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If You Were Injured on the Job, You May Be Entitled to More Than Just Workers’ Comp

Posted on - Tuesday, October 6, 2015 under Workers Compensation

Many folks believe that if they’ve suffered an on-the-job injury, filing a claim for workers’ compensation benefits may be their only way of getting their medical bills paid and their lost earnings replaced. Most of the time, those folks are right. Sometimes, however, injured workers may be able to file a civil lawsuit for damages against parties other than their employer.

As does every other state, Georgia has a separate system for addressing the claims and needs of those who have been injured on the job. Workers’ compensation programs as designed have two primary goals:

  • Getting injured workers the compensation and resources they need to recover sooner rather than later, and
  • Protecting employers from endless lawsuits arising out of workplace injuries.

The way workers’ comp attempts to provide for workers is by allowing workers to make claims for injuries and recover benefits without having to go through the lengthy process of filing a personal injury lawsuit, including having to prove that their employer was at fault for the accident. But the trade-off for sparing workers from having to file a lawsuit and prove causation is that workers are generally prohibited from suing their employers in court for work-related injuries.

The problem for many injured workers is that workers’ compensation benefits may not cover all of the costs of their medical treatment and rehabilitation needs or otherwise be enough to support themselves and their families while they remain unable to work. Additionally, other damages that might have been available in a civil lawsuit, such as compensation for pain and suffering, are unavailable for workers’ compensation claims.

But injured workers may have claims for damages against individuals and companies other than their employer in the following situations:

  • The injury was caused by a defective or unreasonably dangerous machine or piece of equipment in the workplace. In such cases, the manufacturer of the machine could be held responsible.
  • Similarly, the manufacturer of a toxic substance could be sued if the substance was the cause of the injury.
  • If a third-party, such as the driver of another car or the owner of property you were at during the course of your employment, is at fault for your accident, damages may be recoverable from them.

If you’ve suffered a work injury, please give me a call at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today. I represent injured workers both in workers’ compensation cases as well as claims against any third-parties who may have been responsible for your injuries. I look forward to assisting you.