If you've suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one, an Atlanta injury lawyer can help answer your questions on how to win your personal injury claim in a Georgia personal injury court!
At S. Burke Law we are here to help give answers to these important questions. Our Frequently Asked Question database covers the common questions you may have regarding what to do after a serious accident, how to file a claim in personal injury court, and tips on how to win your personal injury claim. When researching information on the legal process following a serious accident you want legitimate advice from a source you can trust.
When you’ve suffered serious losses and damages from an accident due to the negligence of another you aren’t alone. An Atlanta injury lawyer from our office is always available to answer additional questions not addressed on our page. Contact us for a FREE consultation and get the answers you need to seek compensation for your losses!
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Can I Get Workers' Compensation for a Repetitive Motion Injury at Work?
Yes, you can collect workers’ compensation for a repetitive motion injury at work. People typically think about serious, often life-threatening injuries when thinking about receiving workers’ compensation. However, many workers’ compensation claims are due to repetitive motion injuries at work and are one of the common types of work injuries.
Repetitive motion injuries occur within the context of your job even if your job is not physically grueling. An example of a repetitive motion injury at work would be developing carpal tunnel syndrome. Repetitive motion injuries can alter your life and livelihood as much as sudden accidents can. They can alter, or even impede, your ability to function normally and gain employment in the future. And you deserve full compensation for your damages if you are suffering from repetitive motion injuries just like you would if you had an accident.
Symptoms of Repetitive Motion Injuries
There are a variety of symptoms related to repetitive motion injuries depending on the type of work you do. If your career involves a lot of typing and using a computer, you may develop carpal tunnel syndrome. People experiencing repetitive motion injuries often cite rotator cuff syndrome, tendonitis, and bursitis among their ailments. And lower back pain is a common ailment as well. No matter where your repetitive motion injury manifests, it is likely that you are dealing with one of the following ailments:
- Loss of strength and coordination
- Pain from tenderness in the affected area
- Poor range of motion
People at risk of developing repetitive motion injuries
These ailments develop from a diverse group of tasks and careers. And they can develop even in people who do not realize their career makes them at risk for it. This is why many people do not realize they are eligible for workers’ compensation for repetitive motion injuries at work. And it is also how many employers argue that these ailments did not develop due to the tasks related to your duties. The following are among the jobs from which many people develop repetitive motion injuries:
- Bus drivers
- Doctors and nurses
- Stock clerks
- Professional athletes
- Janitors and housekeepers
The tasks associated with each of these jobs generally do not put employees at great risk for a single traumatic injury. Rather, these constant movements lead to wear and tear which causes cumulative injuries that may not manifest for years. The delay in experiencing the pain of the wear and tear occasionally makes it difficult to collect workers’ compensation benefits. But that is where S. Burke Law can help you.
Proving Repetitive Motion Injuries
Repetitive motion injuries can be as debilitating as a sudden traumatic injury leading to your injury. Unfortunately, employers and insurance adjusters are not always as willing to compensate you for repetitive motion injuries even if you are just as deserving.
So, collecting benefits requires demonstrating how your duties at work directly contributed to your injuries. That involves evaluating your job’s physical demands and the effects it can have on your body. Employers and insurance adjusters may argue that you suffered your ailment on your own time during your own personal activities.
S. Burke Law can help you demonstrate that you did not suffer these injuries on your own time. That may include documenting how you spend your personal time away from work. It may also involve pulling up medical records which show that you were in great physical condition prior to working this job.
Benefits Available for Repetitive Motion Injuries
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance, and it covers repetitive motion injuries. Workers’ compensation guarantees you certain benefits and provides a safety net for victims.
- Lost income: Workers’ compensation covers up to two-thirds of your lost income up to $575 per week.
- Medical expenses: Workers’ compensation fully covers your medical expenses. You should not receive a bill for any treatments or doctor’s visits as workers’ compensation should cover those bills directly.
Call an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you are suffering from a repetitive motion injury, you may be due compensation. And if you believe you are not getting the compensation you deserve, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Our team will walk you through your options and provide the guidance you need during a difficult time.We also encourage you to call S. Burke Law if you believe your employer or insurance adjuster is attempting to end your benefits. We can help you get workers’ compensation for a repetitive motion injury at work. An Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get the benefits you deserve. Call us at 404-842-7838.
