Answers To Your Workers' Comp & Personal Injury Frequently Asked Questions
Doubt, uncertainty, and confusion can quickly cause painful situations to escalate into catastrophic traumas. Personal experience has taught us that when an accident victim allows his concerns to overwhelm his determination for justice, he neither gets relief nor justice. This is why we feel that getting answers to your injury questions are extremely important not only to relieve stress, but also to build a stronger injury claim. Allow us to address your concerns and come see for yourself how a simple answer can make a difference.
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Does there have to be a collision in order for me to recover damages for a pedestrian injury?
No. Contrary to popular belief, a vehicle doesn't actually have to hit you in order for you to be eligible to recover damages for injuries sustained in a pedestrian accident. If you fell or collided with something else while taking evasive action to avoid being struck by a negligent motorist, you may still have a case and be entitled to financial recovery. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case, and help you understand your legal rights and options.
Damages in pedestrian accident cases often include monetary recovery for accident-related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning potential if the accident leaves you unable to work, physical pain, emotional anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and other losses.
Also, thanks to Georgia's comparative fault rules, you may even be entitled to compensation if you were partially responsible for the accident that injured you. Under this legal standard, victims can still recover damages as long as they're less than 50 percent responsible for the accident.
However, their recovery may be reduced to reflect the percentage of fault a judge or jury assigns. For example, if your financial award is $100,000 and you're found to be 10 percent at fault for the accident, your award would be lowered to $90,000. A skilled attorney will help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Let Our Accomplished Attorneys Handle Your Georgia Pedestrian Accident Case
When you're grappling with serious injuries, unscheduled time away from work, and unexpected medical expenses after a devastating pedestrian accident, there's far too much at stake to go it alone. With the dedicated team at Rechtman & Spevak by your side, you don't have to. Our adept personal injury attorneys help accident victims throughout Georgia fight for a fair recovery. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation.
What workers' compensation benefits am I entitled to if my workplace injury resulted in total blindness?
If your Georgia workplace injury resulted in total blindness, you may be entitled to more than the standard workers' compensation benefits. Here's what you need to know about on-the-job eye injuries and vision loss, and how our adept attorneys can help you fight for the maximum workers' comp benefits you deserve.
Workplace eye injuries are a lot more common than most people realize. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 20,000 eye injuries happen on the job each year, many of which require the injured worker to take one or more days off to recover.
Common causes of workplace eye injuries include:
- Sparks or burns
- Flying or falling objects
- Swinging objects, such as ropes or tools
- Chemical exposure
- Dust particles
- Small bits of metal, glass, or other debris
- Radiation exposure
Research shows that 10-to-20 percent of work-related eye injuries lead to blindness. Any serious on-the-job eye injury may entitle you to workers' comp benefits like medical treatment, temporary disability payments, and vocational rehabilitation. However, total blindness is recognized by the State of Georgia as a catastrophic workplace injury and, as a result, you may qualify for additional benefits.
For example, although total disability payments are capped at 400 weeks for most injured workers, individuals with catastrophic injuries such as total blindness can collect these benefits indefinitely—unless they're able to return to work.
If you lost your vision due to a workplace injury, you need a knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney to protect your rights and ensure you receive the appropriate benefits.
Let Our Skilled Georgia Attorneys Handle Your Workers' Comp Claim
Total blindness can turn your entire world upside down. If you suffered an on-the-job eye injury that led to a complete loss of vision, the experienced workers' compensation attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary initial consultation. Don't wait: the time to file a claim is limited.
What are the differences between a criminal case and a civil case against a drunk driver?
Drunk driving is a serious crime that can lead to devastating crashes, injuries, and deaths. When drunk drivers cause accidents, they may face criminal charges for their actions. These charges are brought by public prosecutors for the purpose of holding defendants accountable for breaking the law.
Depending on the circumstances of the crash and the severity of the charges, a drunk driving defendant could face community service, fines,
or even jail or prison time if convicted.
