Workplace accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Georgia employees who have been in workplace accidents understand that the injuries sustained can be anywhere from minor to severe and may significantly affect an employee both physically and financially. Workers' compensation typically should cover the costs of the accident so long as the accident took place while at work and while performing the job. However, just as workplace accidents can occur, so can issues with collecting proper compensation from workers' compensation or your employer.
Recently, a man was seriously injured in a work-related accident when a tree he was cutting down fell on him. The man is a DOT contract worker, and works for a tree cutting company. The tree fell on the man, resulting in a collapsed lung and several broken ribs. The worker's wife is worried about her husband's medical bills because she does not believe that the tree cutting business owner has workman's comp insurance. While there seems to be a dispute as to whether the employer has proper insurance, the man's wife cited an instance a few years back where the owner did not pay an employee's medical bills.
Workers' compensation is a state-mandated insurance program that is required by law. An employee who sustained a work-related injury as a result of their employment is compensated for medical expenses, lost wages and, if appropriate, rehabilitation and short or long-term disability. In most cases, employers are required by state law to purchase insurance for their employees. However, some types of workers are not covered by workers' compensation laws, such as but not limited to, volunteers, farmhands, business owners, independent contractors, casual workers, railroad employees or maritime employees. Additionally, depending on the state law, the workers' compensation program may not be enforced on employers with fewer than 3-5 employees.
Being injured at work can have serious consequences both physically and financially. While workers' compensation typically precludes an employee from collecting workers comp and then suing an employer, payments are not always made correctly or in an expedited manner. If you are having trouble collecting workers' compensation, an attorney may be able to assist you in collecting what you are owed.
Source: NewsABC13.com, "Injured Worker Concerned," June 4, 2013