Can I File a Pedestrian Accident Claim If I Was Hit by a Car Outside a Crosswalk?
Yes, you can file a pedestrian claim if you were hit by a car outside of a crosswalk. However, your ability to win that claim depends on the circumstances of your accident. While crosswalks are one area where pedestrians have the right of way, they are not the only place where drivers must exercise care.
Drivers must exercise a duty of care when navigating the streets. And that certainly applies to pedestrians, who are at greater risk to suffer injuries than drivers of other cars, even if they are outside a crosswalk. Georgia’s crosswalk laws cover the duties owed by drivers and pedestrians, and many of them translate outside of crosswalks.
Establishing Duty of Care and a Driver’s Responsibilities
Like most personal injury cases, the strength of your claim hinges on proving liability and negligence. And determining if a driver acted negligently requires establishing how a reasonable driver must act in a situation.
The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia codifies how drivers and pedestrians alike must behave when sharing the road. Specifically, the office says that pedestrians have the right of way at crosswalks and all vehicles must yield to them. However, vehicles have the right of way in most other places such as intersections.
Drivers Have a Duty of Care to Pedestrians
While drivers often have right of way outside a crosswalk, this does not mean that you are automatically at-fault if you are hit by a car outside of a crosswalk. In fact, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-93 states: “every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, shall give warning by sounding his horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person."
This Georgia code effectively establishes that even though drivers have the right of way, they must still do everything possible to avoid potential accidents. That may involve the driver changing lanes, honking their horn, or slowing down. Whatever it is, the driver must do his or her best to avoid the accident.
You Can Still Collect Damages
So, if you as a pedestrian crossed a street when there were no cars, but you get hit by a vehicle who pops into your line of sight late because the car was speeding, you can still file a claim and collect damages. Another instance when the pedestrian would likely not be at-fault is if the driver was drinking.
Comparative Negligence in Pedestrian Accidents
Georgia’s comparative negligence laws may factor into pedestrian accidents outside of crosswalks. Georgia is one of 12 states that use modified comparative negligence in personal injury cases.
Compensation Varies on Your Percentage at Fault
This means you can file a claim if you were less than 50 percent at fault for an accident. Pedestrian accidents outside of a crosswalk are an instance where this law could be very important. As a pedestrian, you are required to yield to oncoming traffic. But, like we mentioned above, there are instances when you may be unable to yield, and the driver must do everything in their power to avoid the accident.
If the driver’s inability to fulfill this duty of care was a larger cause of this accident than where you crossed the road, then you can file a claim.
Another way comparative negligence impacts your case is in how much you can collect. For example, if you were 35 percent at-fault for your pedestrian accident, then you can only collect 65 percent of the value of your damages.
An Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Attorney Can Help
Many people are under the impression that you are automatically at-fault if you are involved in a pedestrian accident outside of a crosswalk. This is far from the truth, and every accident deserves evaluation within context. And that is what a pedestrian accident lawyer at S. Burke Law can do for you.
Call S. Burke Law For a Free Case Evaluation
If you or someone you care about was involved in a pedestrian accident, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Pedestrian accidents are among the worst injuries you can suffer. You are likely facing high medical costs while also unable to work.We will pore over the details of your case and lay out your options. We understand how trying a time this is for you and your family. That is why we offer these services in a free consultation. Also, we do not collect a payment unless you win a settlement. So, you can feel at ease knowing there is little risk in contacting us. Call us today at 404-842-7838 to learn more about how we can help.
Who Can You Sue for Wrongful Death?
Who you can sue for wrongful death depends on the circumstances of your loved one’s accident. Like all personal injury cases, wrongful death cases require proving negligence and liability. The person or party you can sue depends on where the event occurred, if negligence contributed to the incident, and who was liable for the death.
Reasons For Wrongful Death
Wrongful death can occur for a variety of reasons. Those reasons include:
- Medical malpractice
- Workplace accidents
- Criminal activity
- Automobile accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Product liability
- Bicycle accidents
Losing a loved one creates a difficult time for all, particularly if you believe negligence contributed to their passing. There are likely several questions racing through your mind after such a sudden and traumatic event.
Proving Liability in Wrongful Death Claims
Like we mentioned above, proving liability is the key to filing and eventually winning a wrongful death claim. Primarily, you must prove two things:
- The liable party caused the death.
