Workplace Injury and Seeking Compensation: A Comprehensive Guide

Workplace Injury and Seeking Compensation: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’ve been injured at work, you might be wondering if your injury qualifies as ‘work-related.’ Work-related accidents refer to injuries, illnesses, or conditions that happen during your employment and are connected to your job duties while at work.

In this blog, we will detail what qualifies as a workplace injury, the latest stats on workplace injury incidents, what you are entitled to, your rights, and the process of seeking workers’ compensation.

What Are Workplace Injuries?

To understand what counts as a work-related injury, it’s important to consider the work environment. This includes where you work as part of your job, the equipment you use, and any tasks you perform on behalf of your employer.

For instance, injuries that happen at the workplace, including company-owned vehicles or during work-related events like parties, are usually considered work-related and may be covered by workers’ compensation. However, accidents that occur during personal activities outside of work responsibilities typically aren’t covered.

Types of Workplace Injuries

These types of injuries fall into three categories: physical injuries, occupational illnesses, and repetitive stress injuries.

  • Physical injuries are the most common type of work-related accident, such as injuries from lifting heavy objects, accidents caused by machinery, or slips and falls.
  • Occupational illnesses are conditions that develop or worsen due to job duties, like contracting a disease in a healthcare setting or developing respiratory issues from exposure to dust or fumes in a factory.
  • Repetitive stress injuries, like carpal tunnel syndrome, can occur from performing the same task repeatedly over time, especially in physically demanding roles.

What Qualifies as a Workplace Injury?

By being aware of what constitutes a work-related injury and taking necessary precautions in the workplace, you can protect yourself and ensure your well-being while on the job.

Accidents during your commute to or from work are usually not considered work-related unless you were on a work-related task at the time, like traveling for a work meeting.

There are also situations where an accident in the workplace might not be considered work-related, such as if it happened during a voluntary activity, medical check-up, or while performing personal tasks unrelated to work during non-working hours.

It’s essential to understand the criteria for work-related injuries to ensure you receive the appropriate support and benefits. If you’re unsure about whether your injury qualifies, consulting with an expert workplace injury attorney can provide guidance and help you navigate legal complexities.

Key Statistics for Workplace Injuries in Recent Years

  • Workplace accidents caused the death of 193 people in Georgia in 2020. Although it came down from the year before, even one workplace death is too many.
  • Nationwide, 4,764 people died in workplace accidentsin 2020.
  • In 2021, there were 5,190 fatal workplace injuries in the country.
  • Nationwide, a total of 5,486 fatal work injuries were recorded in 2022. It is a 5.7% increase from 2021, according to the results from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).

Reporting Workplace Injuries: What Holds One Back

Employees often face barriers or misconceptions when it comes to addressing workplace injuries. Overcoming these obstacles is essential to encourage timely engagement and ensure awareness of your rights and responsibilities.

  • Fear of Reprisal

Some employees fear retaliation from their employers or colleagues if they report workplace injuries. It’s important to stress that Georgia state law safeguards you from retaliation for reporting injuries or asserting injury-related rights. Employers cannot legally penalize or discriminate against you for exercising your rights.

  • Considering Minor Injuries as Trivial

Certain employees believe minor injuries don’t require reporting, especially if they think the injury will heal quickly. However, it’s vital to recognize that even seemingly minor injuries warrant prompt attention. Minor injuries can escalate, and reporting ensures you receive the necessary medical care and documentation.

  • Concerns about Job Security

Employees may worry that reporting an injury could jeopardize their job security. Georgia state law protects your employment rights, and reporting an injury shouldn’t endanger your job. Reporting actually protects your rights and ensures that you get the necessary support for recovery.

  • Delayed Reporting

At times, employees hesitate to report injuries due to uncertainty about whether the injury qualifies as work-related. This guide can provide clarity on what constitutes a work-related injury. You can save this for future reference. Reporting is encouraged even if you are unsure about eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.

  • Perception of Reporting as a Hassle

Some employees see reporting as cumbersome and a long-drawn-out process. The benefits of prompt reporting are several, such as quicker access to medical care and compensation. Reporting is a simple process designed to protect your well-being and interests.

Workplace Injury Compensation: Know Your Rights

  • In Georgia, injured workers have the right to get workers’ compensation benefits
  • Employers must provide medical treatment and pay wages for on-the-job injuries.
  • If a workplace injury causes permanent disability or disfigurement, the employer is bound to compensate for the damages.
  • Serious cases of workplace injury may get extra benefits like vocational rehab or survivor benefits.
  • Employers can’t fire or discriminate against workers filing for workplace injury compensation.

Workplace Injury Compensation: Protect Your Rights

  • Report Promptly: Tell your employer about the injury within 30 days, but it’s better to do it as soon as you can. Write a report if you initially told them verbally. Keep a copy for yourself.
  • Follow Employer Guidelines: If you can, use approved treatment providers from your employer’s list. Get immediate medical help if your injuries are serious.
  • Cooperate with Medical Tests: After the injury, there might be drug tests during medical exams. Take them if possible.
  • Keep Records: Save all copies of medical records, witness statements and other important documents related to your claim.
  • Talk to an Attorney: Before giving detailed statements or answering questions, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney. This protects your rights and helps you explore options. Additionally, having experts on workplace injury helps you navigate the matter much better.

For professional help with your workers’ compensation claim, reach out to Karell Trial Attorneys. They can guide you through the process and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

If you get hurt at work, you have rights to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits help with money and medical care while you heal. However, the workers’ comp system can be hard to understand. Dealing with insurance, bills, lost pay and legal stuff can be confusing. At Karell Trial Attorneys, we focus on helping injured workers. We work to get you the compensation you rightfully deserve. Get in touch with us today by calling (678) 999-3331 or filling out our online contact form.

Karell Trial Attorneys