Injury in the workplace: who bears the responsibility in Macon GA?
For a Workers Comp attorney in Macon GA, it is not unusual to get a call about something like this below. Please, do NOT negotiate with the insurance company or your employer until you speak with a qualified workers compensation lawyer in Macon GA.
Friday, 4 pm, As usual, traffic on the highway is very dense. Jude, editor for several years within the company Example COM, returns from the work meeting in the company car. A moment of inattention from Jude causes a collision involving the company’s vehicle. This is, fortunately, a minor accident and the liability insurance company Example LIC covers the resulting damage. Example COM must nevertheless pay a deductible of $ 1000.-. Who should bear this cost? Can Example COM Company hold the employee responsible for the traffic accident and deduct the amount of Jude’s salary deductible?
What if Jude is actually injured in the accident? Who is responsible to cover those costs?
One may want to ask “are all the workers in Macon, Georgia, entitled to workers’ compensation welfares if they have a job-related injury?”
The answer is No. There are certain classes of workforces who are not protected by the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act. These general categories of labor force are:
- Employees of an employer who has less than three employees recurrently working for him;
- S. government employees;
- Independent contractors.
- Most railroad employees;
- Domestic helps; and
- Farm laborers;
What is The responsibility of employees: slight negligence or gross negligence of employees in Macon, Georgia?
As part of the assessment, it is first necessary to make a distinction in terms of the behavior of the employee.
If he does not pay attention to something he should have paid attention to after reflection, it is slight negligence. In this case, the damage caused can be passed on to the employee at most to a symbolic extent.
On the other hand, if the employee fails to observe basic safety requirements that any reasonable person would not have failed to observe in his situation – this is gross negligence – or if he intentionally causes the injury, he answers for all the damage.
When no light or serious negligence is established, the liability lies somewhat in between (average negligence). The general rule is this: in the case of mild to moderate negligence, up to one month’s salary may be required to cover the damage.
Employee responsibility: individual factors
In a second step, certain additional factors, such as the general occupational risk, the level of training, the technical knowledge and the concrete qualities of the employee, but also the amount of his salary and the employee’s instructed and monitored by the employer and, if so, to what extent. The trade, training and technical knowledge of the employee, therefore, play a particularly important role in the assessment. Taking these individual factors into account can result in only a small fraction of the costs being passed on to the employee, or even being totally exempted.
In our example, Jude does not incur any costs if, for example, he has only exceeded the speed limit of 5 mph or if he has committed only a minor and excusable driving error (slight negligence). And that he is also a reliable and long-time employee. If he writes an SMS while driving or drunk driving, he must bear the entire deductible, so far as his behavior is grossly negligent. However, if Jude’s salary is below average, this element would be taken into account and he would have to bear only part of the costs resulting from the damage, even if he was guilty of gross negligence.
If Example COM wishes to claim all or part of the franchise from Jude, it is important that it does so in the wake of the next salary payment. Indeed, if the salary is paid in full as usual without any mention or deduction, we can then assume that the company Example COM waives the claim. In certain circumstances, it is no longer possible to make a subsequent claim, especially in the event of termination of the employment relationship in the interval or after the expiration of the general limitation period of ten years.
It should also be noted, especially in cases of significant damage by the employee, that the employer cannot withhold the full salary. The legal requirements provide that at least the employee is always paid a minimum income. In such a case, it is useful to provide the employee, in writing, with the calculation of the amount of the damage accompanied by future salary deductions.
Knowing that the responsibility of the employee is highly dependent on the specific circumstances and that in case of disputes, the courts have a lot of room for maneuver in their decision, it is wise, especially in the presence of significant damage, to ask beforehand a bit of legal advice from law firms in Macon, GA so as not to lose any rights.
It should also be noted that any agreement that provides for a lump sum liability of the employee is outlawed. A discussion of employee responsibility cannot be avoided in this way.
A new grouping of injury has been produced by the Georgia legislature. A “catastrophic injury” is an injury that occurs on and after July 1, 1992, and involves any of the following:
- Amputation of an arm, hand, foot or leg;
- Second or third degree burns over 25% of the body or third degree burns over 5% or more of the face or hands;
- Spinal cord injury with severe paralysis;
- Severe brain injury;
- Any other wound severe enough to inhibit the member of staff from doing almost any work; and
- Total or developed blindness.