- The deceased party would have had just cause to file a personal injury claim had they survived their injuries.
Once you have established who would be liable for the wrongful death and that the deceased would have cause to file a personal injury claim, you can begin determining whether negligence contributed to the wrongful death. Establishing liability in personal injury cases requires determining the following:
- Establishing a duty of care
- Establishing a breach of the duty
- Proving causation
Establishing A Duty of Care in Wrongful Death
A duty of care is essentially how a reasonable person should act in a given situation. A duty of care requires people and organizations to not engage in activities which put the safety of others at risk. A duty of care varies depending on where the accident occurred and the events that took place.
For example, if your loved one was driving at the time of their accident, then there are certain duties the other drivers must adhere to while navigating the roads. Driving within the speed limit and stopping at red lights qualifies as a duty. Another example of a duty of care is the safety measures an employer must maintain while you work. They must ensure that all equipment, hardware, and the property itself is safe while you complete your workday.
Breach of Duty in Wrongful Death
When you know what a person or party’s duty of care was to the deceased, you can investigate if there was a breach of duty. A breach of duty is anything in direct conflict with how a reasonable person would act to ensure safety.
If your loved one died because another driver ran a red light while speeding, this represents a breach of duty on the part of that driver. Moreover, if an employer knowingly allowed you to use defective equipment or allowed other dangerous items in a work area, this is a breach of duty too.
Proving Causation in Wrongful Death
Proving causation is key in determining who you can sue for wrongful death. There may be instances when a person or party is responsible for your accident but not directly responsible for the death of the deceased. For instance, it is possible that the initial car that sped and ran a red light caused the accident but is also not responsible for the death of your loved one. An example of this could be if another vehicle hit the car after the initial impact from the first vehicle or if the victim’s car had defective airbags.
Ultimately, determining who you can sue for wrongful death relies on the ability to draw a direct connection between the cause of the accident and the death. And S. Burke Law dedicates itself to determining where that connection is and what you should receive in damages.
Call an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney
Collecting damages after personal injury cases is among the top concerns for every personal injury claim. But they take on greater importance in wrongful death cases. While money can never replace your loved one, those damages may be essential to your own survival if your loved one was the primary breadwinner for your family.
We encourage you to reach out to S. Burke Law. Our firm has represented families in several wrongful death cases. We can examine the details of your case and help answer your questions. S. Burke Law fights on your behalf to help collect the damages you require following this unfortunate accident. We begin determining who you can sue for wrongful death with a free consultation.Call us at 404-842-7838 to set yours up today.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Suit in Georgia?
In most instances, only close relatives of the deceased have the right to file wrongful death suits. Typically, it is spouses, children and parents who file wrongful death lawsuits. However, if there is no next of kin, the estate of the deceased can also file wrongful death suits.
Losing a loved one is never easy, especially if they died suddenly due to an accident completely out of their control. S. Burke Law understands how trying a time this is for everyone who knows your loved one. And while no amount of money can replace the relationship you had with your lost family member, receiving compensation is often something owed to you, particularly if the deceased was the primary breadwinner in the family.
Parties That May Collect Wrongful Death Claims
There are several different parties that may collect wrongful death claims including:
- A surviving spouse
- A surviving child
- Surviving parents
- The estate
It is important to note there is a time limit for filing a wrongful death claim.
Surviving Spouses Filing Wrongful Death Claims
Generally, surviving spouses have the priority as wrongful death beneficiaries. A wrongful death beneficiary is a person who holds the right to file wrongful death cases. Assuming the spouse and the deceased did not have any children, the spouse would collect the entire wrongful death settlement.
However, if the deceased did have children, they split the money between them. In this case, the spouse receives one-third of the settlement, and the children would split the remaining settlement.
Surviving Children Filing Wrongful Death Claims
If there is no spouse, but the deceased left behind children, the right to file a wrongful death claim falls to the children. Assuming they win the claim, the surviving children split the award equally between them.
Surviving Parents in Wrongful Death Claims
If the deceased has no surviving spouse or children, the right to file a wrongful death claim falls to the parents. This does not change if the parents were not living together. Both parents split the settlement whether they are dating, married, divorced, or separated.
However, there are a few cases in which one of two surviving parents may file a claim and act as the sole wrongful death beneficiary. If one parent refuses to follow through in filing a personal injury claim, the other parent can file a wrongful death claim without him or her. Also, if one of the parents failed to provide for the deceased child, or totally abandoned them, that person may be unable to file a wrongful death claim.
