In Georgia and throughout the country, employers are expected to provide their employees with a reasonably safe work environment. Unfortunately, accidents can happen even in relatively safe workplaces. That is why the workers’ compensation system exists, and injured employees in Georgia need to know their options for getting all the workers’ comp benefits they deserve.
Facts And Figures
According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance, workers’ comp claims for motor vehicle accidents led to the highest cost, in terms of lost work time, for claims filed in 2017 and 2018. This was followed by burns and slips/falls at No. 2 and 3, respectively.
While vehicle accidents, burns and falls often keep employees out of work, other types of injuries tend to result in significantly larger claims: for example, amputations. In terms of lost work time, the cost associated with this type of injury averaged $109,926 per workers’ compensation claim in 2017 and 2018. Keep in mind that this amount is from a lost-work-time perspective — and not necessarily for the entire cost of the injury for the worker. While $110,000 might seem like a lot of money, the reality is that an amputation can affect every part of a person’s life, and the combination of lost wages, medical expenses and the cost of physical and emotional suffering may be much higher, depending on the facts of the case.
A Note About Amputations, Diabetes And Work Injuries
A large amount of the population suffers from diabetes, and people with diabetes are prone to foot infections when ulcerated sores get infected. This can lead to amputation of toes, a partial foot, an entire foot or even a partial or total amputation of the leg. If a worker suffers a cut or blister to their foot as a result of wearing too-tight work boots, or if the shoes irritate the toes, or if actual trauma to the foot occurs while working, an infection could result, leading to an amputation, especially if the worker is diabetic. The amputation may be covered under workers’ compensation, which could mean a large monetary recovery for the loss of limb.
Know Your Rights
Remember, employees have rights when it comes to the workers’ compensation process. These include the right to file a claim, the right to seek medical treatment, the right to disability compensation if you cannot come back to work, and the right to an attorney throughout the workers’ compensation process.
A work-related accident may seem straightforward to you, but your employer might want to fight your claim. It’s important to note that it is not necessary to show negligence or fault to collect workers’ comp benefits. If your claim is denied, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you with the appeal process. For more on protecting your rights, please see our Georgia workers’ compensation FAQ.