Many employees assume they will be safe at work, and do not even think of a falling object as a possibility. But occupational hazards do exist, and people are extremely vulnerable, especially on construction sites. The heavier the object, the more damage it can cause if it falls on an employee.
If someone has been hurt in this way, they may require extensive medical care and miss time away from work. In more severe cases, they may be left unable to work or care for themselves permanently. Fortunately, Georgia enacted laws to help injured workers with their medical bills and lost wages, although applying for these benefits can be daunting and complex.
Companies with at least three employees must obtain workers’ compensation insurance benefitting workers who are injured on the job. Your medical bills could be taken care of, and depending on the severity of your injury, permanent or partial disability payments could be included. The key to being awarded benefits is to follow all the rules—and a Gainesville falling objects injury lawyer could help ensure you do. Contact Smith Hulsey today to discuss your unique case with a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney.
The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) reported that in one recent year, 5,333 deaths occurred from injuries on the job. Being struck by a falling object is among its “Fatal Four,” along with falls, electrocution, and being crushed by equipment.
Countless more are injured and require extensive medical and rehabilitative care. Although these accidents trend with construction workers, others who work in factories, warehouses, and the oil and gas industry are also at an increased risk. Some common reasons behind falling object accidents are:
Generally, when objects fall, the first contact is with someone’s head. This can lead to traumatic brain injuries, paralysis, and concussions. An employee should first seek emergency medical help, even if they do not believe they are badly hurt. Head trauma can manifest itself hours later as the brain swells.
The next thing to do is notify a supervisor. Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws give an employee 30 days to report an accident, which the employer must document.
The third thing to do is contact a Gainesville attorney who is familiar with falling object injuries to navigate the claims process.
Employees may wonder what benefits are available under workers’ compensation insurance. As long as an employee’s injuries are job-related, employers cover medical care, generally from a list of doctors authorized by the insurance system. However, an employee will benefit from seeing their primary care physician if the insurer tries to deny a claim. Accrued mileage and travel-related expenses are also reimbursed.
Employees well enough to perform light duty may be granted temporary partial disability to make up for any difference in wages. If they are temporarily incapacitated and cannot perform even light duty, temporary total disability can be granted to provide two-thirds of the employee’s weekly wages.
Once an employee is no longer receiving temporary partial or total disability benefits, permanent partial disability may kick in to compensate the worker for impairment that happened on the job and is not expected to get any better.
Workers’ compensation also pays death benefits to the spouse and children of employees who are fatally injured on the job. These benefits cover funeral and burial expenses and offer the family financial security by replacing some wages lost when the employee was killed. For more detailed information about workers’ compensation in Gainesville, speak with a local falling objects injury attorney to discuss a particular case.
Workers’ compensation should be a comfort to employees, but it is often frustrating, too. Employers may minimize your injuries because they do not want their insurance cost to go up, and many insurers are more interested in profits than people, frivolously denying adequate claims.
This is where we come in. Our team at Smith Hulsey is dedicated to helping you pursue the benefits you deserve after a falling objects injury. Call our firm today to schedule a confidential consultation with a seasoned Gainesville falling objects injury lawyer.
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