The Estate in Wrongful Death Claims
If there are no surviving spouses, children, or parents, the estate can file a wrongful death suit in Georgia. Whoever is the estate’s administrator or executor would file the claim. The beneficiaries distribute the proceeds from the settlement. Georgia’s probate law determines how those funds are distributed.
The Statute of Limitations to File Wrongful Death Claims
Like most personal injury cases, wrongful death claims have a statute of limitations. Georgia’s state laws dictate the wrongful death claim must be within two years of the negligent act which caused your loved one’s wrongful death. That said, this does not mean your case resolves within that two-year timeframe. Simply, you must file the claim at the two-year mark.
Occasionally, there are instances when the clock on your two-year time limit stops running. This is not very common, but it does occur when there is a criminal case related to your wrongful death claim. If there is a criminal case dealing with the same circumstances as your wrongful death claim, the clock stops on your wrongful death claim until the criminal case concludes.
Call a Georgia Wrongful Death Attorney
Determining who can file a wrongful death suit in Georgia is the first step in collecting the damages you deserve for your loss. And speaking to a Georgia wrongful death attorney can help you in that process. S. Burke Law has represented many people in wrongful death cases.
We pursue a variety of damages in those claims which includes:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and benefits
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
How Much is a Wrongful Death Suit Worth?
There is no set or average amount a wrongful death suit is worth. The amount you may be able to collect in a settlement depends on a variety of factors. The influencing factors include the age of the deceased, their job, who was responsible for the death, and the type of damages the wrongful death beneficiaries suffered.
You can never prepare for a loved one passing away. But their death may truly be staggering if they died as the result of negligence. S. Burke Law understands how difficult a time this is, and how difficult the decision to file a claim is.
Economic Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit
Economic damages are a primary form of compensation S. Burke Law seeks on your behalf following a wrongful death. These are the damages that cause you direct financial losses. In most cases, economic damages are easily quantifiable because they relate to new expenses or direct financial losses. But, in some cases, they may be a projection of future losses.
Lost wages are fairly straightforward to calculate in typical personal injury cases. Usually, it is just a matter of determining the time the victim missed at work and multiplying it by the victim’s salary. But wrongful death suits are not as simple because your loved one can never return to work. In a wrongful death claim, S. Burke Law will look at the following to determine the value of a wrongful death suit:
- The age and overall health of the victim at the time of death (an older person who was close to retirement will likely recover much less than a person who died at age 40)
- The victim’s earning potential, including education, personal accomplishments, and current career (a CEO will likely earn more over time than a teacher)
- The victim’s character and overall intelligence
- The parental status of the deceased. If the deceased had surviving children, this factors in as well.
Ultimately, the amount the next of kin or estate receives for lost wages depends on how much the family depended on the deceased financially, and how much the person would have contributed in the future.
In this case, we can discuss your case with economic experts to determine how much your loved one would have made over time with inflation, as well as what they missed out on in regard to bonuses, promotions, pensions, and other benefits.
Medical bills vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example, if your loved one had an extended stay at the hospital following an accident, then the responsible party may owe you significantly more in medical expenses than if your loved one died shortly after the accident. Medical expenses our firm seeks on your behalf may include:
- Ambulance costs
- Hospital stay fees
- Costs for emergency medical attention
- Specialist fees
Funeral expenses are probably the most straightforward of the economic damages S. Burke Law seeks on your behalf. While funerals are expensive affairs, if you receive an award for a wrongful death, the cost of the event is typically part of the damages.
Noneconomic Damages in Wrongful Death Lawsuits
What you can recover depends on who the deceased was to you. For example, spouses may be entitled to loss of consortium and companionship benefits and the loss of a parent-child relationship. You might be able to collect pain and suffering on behalf of your loved one as well.
Compensation on Behalf of Your Loved One
You might be able to collect pain and suffering on behalf of your loved one as well.
For example, if your loved one spent a significant amount of time in the hospital as your family sought treatment for their injuries, they likely experienced significant discomfort throughout that process. In such cases, we might allege that experienced considerable pain and suffering before death.
