Our country thrives because of the efforts put in by our nation’s workforce. No matter the industry and no matter the job title, all workers deserve a safe workplace; however, unfortunately not all job sites are concerned with worker safety. While you might think it can never happen to you, 2.4 million workers sustained work-related injuries and were treated in emergency departments in 2019 alone, making workers’ accidents a serious concern for both employer and employee.
When someone is injured on the job, workers’ compensation may be one avenue of financial recourse, but there may also be more ways to recover from additional responsible parties. Speaking with a work injury lawyer in Georgia can inform injured workers about their legal rights, help them determine which parties can be held legally responsible for their accident, and give them guidance about what to expect during the claims process in the aftermath of a potentially devastating workplace injury or illness. A Marietta injury lawyer can help workers with a claim and/or case advice.
Steps To Take After Being Injured at Work
The most important thing to do after being injured at work is to seek out medical attention to evaluate your condition. Not all injuries are visibly apparent and the rush of adrenaline after getting hurt can also mask some of your pain; this is one reason why seeking medical help immediately is so important. Another reason to be evaluated by medical professionals is to show that your injuries were caused by the workplace incident. If you wait too long, insurance companies, your employer, and other responsible parties will argue that an intervening cause – or something else – actually caused your injuries and that they did not result from the accident, which can cause you to lose some or all value in your personal injury case.
In addition, a worker should take the following steps after sustaining a work injury:
- Inform your employer and/or supervisor of the incident
- Document your injuries yourself in a notebook and/or with pictures and video
- Follow your doctor’s recommended course of medical care and treatment for your injuries
- Maintain all receipts for charges and expenses incurred as a result of the work injury
- Contact a personal injury lawyer about your claims for help with your case
Common Causes of Workplace Injury
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the three top causes of work-related injuries treated in an emergency department were contact with objects and equipment, overexertion (from activities such as lifting, pushing, and carrying), and slips, trips, and falls. A more thorough list of the common causes of work injuries includes:
- Toxic exposure: Employees can experience nausea, headaches, memory loss, diarrhea, rashes, dizziness, shortness of breath, and other medical side effects after coming into contact with toxic, dangerous chemicals on the job. Common hazardous substances workers can be exposed to include asbestos, benzene, vinyl chloride, mercury, ammonia, carbon monoxide, hydrochloric acid, and more.
- Overexertion: The second most common cause of on-the-job injuries, overexertion occurs when a worker pushes themselves too hard while lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing objects. Overexertion injuries can also be caused by stepping into a hole or working in a hot environment.
- Falls, slips, and trips: Same-level falls can happen anywhere and to anyone at work, which is why they’re so common. Anything from a wet floor to something left on the ground can cause people to trip or slip. Falling from a height, such as from a ladder, can cause major injuries and even death. Workers can also slip and trip without a fall if the workplace is not properly maintained with appropriate safety materials.
- Transportation accidents: Workplace vehicle crashes occur approximately once every four minutes. These accidents can include all types of motorized vehicles, such as trucks, forklifts, and more. A transportation incident can involve the driver, a passenger, or even a pedestrian.
- Fatigue: Taking adequate breaks is important to help workers recover from the stress of manual labor and other heavy work. Not doing so can cause physical consequences and approximately 13 percent of workplace accidents every year are caused by worker fatigue.
- Struck by object or equipment: Being struck by a falling object or a piece of equipment is a top cause of construction industry fatalities. Most – 96 percent of – nonfatal struck by injuries are caused by falling or flying objects or equipment.
- Caught in or crushed: An employee can suffer a body part being crushed by or caught in heavy machinery or equipment at work or between two heavy objects. Employees in construction, factories, industrial workers, and others who operate or work around heavy machinery are at a high risk of these types of accidents.
Common Types of Work Injuries
Any number of work injuries can happen on the job in a variety of accidents, including injuries to all parts of the human body. The most common workplace injuries workers can suffer include:
- Head injuries
- Brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Lower extremity injuries
- Crush injuries that require amputation
Regardless of the cause or the severity of your work injury, after being injured on the job, you should speak to a personal injury lawyer to get high-level counseling from a professional with experience handling a case like yours.
Work Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you use a lawyer for my claim after a workplace accident?
After any personal injury, but especially after a workplace injury, a lawyer can be of unmatched help to workers. If you believe you have a claim for negligence after being hurt at work, the insurance companies involved, the corporate entities and their employees who can be held responsible, and even the court will be better able to handle your case and take it more seriously if you have a lawyer involved. A lawyer knows how to navigate the court system and can ensure all appropriate documents are filed on time and ensure the best possible case is put forward on your behalf, regardless of whether you go to trial or reach a settlement.
How will I pay for my medical bills after my injuries?
Work accidents cause injuries. If your employer was responsible for the damages, workers’ compensation may pay for all or some of your medical bills. If another party was also responsible, they may be held liable for medical costs as well. An experienced injury attorney can help you with your case and ensure all of your medical bills and expenses are paid by those responsible for causing them in the first place.
If I don’t know who is responsible for my workplace injury, how can I get compensation?
Most injury workplace injury victims aren’t sure who is really at fault for their accident, even if they think they are. Workplaces and job sites are complex hubs that are home to employees, contractors, consultants, government officials, and more. Mapping out, investigating, and navigating the complex web of liability – or legal responsibility – is best managed by an experienced personal injury attorney.
Can I still file a claim against my employer if I receive workers’ compensation benefits?
Workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy an injured employee has against their employer for damages resulting from a work-related injury or illness. This means you can’t also file a lawsuit against the same employer for damages in addition to workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are often other, additional individuals and businesses that caused or contributed to a workplace accident. Legally, we call these “third parties” and an attorney can help you investigate whether any third parties can be held responsible in your case and take legal action against them.
Work With a Georgia Injury Attorney
If you have been injured at work, an injury attorney can help you recover physically, mentally, and financially. A workplace injury claim can be complex and involve multiple liable parties, so you should not take your chances on your case by handling things yourself with an insurance company or your employer. Contact the experienced personal injury lawyer Chanel Payne today to discuss your on-the-job injury claims so we can help you.