Earlier this month in Miami, Florida, one man died and five others were injured when scaffolding that had been erected adjacent to a Miami high-rise collapsed. According to one local news report covering the tragedy, the man who died actually suffered from a cardiac arrest as he was running from the falling debris. Another woman below was injured when the scaffolding landed on her car. In addition, two construction workers working on the project were seriously injured by the falling scaffolding.
Bystanders told reporters that suddenly and without apparent reason, the scaffolding started to collapse. Wooden planks and metal rods were strewn on the ground below as emergency responders attempted to get medical attention to those in need.
Georgia Workplace Injuries
Employers are responsible to create a safe workplace for their employees. However, despite best efforts, sometimes accidents happen. Thankfully, in Georgia, injured workers may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if they are injured in relation to their job, regardless of whose fault the injury is. In the above example, it would seem clear to most that the construction workers injured due to the falling scaffolding were injured in the course of their employment and should be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, should they need them. However, the workers’ compensation program is essentially an insurance system, and a claim requires approval before benefits can be paid out. In some cases, even seemingly meritorious claims are rejected, delaying and potentially preventing injured workers from obtaining benefits.
Below are some key facts that all employees should know about Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law:
- Employees are covered under the law beginning on their first day of employment;
- Weekly benefits are two-thirds of an injured employee’s wages, up to $575 per week;
- Reduced benefits are available for employees who can only return to a lower-paying position due to their injury;
- Depending on the nature of the injury, a worker may be entitled to lifetime benefits;
- Families of workers who lose their lives while on the job may be entitled to benefits;
- Damages for pain and suffering are not available through workers’ compensation but may be available through a third-party claim;
- An injured worker can lose his right to workers’ compensation benefits by waiting too long to file a claim; and
- It is important to select a doctor from an employer’s approved physician list.
Finding a Workers’ Compensation Attorney in Georgia
If you or a loved one has recently been injured on the job in the Atlanta area, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If the cause of your injury was due to the recklessness of a third party, you may also be entitled to additional compensation through a third-party personal injury lawsuit. To discuss your case with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, call J. Franklin Burns, P.C. to set up a free consultation. With a combined 50 years of trial experience, our workers’ compensation attorneys know what it takes to get our clients the benefits and compensation they deserve. Schedule your appointment by calling 404-303-7770 today.