Call an Atlanta Wrongful Death Attorney
While the life of a loved one cannot be quantified into dollars—and there is no set amount for how much a wrongful death suit is worth—collecting a wrongful death settlement is often one of the first steps in picking up the pieces after an accident. If you or someone you care about recently suffered a loss in the family, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Call us at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation today.
What Do I Have to Do to Win a Premises Liability Claim?
To win a premises liability claim, you need to prove the property owner’s negligence caused your accident to occur. To do so, we must:
- Establish the owner’s responsibilities to welcomed guests
- Establish that the property owner failed to fulfill their responsibilities
- Identify the injuries and damages you suffered
- Draw a connection between the property owner’s negligence and your injuries to establish liability
If you or a loved one recently suffered an injury on another party’s property, give S. Burke Law a call. We can help you determine whether you might have a case and fight to recover the compensation to which you are entitled. The initial consultation is free: 404-842-7838.
Establishing the Owner’s Responsibilities to Guests
Knowing what the owner’s responsibilities are to guests is the basis of premises liability laws in Georgia. Broadly, property owners must keep their property safe to anyone welcome on their property.
This expectation is known as duty of care. A duty of care is a crucial component of premises liability laws and establishes the property owner must provide a minimum level of care to anyone using their property.
This means, for example, that a property owner must remove or repair anything deemed a potential hazard on their property. A duty of care also requires property owners to notify their guests of potential dangers. In some instances, having adequate security is also a proprietor’s responsibility.
Identifying How the Property Owner Failed to Fulfill Responsibilities
Knowing what a property owner’s responsibilities are allows you to determine where they may have been lacking. Failing to fulfill these responsibilities is a breach of duty, and factors heavily into your case.
For example, let us say there is a leak in the refrigerator at a supermarket. The supermarket’s management has known about the issue for a few weeks but failed to repair it. If you walk across the floor and suffer a slip and fall injury, this could be a breach of duty, particularly if there was not a visible “wet floor” sign or anything else indicating a dangerous situation.
Another example is negligent security. Certain places, such as hotels, must have adequate security onsite. If a robber breaks into your hotel room while you are sleeping and attacks you because there was not a security guard on patrol, this is also a breach of duty.
To determine whether the property owner failed in their obligation, we must identify whether you are an invitee, licensee, or trespasser. These three categories establish the level of care a property owner owes you.
Identifying Your Injuries and Damages
To win a premises liability claim, you must also establish what damages you suffered. Using the examples from above, just slipping and falling on a grocery store’s wet floor does not automatically give you a legitimate claim or entitle you to damages, nor does a person getting past lax security at your hotel.
To win your case, you must establish that you suffered losses. For example, tearing a ligament or suffering a herniated disc in your slip and fall or suffering physical injuries or emotional anguish in your hotel attack would satisfy this requirement.
Establishing a Connection Between Negligence and Your Damages
Identifying a property owner’s failure to fulfill a duty of care and proving you suffered injuries just creates some of the evidence needed to win a premises liability case. To win your claim and collect damages, you must prove causation. Causation establishes that a proprietor’s breach of duty caused your injuries.
The property owner’s legal team will fight tooth and nail to prove that your injuries resulted from something other than the proprietor’s negligence. This is where S. Burke Law can be a huge help. Our team will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your case as well as your health history while proving causation. We will also gather any evidence necessary for your situation.
Call an Atlanta Premises Liability Attorney
Premises liability laws are complex. Different factors and circumstances contribute to every case. But knowledge of those nuances and the ability to draw connections between breaches of duty and the injuries you suffered is invaluable to your case.
The personal injury team at S. Burke Law wants to help you get all the compensation to which you are entitled. We know that it can be stressful to be facing expensive medical bills and time off work, so we offer free consultations and our services on a contingency basis.
This means we recover no fees unless we win your case. Let us see how we can help you. Call us at 404-842-7838 today.
What Is Premises Liability?
Premises liability is part of Georgia’s tort law that holds property owners responsible for injuries that occur on their property. Specifically, premises liability outlines a property owner’s responsibilities when guests are on their premises.
Georgia’s Premises Liability Statute
Georgia’s premises liability statute allows claimants to hold property owners liable if they suffer injuries on their property.
The statute states: “Where an owner or occupier of land, by express or implied invitation, induces or leads others to come upon his premises for any lawful purpose, he is liable in damages to such persons for injuries caused by his failure to exercise ordinary care in keeping the premises and approaches safe.”