When Can You File For a Worker’s Compensation Claim?
A worker’s compensation claim in Macon GA entitles you to lost wages during time off from work, medical care, and permanent disability benefits in case of lifelong injury. You are allowed to file for a worker’s compensation claim as soon as you are subject to any form of injury on the job or have come down with sickness as a result of your job. In fact, file for worker’s compensation insurance as soon as you join the job. Don’t wait till an injury/sickness comes along. Doing this may put you at a disadvantage – the insurance carrier may deny paying you your compensation . If you wait out too long between the time of injury/sickness and the time of claiming for worker’s compensation, the insurance carrier may suspect that your claim isn’t legitimate. The process becomes even more complicated when the illness/injury develops over time.
In order to file a worker’s compensation claim in Macon GA, you have first to notify your employer of your personal injury/work-related illness. Details of this injury/illness should be provided along with a list of witnesses if a specific workplace incident caused it. Most states allow a thirty-day time period from the date of injury/illness within which you can make this notification.
How to file for a worker’s compensation claim?
When you’ve already reported your illness/injury to your employer, he/she will provide you with forms that you’ll need to fill up. These are forms that they’ll need to forward to the insurance agency and the state worker’s compensation agency.
The state worker’s compensation agency can help with these forms and the information you’ll require to fill them up if your employer refuses to cooperate.
What happens next?
Once the forms reach the insurance company, they start their investigation into your claim and try to verify its credibility before they approve/deny it. You should expect to be notified of their decision between 2-4 weeks of filing the claim. If they fail to do so, their inaction will be considered as approval.
If your claim is approved, then you’ll begin to receive the benefits promised by the worker’s compensation insurance scheme. If your claim meets disapproval then you can choose to appeal this decision.
It’s important to note that requesting the services of a trained worker’s compensation attorney can help strengthen your claim in many ways, right from gathering evidence to negotiating with the insurance company, all the way to representing you in court trials. The best bit is that you’ll not have to pay this attorney if you lose. If you win, he/she’ll be entitled to a percentage of your gain.
To sum up
Any state employee who has suffered an injury at work or has come down with a work-related illness can file a claim to receive worker’s compensation. He/she can choose to do so by themselves without enlisting any external help. However, it is recommended that they hire an experienced worker’s compensation lawyer to fight their claim for them to get maximum benefits.
The employee should report the incident at work that led up to the personal injury/illness immediately. Next, they should visit a medical clinic to have this injury/illness verified and treated. He/she should carefully collect and keep arranged any medical reports they receive after. The employee should keep checking up with the employer on the status of their claim from time to time. If the claim gets approved, they’ll be allowed to receive benefits after that. If for any reason, the claim is denied, the employee can appeal this denial with the help of his/her lawyer in Macon GA . The lawyer, so enlisted, will help them prepare for trial.
If you or a loved one who suffer from injury or death at your work premises, the Monk Law Firm may be able to help you get the most out of the compensation which you may be entitled to. Contact us today for a free consultation BEFORE speaking with the insurance company or their attorneys. It is vital that you know your rights, and you need to speak with a Workers Compensation lawyer in Macon GA first.
From our offices in Athens, Georgia, we represent injured victims and their relatives throughout the Athens GA area, the state of Georgia, including Atlanta and Macon GA.
What you need to do after you or a loved one has been involved in a Work Accident with injury or death in Macon GA
If you or someone you love has ben injured, or even killed in a work accident, it is vital that you get professional and knowledgeable help from a law firm that knows how to handle work Accident Injuries in Macon GA as well as personal injury cases in Macon GA, Athens GA and Atlanta GA.
We have been doing this for a long time and know how to advise people on the best course of action. We know when to fight for more, and when to accept an offer. If you accept an offer without legal representation, it may well cost you much more than the attorney would have cost you in the first place.
This is an important time for you and your family. Make sure that you have the information that you need. Reach out to the Monk Law Firm and request a No Cost initial consultation. We will NOT charge you anything out of pocket to represent you. Any fee we earn will come from the settlement that we get for you.
We will always have your best interests at heart. Call or email us today here.