While criminal charges play an important role in the justice system, they do nothing to compensate victims for their losses and make them whole.
That's where civil cases come in. Unlike criminal cases, which are brought by the government against victims accused of crimes, civil cases are brought by victims (or victims' families) against individuals or companies whose negligent or malicious actions resulted in physical, financial, or other damages.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court allows victims of drunk driving accidents to seek compensation for quantifiable economic losses like medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and even the loss of earning capacity if the crash-related injuries are expected to have long-term negative effects on earning potential. Victims can also pursue damages for intangible losses that are more difficult to quantify, such as physical pain and suffering, mental and emotional anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and reduced quality of life.
Let Our Experienced Georgia Attorneys Handle Your Drunk Driving Personal Injury Case
If you were hurt or lost a loved one in a tragic accident caused by a negligent drunk driver, the skilled legal team with Rechtman & Spevak can help you fight for the damages you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to learn about your legal rights and options, how criminal drunk driving charges and convictions can help your civil case, and how working with our accomplished attorneys can help you maximize the value of your claim.
Will workers' compensation benefits cover alternative medicine?
After being hurt on the job, Georgia workers may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits, including medical treatment for the injuries they sustained. Unfortunately, not all types of treatment are covered. The state's workers' compensation law limits coverage to medical treatments that are considered “reasonable and necessary.”
While what constitutes “reasonable and necessary” medical care is debatable, it's generally thought to mean treatment that meets the accepted standard of care for your injury or condition. Emergency room visits, doctors' appointments, basic diagnostic tests, some physical therapy, and prescription pain medication are just a few examples of the types of treatment commonly covered by workers' compensation.
While evidence-based Western medicine is often acceptable, getting coverage for alternative treatments like chiropractic care, acupuncture or acupressure, massage, homeopathy, and biofeedback can be much more difficult. Insurers are often reluctant to pay for even valid treatments, but they're especially resistant to footing the bill for treatments they don't believe are effective.
However, that doesn't necessarily mean that all alternative treatments are out of the question—but it does mean you need high-quality and aggressive legal representation. An experienced Georgia workers' compensation attorney may be able to prove that the desired treatment is, in fact, reasonable and necessary. And if the alternative treatment isn't approved by the insurance company, you can opt to undergo it and pay for it yourself.
Georgia workers' compensation may be a no-fault insurance system, but that doesn't mean you'll receive the maximum benefits to which you're entitled without a fight. Your employer and its insurer want to cut costs—and if you don't have strong legal representation, they may do so at your expense. After a workplace injury, the sooner you involve an attorney in your case, the better.
Consult an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney
At Rechtman & Spevak, our skilled attorneys help injured Georgia workers collect the benefits they deserve. Find out how we can help you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, initial case review.
What do I need to prove to recover damages in a truck accident case?
After a truck accident, you may be seriously injured, unable to work, drowning in mounting expenses, and hoping that your personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit will result in the fair settlement or financial award you so desperately need.
However, in order to collect compensation, you'll have to prove four key points— known as the “elements” of a personal injury case—and present evidence to support your claim for damages.
Here's what you'll have to prove to recover compensation:
- Duty of care. The at-fault party owed you a duty of care. In truck accident cases, this means that the operator, trucking company, or negligent party had a duty to conduct themselves safely to avoid injuring others on the road.
- Breach of duty. The responsible individual or entity breached their duty of care by engaging in behavior that could reasonably cause injury to others.
- Causation. The opposing party's failure to exercise reasonable care caused or substantially contributed to the truck accident in which you were injured.
- Damages. You sustained actual damages as a result of the at-fault person or company's conduct. Damages may include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and disability.
Evidence can help strengthen your truck accident case. Important evidence in Georgia truck crash cases may include:
- Photos or videos of the accident scene, your injuries, and property damages
- Police accident report
- Witness statements
- Medical records
- Medical bills and receipts
- Wage and earning statements
- Expert witness testimony
- Daily journal detailing the effects of your truck crash injuries
A skilled attorney can help you gather, preserve, and present the evidence needed to prove your case.
