wages.
It’s important to understand that you are limited to the benefits offered by this program. You are not entitled to any other type of damages, including pain and suffering.
What Can Your Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Do if You Were Seriously Hurt?
Most of the time, when people get hurt on the job, they recover rather quickly. They may miss a few weeks or months from work. After that, they’re fully healed and can go back to work full-time.
In some cases, however, the injuries one sustains at work are very serious. For example, a construction worker could fall from scaffolding ten stories in the air. They may break their neck or back if they fall from this great height. Even after receiving months’ worth of medical care, they will never be able to work construction again. Some end up paralyzed and are stuck in a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.
In cases like this, it is perfectly understandable that the injured worker would want pain and suffering. How are they going to benefit from weekly benefits that only equal 2/3 of their wages? And what are they supposed to do once their benefits run out?
This is when it’s difficult to rationalize the workers comp system to a client. It does seem unfair that they can’t pursue damages for pain and suffering or lost future income. All they can do is have their Atlanta workers compensation lawyer negotiate a settlement for their permanent disability and move on with their lives.
There are Limited Cases in Which You Can Sue for Damages
Every now and then, we meet with a potential client whose case is unique. They may have suffered a work injury like the rest of our clients. However, in their case, their employer was reckless or grossly negligent. It is in these cases that our Atlanta personal injury lawyers can demand civil damages.
If your attorney is able to prove that your employer was grossly negligent or reckless in the way they ran their company, you may be entitled to damages. This would certainly include damages for pain and suffering. However, proving these cases can be very difficult. The burden will be on the plaintiff to show that their employer behaved in a way that most people would deem reprehensible.
Call to Retain an Experienced Atlanta Workers Compensation Lawyer Today
If you suffered serious injuries in a work-related accident in Georgia, you’ve probably experienced your fair share of pain and suffering. The fact that you can’t recover damages for these things can be extremely frustrating. In most cases, you don’t have any choice in the matter.
You’re entitled to the benefits offered by workers compensation and nothing more. However, if you feel your employer acted recklessly or knowingly endangered your health, maybe we can help. Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers know what it takes to pursue your employer for personal injury damages. If we feel you have a valid claim, we’ll let you know.
What you should do first is call and schedule your free, initial consultation. Sit down with a seasoned Atlanta personal injury lawyer. Let them review your case and give you their honest opinion. If they feel your case has merit, they may be willing to handle your case. Since your initial consultation is free, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.