Articles Posted in Workers Compensation

Recently, a Georgia appellate court issued an opinion in a lawsuit stemming from injuries a man suffered while working on a homeowner’s property. According to the court’s opinion, the homeowner owned and operated a contracting, framing, and remodeling business. The plaintiff worked for the defendant’s company. On some occasions, the employer offered his employees an opportunity to perform tasks on his personal property, to earn extra money. This work was “completely separate” from their work for the company and was performed for the homeowner’s personal benefits.

On the occasion giving rise to the claim, another employee asked the owner if he could perform some tasks at his home on the upcoming Saturday. The owner agreed and paid the employee. The employee then asked the plaintiff if he wanted to make extra money by assisting him with the tasks; the plaintiff agreed. On the day of the incident, the homeowner left his residence while both the employee and plaintiff worked at his home. The employee told the plaintiff that the homeowner asked him to trim the fence and burn the brush. The employee began to spread gasoline to begin the fire; however, the brush blew up like an explosion and burned the plaintiff’s skin off.

The plaintiff filed a claim against the homeowner, arguing, that the homeowner was negligent for failing to supervise the brush burning, having gasoline on his property, not training the plaintiff as to the proper use of the gasoline, and not training the other employee on how to use or supervise the brush burning. Additionally, the plaintiff claimed that the owner was responsible for the employee under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

Earlier this month, the state’s appellate court issued a written opinion in a Georgia car accident case requiring the court to discuss the fireman’s rule. Ultimately, the court concluded that the defendant’s allegedly negligent actions were both the cause of the incident necessitating the plaintiff’s presence at the scene as well as the cause of the plaintiff’s accident. As a result, the court determined that the fireman’s rule precluded the plaintiff’s recovery.

The Facts of the Case

On the day of the accident, a motorist was traveling on a Georgia highway when he lost control after encountering a patch of grass clippings that had become wet and slick after a rainstorm. The motorist’s vehicle slid off the road, rolled over, and then came to a stop in a roadside ditch. The motorist called 911 for assistance.

The plaintiff received the radio call for assistance and sped to the scene, traveling at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. The plaintiff unfastened his safety belt so that he could more quickly exit his vehicle upon arrival, but as his vehicle encountered the same patch of wet grass clippings, he lost control. The plaintiff’s patrol car veered off the road and struck a tree, severely injuring the plaintiff.

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Earlier this month, an appellate court issued an opinion in a Georgia car accident case, raising the question of whether the accident victim was entitled to compensation from his own insurance carrier under the underinsured motorist clause of the insurance policy. The court ultimately determined that, although the insurance contract clearly prevented the plaintiff from being compensated given the specific facts of the case, that clause was unenforceable because it was contrary to Georgia’s Underinsured Motorist statute.

The Facts of the Case

The plaintiff was injured in a serious car accident. The plaintiff filed a personal injury case against the other driver. However, the plaintiff soon realized that the other driver did not have adequate insurance to compensate him for the injuries he sustained in the accident. The plaintiff received $25,000 from the other driver’s insurance company.

The plaintiff, who was employed at the time of the accident, also obtained workers’ compensation benefits in the amount of nearly $200,000. However, these benefits provided a weekly benefit that was less than what the plaintiff was normally earning, and they did not include any compensation for pain and suffering or future medical expenses. Thus, the plaintiff was still owed compensation for his lost wages as well as compensation for his pain and suffering and future medical expenses.

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In Georgia, and in most other states, generally, when your are injured on the job your only remedy is for benefits under the applicable workers compensation laws.  In Georgia, this is known as the exclusive remedy doctrine.  The benefit of this doctrine to injured workers is that they do not have to prove that a party was negligent in order to be compensated.  Proving negligence can be very difficult in some cases.  Rather, they simply need to prove that they were working and while working, were injured.  The downside to workers compensation’s exclusive remedy is that a workers’ recoverable damages are limited.  For example, an injured worker is not entitled to receive compensation for pain and suffering or punitive damages.    Continue reading ›

The Georgia Court of Appeals has held that when a temp worker is randomly shot and killed by another temp worker at the employer’s facility, Georgia’s exclusive remedy provision of the workers compensation act applies.  This means that the only legal remedy the family of the deceased employee is entitled to is workers’ compensation death benefits.  Such death benefits are payable to the surviving minor children until they are no longer minors and/or to a dependent surviving spouse.

In this case, the mother of the worker who was killed sued the employer in negligence for failing to perform a reasonable background check on the man who killer her son.  The facts on appeal showed that the assailant applied for work with the staffing company and used a false name, false picture identification and also failed to completely fill out the application for employment.   Continue reading ›

Workers’ compensation can be a tricky field to navigate on your own. If you have been injured on the job, you may find yourself with more questions than answers, or wondering what steps to take next. At McAleer Law, we handle Workers’ Compensation cases in Georgia and would like to provide you with some answers to common Workers’ Compensation questions.
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Georgia, like all states, has a workers’ compensation law. These laws are intended to help employees who are injured on the job get the help they need.

While this sounds great in theory, the process can get complicated without help. The rules need to be both understood and followed for a claim to be successful. When a person suffers a serious injury on the job in Atlanta, it is important for them to consult with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer. The first consultation is free. During this meeting, the injured gets some very helpful advice from our team at McAleer Law while it is decided if the case merits legal representation.
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It is a tragedy to lose any loved one, but in our Atlanta workers’ compensation law firm’s experience, it is especially tragic to lose a loved one to a construction accident that potentially could have been avoided.

The Fatal Four

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the top four most common accidents ultimately caused 54.2 percent of construction worker deaths in 2012. These “fatal four” causes of death include:
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Although the number of workplace injuries has fallen since 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the risk of injury or illness remains high for employees in air transportation, public sector construction, nursing homes, and some other jobs.

If you were injured while on the job, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the severity of your injury, your employer could be held liable for lost wages, medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and benefits to your dependents.

Take these steps after a workplace injury to ensure your claim is properly established:

A Colorado jury awarded a truck driver $ 10 million for injuries she experienced after a fall in a metro-Denver Wal-Mart parking lot.

While making a store delivery, Holly Averty slipped on grease and ice near the truck ramp, according to ABC of Denver . Averty injured her back, requiring three surgeries and medical bills of almost $500,000. Due to the cost of medical bills and her inability to work, her truck was repossessed.

To learn more about personal injury cases please visit McAleer Law .

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