If you or a loved one suffered an injury on someone else’s property, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Our firm has dedicated itself to representing the citizens of Atlanta in personal injury cases. We offer free consultations in which we examine the details of your case and provide honest advice. Call us at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation.
Duty of Care in Premises Liability Claims
Duty of care is a crucial component of Georgia’s premises liability laws. A duty of care outlines the legal basis for negligence in premises liability cases. The duty of care requires property owners to maintain safe conditions on their property to the best of their ability. And it also requires them to notify guests of any potential hazards on the premises.
Like most personal injury cases, premises liability claims require the claimant to prove negligence. If you bring your case to S. Burke Law, we will work to prove the following to establish the property owner’s negligence:
- The property owner knew, or should have known, of the hazard.
- The property owner’s negligence is the reason your accident occurred.
- The property owner did not notify guests of the present danger or hazard.
- There is a direct connection between the hazardous condition present and your injury.
While establishing the above points aids in ultimately winning your premises liability claim, it is not the only consideration. An essential factor in premises liability claims is why the injured party was on the property. This matters because while duty of care requires property owners to maintain safe conditions, this duty does not apply to everyone that steps foot on a piece of property.
Types of Visitors on a Property
Visitors use a property for a variety of reasons. And the reason you are on another party’s property factors heavily into premises liability and the duty a property owner has to you. Georgia recognizes three types of visitors to a piece of property:
Invitees in Premises Liability Cases
Like the name suggests, invitees are guests the property owner invited onto the property. Invitees might include:
- Shoppers at a store
- A contractor or repairman on the property
Licensees in Premises Liability Cases
Licensees are also welcome on the property, but they differ from invitees in how and why they are there.
Licensees use the property but do not provide any financial benefits to the property owner. An example of this would if you were at a mall “window shopping” rather than buying a product. Though licensees are welcome on the property, the property owner did not extend an explicit invitation onto the property. So, the standard duty of care is lower for licensees than invitees. Georgia requires property owners to be wantonly negligent to be liable for a licensee’s accident.
Trespassers in Premises Liability Cases
Trespassers are people the owner did not invite onto the property. Because they are not welcome on the property, property owners do not owe a duty of care to trespassers.
However, property owners cannot willfully injure a trespasser (e.g., a homeowner cannot set a trap for someone he knows trespasses on his property).
The only case in which property owners do hold liability for trespassers is if there is an attractive nuisance on the property. Attractive nuisances are objects like swimming pools and abandoned appliances that might attract children who do not understand the dangers of trespassing on someone else’s property.
Call an Atlanta Premises Liability Lawyer
No one expects to suffer an injury while going through their usual day-to-day routine. But unfortunately, it happens more often than we think. That is why our firm takes on the task of representing Atlanta’s personal injury victims. If you or a loved one suffered an injury on someone else’s property, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. Our free consultations give you an opportunity to gather the information you need before filing a claim.
Call us at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation to learn more about how a premises liability lawyer can help you.
Can I File a Lawsuit for an Injury at Work?
In most cases, you cannot file a lawsuit for an injury at work, except in very specific circumstances. These include:
- Your employer intentionally caused you harm; or
- A third party caused your injuries.
If you or someone you care about suffered an injury at work recently, we encourage you to reach out to S. Burke Law. Our law firm has represented the residents of Atlanta for more than 20 years. In that time, we have helped win countless settlements. It all begins with our free consultations. We want you to make as informed a decision as possible before you pursue a personal injury case. Call us now at 404-842-7838.
Your Employer Intentionally Caused You Harm
Workers’ compensation laws in Georgia prevent you from suing your employer for an injury in most cases. One of the few instances when you can sue is if you believe your employer purposely caused you harm (e.g., your employer attacked you).
If you suffered an injury at work due to your employer’s negligence, you cannot file suit.
However, if your employer was angry with you because you were insubordinate and punched you in the face, you can file a lawsuit to recover damages. Personal and emotional distress can also qualify for a lawsuit.
The following are examples of when you could pursue a lawsuit against your employer:
• Battery: Battery occurs when someone makes physical contact without your consent (e.g., your employer pushes you, hits you, or throws something at you that hits you).
• Assault: An assault occurs when a party makes a credible threat of violence to your person (e.g., threatening to punch you while raising a fist, attempts to commit battery on you).
