What Are My Rights if I am Injured on the job?

If you have been injured on the job, it is likely that your employer has workers’ compensation, which you are entitled to. Understanding your legal rights are very important as you begin the process of recovery, filing a workers’ compensation claim, and ensuring that you are awarded what you are rightfully owed for your injury. Read more below about your rights if you have been injured on the job in the state of Georgia, whether your employer was at fault for negligence, or if it was a simple accident that led to an injury. Regardless, your rights as an employee will be covered under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.

What Are My Rights?

The process of filing a claim for workers’ compensation can vary depending on the extent of your injuries, the line of employment you are in, and more. But regardless of the actual process, your rights do not vary much from if you were to have suffered a personal injury, barring a few things. When you are injured, you are rightly able to leave the workplace to seek medical attention. In addition, you are fully within your legal rights to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Upon approval by your doctor or physician, you have the right to return to your employment. If, though, you are unable to return to work because of long-term or permanent injuries, you additionally have the right to file for long-term disability benefits or permanent compensation. If you feel that you are not receiving fair treatment throughout this process, or that your offers for compensation do not accurately reflect the extent of your financial damages, you have a right to pursue a legal case against the workers’ compensation company and to hire legal counsel.

One thing that you do not have the right to do in a workers’ compensation case is to sue your employer or coworkers for your injuries. Under a workers’ compensation policy, you waive your rights to file a personal injury lawsuit in Atlanta, because workers’ compensation is a tool to protect both workers and employees alike. Only under very specific circumstances, such as if you have proof that your employer maliciously targeted you and caused your injuries, are you able to pursue a case through personal injury law. 

Can I Sue a Third Party?

Even though you have waived your right to sue your employer or coworkers for your injuries on the job, you may be able to sue third parties in certain circumstances. If, for instance, you were on a job site but was injured by the employee of another company, this will fall outside the scope of your employers workers’ compensation policy, and will add additional complications to your process of recovering financial damages. In addition to the possibility of being injured by an employee of a different company, you may have suffered injuries because of a faulty or defective piece of equipment that was manufactured by a third party. Please note that this is not the same as having a ladder break while you are standing on it because your employer didn’t replace one that was old — in the case of the ladder, it would require that the ladder was defective upon purchase and your injuries resulted from the defect.

Do I Need a Lawyer?

If your workers’ compensation case is a simple process, you may be able to simply file and collect your compensation. If, though, there are complications to the process, such as the involvement of a third party, if your employer attempts to block your claim, or if the process is requiring more information than you are able to provide, it may be extremely beneficial to hire legal counsel. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, or submit your case information right on the website.

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