Workplace injuries are scary. Injuries lead to expensive medical bills. They also can cause the person to miss work, leading to lost wages. An injury also can cause financial hardship. Fortunately, employers must have workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation helps injured employees. This is good news, but it is also limiting. The workers’ compensation insurance will provide payouts to employees. The payouts are for medical bills, lost wages, and disability benefits. In turn, the employee cannot file a lawsuit against the employer for their injuries. At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Macon, GA, we can help you through the workers’ compensation process. Read on to learn about 3 ways we can help.
What is Workers’ Compensation?
First of all, what is workers’ compensation? Workers’ compensation laws cover employers. Employers in Georgia must carry workers’ compensation insurance. This means that if an employee sustains injuries at work, they will receive payouts from their company’s insurance. These payouts are to cover medical bills, lost wages, and permanent disability benefits. An employee will only receive benefits until they are determined to be permanent and stationary, meaning they are not getting better but are also not getting worse. Payouts will not be given for pain and suffering.
In addition, workers’ compensation laws prohibit an employee from filing a lawsuit related to their injury. There are several circumstances where a separate lawsuit may be necessary. At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, a lawyer will review your case in detail and help you determine whether it is possible to file a separate case.
A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Macon, GA Will Help You Determine Who is Responsible
First, your lawyer will determine who was responsible for the accident. Often, injuries occur at the workplace but are not actually the fault of the employer. For example, an independent contractor comes into the office to replace some tiling on the stairs. He doesn’t do a great job and when you are walking down the stairs later, one of the tiles comes loose. This causes you to slip and fall down a flight of stairs, severely injuring your back and neck. Your medical bills are astronomical and you can’t work for 3 months due to the injury. It’s not technically your employer’s fault. What can you do?
Since the incident occurred at your office, you are still eligible for workers’ compensation. But since it was not directly your employer’s fault, you can additionally file for a civil lawsuit against the contractor. This is known as a third-party action. This lawsuit can bring payment for economic and non-economic damages. As a result, it can get complicated since your employer’s insurance might try to get reimbursement for the sums expended on your behalf. This is known as a lien. As your lawyer, our goal is to provide defense during the civil lawsuit. Also, we aim to maximize damages received for recovery and reduce any liens. At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Macon, GA, we are here to help you every step of the way.
When Else Can I Sue?
Workers’ compensation laws do not allow employees to sue their employer after a workplace injury occurs. While this is almost always true, there are a couple of exceptions. If the employer hurts you on purpose, you can sue. For example, during an argument, your boss gets upset and throws a stapler at you, severely injuring your eye. While intentional injury seems unthinkable, it does happen. In this case, you can sue your employer.
In Georgia, employers are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance. As lawyers, we know that unfortunately, not everyone follows the law. What happens if your employer doesn’t have workers’ compensation? Or what if their workers’ compensation is insufficient to handle claims? In this case, employees have the right to sue. Our goal is to make sure you get the damages you deserve. An injury that occurs at work is both physically and mentally tough. While damages and lawsuits won’t make things better, they will at least put you in a more comfortable financial situation.
A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Macon, GA
At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, a workers’ compensation lawyer in Macon, GA, we have years of experience helping clients with workers’ compensation. In general, workers’ compensation laws prohibit employees from suing their employer. The company’s insurance will pay the injured party for the medical bills, lost wages, and disability benefits up to a certain point. After that, there is typically not much an employee can do.
However, there are several cases where separate civil lawsuits can be filed due to extenuating circumstances. For example, if the injury was caused by a third party other than the employer, you have the right to sue that person for damages. In addition, if your employer intentionally caused the injury, you have the right to sue. Finally, if your company has broken the law and has insufficient or no workers’ compensation insurance, you have the right to sue.
At Reynolds, Horne & Survant, we sit down with our clients and learn every detail about their situation. Through questioning and analysis, we determine if another lawsuit is possible due to the circumstances. If you or a loved one have been injured at work, don’t wait another moment. Contact us today and start the process to understand what types of lawsuits and payouts are available to you. For more information and to set up a consultation appointment, contact us today.