• Emotional distress: Occasionally, being the subject of excessive emotional abuse qualifies as an attack.
If you can provide sufficient proof that your employer intentionally caused you physical or emotional harm, you may be able to sue. However, these are not the only cases when you can sue following a workplace injury. As stated above, you can also sue for damages above and beyond workers’ compensation if a third party contributed to your injury.
A Third Party Caused or Contributed to Your Injury
You may be able to file a lawsuit if a third party was liable (even partially) for your workplace injuries. For example, if you work at a construction site and suffer an injury due to defective equipment, you could sue the manufacturer. In this case, you would need to prove that the defective equipment caused your accident, and you could pursue additional damages on your behalf.
There are several other entities you could hold liable for a workplace injury. They include:
• The distributor of equipment or product
• The seller of equipment or product
• A subcontractor (e.g., another contractor on site failed to provide his workers with tool lanyards, someone drops a hammer on your head because of it)
• Property owner (e.g., the property owner knew a handrail in the stairwell was loose but did not get it fixed, you fell down the stairs because of it)
Someone trespassing on the property (e.g., someone came onto the property and attacked you)
Anyone else who was working on or visiting the property (aside from a coworker)
Can I Sue a Coworker for a Workplace Injury?
It depends on how your injury occurred. If your injury stemmed from a workers’ compensation coverage exclusion, then you are likely able to file suit against your coworker. These exclusions might include:
- Intentional tort (e.g., if your coworker beats you up)
Schedule a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case Today
Determining whether you might be able to sue for a work injury is often difficult, but you do not need to handle the process alone. An Atlanta personal injury attorney can examine the circumstances surrounding your injury and identify potential liable third parties in your case.
Once we have identified the liable parties, we will begin building your case to hold that party liable.
If there are no liable third parties, we can look over your workers’ compensation benefits and ensure you are receiving all the benefits to which you are entitled.
The S. Burke Law team dedicates itself to serving the Atlanta community, and we prove that by offering free consultations. Also, S. Burke Law does not collect payment unless you win a settlement. If you believe you have a case for a lawsuit, call us at 404-647-4111 for a free consultation.
What Benefits Will Workers’ Compensation Cover?
The benefits workers’ compensation covers includes medical expenses and lost income. This form of insurance offers a safety net in unexpected accidents and circumstances. Injuries at the workplace are unexpected and can leave you with serious injuries and expensive medical bills and no way to pay for them. This offers a guaranteed source of income and medical coverage if you are eligible for workers’ compensation.
If you or someone you care about suffered injuries in an Atlanta workplace injury, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law. There is likely a lot on your mind right now, and we may have some of the answers you are looking for. Calling us comes with no obligation to use our services and the initial consultation is free. You can reach us at 404-842-7838.
Workers' compensation offers the following benefits:
Medical expenses can be astronomical after a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation covers the following medical expenses:
- All authorized doctor bills
- Physical therapy bills
- Necessary travel expenses
Workers’ compensation benefits usually last 400 weeks in Georgia. But if your injury was particularly catastrophic, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for life. For your employer's insurer to cover your medical care, you must receive treatment from an approved doctor. Your employer should have posted a list of approved doctors at your workplace. You can choose any doctor on that list.
Note: Workers’ compensation pays for your medical expenses directly. So, you should never see a single bill or deductible. If your employer or its insurer tries to charge you for your medical care, give us a call.
Workers’ compensation allows you to recover some of your lost income as well. You must miss at least seven days of work to be eligible for weekly income benefits in Georgia. Most workers’ compensation recipients receive their first checks within 21 days of the first day of missed work. If your injury requires you to miss more than 21 days in a row, you will also receive a check for the first week of work you missed.
Workers’ compensation pays you a percentage of your full income. It covers up to two-thirds of your income. To determine this amount, you calculate the average income you earned in the previous 13 weeks. However, workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia cannot exceed $575 per week. Like medical benefits, you can collect workers’ compensation income benefits for up to 400 weeks. In more extreme cases, you may be eligible for lifetime benefits.
Employees Who Can Participate in Limited Amounts of Work
In some cases, your workplace injury may not force you out of work entirely. Occasionally, injured employees can return to work, but they cannot obtain the income they could prior to their injury. In this case, your income benefits cannot exceed $383 per week.
If you suffer a catastrophic injury which leaves you with permanent limitation in the type of work you can get, your employer's insurer will need to pay for you to receive help finding a new job or learning a new skill.
Permanent Disability Payments
If your workplace injury left you permanently disabled, you are entitled to permanent disability payments as well. The amount you are eligible for depends on the type of injury and the full extent. It would also depend on whether or not you were able to participate in vocational rehabilitation services.
Call an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Recovering workers' compensation benefits can be difficult. If you do have any additional questions following your injury or your options about workers’ compensation, we encourage you to call a workers' compensation attorney at S. Burke Law. We will help you explore all your options for compensation. And because we handle your case on a contingency basis, you do not need to worry about any fees upfront. Call us for your free consultation today at 404-842-7838.
Who Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Workers’ compensation covers anyone who suffers accidents and injuries at work or while engaging in work-related activities. Workers’ compensation provides a layer of security and coverage for employees. There are a few factors required to receive workers’ compensation.
If you or someone you care about was involved in an accident at work, we encourage you to call S. Burke Law to know your rights after a workplace accident. Our team of attorneys has represented the citizens of Atlanta in a variety of personal injury cases in the past 20 years. Workers’ compensation cases represent a significant portion of our cases, and we will walk you through your options. Our consultations are always free. Give us a call at 404-842-7838.
Employees Eligible for Workers’ Compensation
Employers and employees alike must meet certain requirements to be eligible for workers’ compensation. In Georgia, all employers must offer workers’ compensation benefits to their employees if they have at least three employees. Those employees can be full-time, part-time, or seasonal.
Workers' compensation covers employees if they meet certain standards. The following is a list of requirements an employee must meet to obtain workers' compensation benefits:
- The employee must not be an independent contractor.
- The employee’s injury must occur at work.
Types of Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Like we mentioned above, workers’ compensation covers injuries at work while engaging in work-related activities. For example, let us say you are a painter painting a room on a ladder. Falling off a ladder and breaking your arm would make you eligible for workers’ compensation.
But you do not have to be present on the employer’s property to collect workers’ compensation benefits. For example, delivery drivers are also eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. If you are an employee who delivers products to supermarkets, you would still be eligible for workers’ compensation even though you did not suffer your injury on the employer’s property. This is because the injury occurred while performing tasks associated with your role.
Instances When Employees Are Not Eligible for Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation covers most workplace injuries. However, it does not cover employees in all situations and for all injuries. Like most personal injury situations, the context of your accident can influence your ability to collect funds. The following are examples when you cannot collect workers’ compensation:
- Injuries suffered while committing a crime
- Injuries suffered if you started a fight at work
- Self-inflicted injuries
- Injuries suffered while you engaged in actions that violated company policies
Benefits Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation provides a safety net for employees injured at the job. If your injury was particularly serious, workers’ compensation is very valuable to personal injury victims. The following details some of the benefits you can collect from workers’ compensation:
- Wage benefits: Lost wages often represent the most significant cost of a work-related injury. Workers’ compensation in Georgia covers up to two-thirds of your average weekly wages. Workers’ compensation determines what that amount is by calculating your average salary from the previous 13 weeks. However, the total amount covered is up to $575 per week.
- Medical benefits: Your injuries represent a significant source as well. However, you should never receive a bill. Workers’ compensation medical benefits cover the costs of hospital stays, physical therapy, and more. There should be no deductible for these services. Your workers’ compensation insurance company should pay all of your expenses directly.
A Workers' Compensation Attorney Can Help You Apply or Appeal a Denial
Workers’ compensation is valuable to anyone who suffers an injury at the workplace. It certainly provides a nice safety net for any victims of workplace injury. Unfortunately, recovering these benefits can be difficult. Workers' compensation insurers want to save as much money as possible. In some cases, this may lead to your employer's insurer wrongfully denying your claim. A workers' compensation attorney can help you fight for the benefits you deserve.
Call Now for a Free ConsultationIf you were injured on the job, we encourage you to reach out to S. Burke Law. Whether you simply want to know what your options are, or believe you have a strong personal injury case, we are here to listen to you. Our team prides itself on representing Atlanta’s citizens to the best of our abilities. And we commit ourselves to that by offering potential clients free consultations. We want you to know all your options and lay out all the facts before collecting money. Reach us at 404-842-7838 for your free consultation.