Consult an Experienced Georgia Truck Accident Attorney
The accomplished attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you fight for fair compensation. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary consultation.
Are pain and suffering damages included in Georgia workers' compensation benefits?
Unfortunately, no. Although workers' compensation offers a number of benefits for individuals injured while fulfilling the duties of their employment, compensation for pain and suffering damages isn't among them.
This is because, like most states, Georgia's workers' compensation system only provides benefits related to an injured employee's economic losses.
These benefits include:
- Medical treatment. If you were hurt on the job, your employer's workers' comp insurer should pay for all authorized medical treatment related to your workplace injury, including appointments with doctors or specialists, hospital stays, surgical procedures, prescriptions, physical therapy, and medically-necessary travel expenses.
- Wage replacement payments. If you're unable to work for more than seven days due to your injury, you may be entitled to weekly income benefits of two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum of $675 per week (as of 2019). If you were out of work longer than 21 consecutive days, you'll also be paid for the first week you were absent. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, these benefits may continue for up to 400 weeks. Additionally, if you return to work and are forced to take a lower-paying position, you may be eligible for reduced-income benefits that last for up to 350 weeks.
- Vocational training. If your injury prevents you from performing the job you used to do, workers' compensation can help you find another position in your field, or provide vocational training so you can learn to do a job in a different industry.
- Death benefits. If you die as a result of a workplace injury, your surviving spouse, children, or dependent stepchildren are entitled to death benefits of two-thirds of your average weekly wage—up to $675 as of 2019—per week.
In most cases, if you were injured on the job in Georgia, workers' compensation is your sole legal remedy. However, if your work-related injury was caused by an employee from another company, you may have grounds for a third-party personal injury lawsuit. In addition to economic damages, personal injury lawsuits also allow you to pursue compensation for non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
Consult an Experienced Georgia Attorney
Want to learn more about your rights after a workplace injury? Contact Rechtman & Spevak today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.
Will I have to go to court after a bicycle accident if I want a financial recovery?
Not necessarily. If you were hurt in a bicycle crash caused by another person or company's negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for a wide range of losses, including related medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and other damages.
However, if you're worried that taking legal action to seek compensation for damages means ending up in a courtroom, there's good news: Most bicycle accident cases settle out of court. That's not surprising, considering these agreements often benefit plaintiffs and defendants. Settlements spare both parties the potential for a costly and lengthy trial, as well as help them avoid unwanted publicity and an unpredictable outcome.
Though out-of-court settlements are common and in some cases preferable, they're not always feasible. Profit-focused insurance companies may deny valid claims, decline to make a settlement offer, or refuse to provide reasonable compensation for your injuries and losses. These are just a few of the reasons why having experienced legal representation is essential for bicycle accident victims.
A knowledgeable personal injury attorney levels the playing field between you and the insurance company, or you and the defendant's legal team. Your legal counsel will thoroughly investigate your case, gather evidence, identify liable parties, review and evaluate settlement offers, and aggressively negotiate on your behalf. If the other side refuses to be reasonable and offer a fair settlement, your attorney should also be ready and willing to take your case to trial if doing so is in your best interest.
Let Our Experienced Legal Team Handle Your Bike Crash Claim
Bicyclists lack any external protection and as a result, the injuries—as well as the potential financial damages—in bicycle accident cases tend to be significant. At Rechtman & Spevak, our skilled personal injury attorneys will help you protect your rights and maximize the value of your claim. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, initial consultation.
Can I get workers' comp benefits if I was injured while working a seasonal temp job for Amazon?
Yes. Georgia law requires companies with three or more employees to carry workers' compensation insurance. Not only does this insurance protect employees regardless of whether they work full-time, part-time, or seasonally, but also provides coverage for workplace injuries even if the employee is hurt on their first day on the job.
This is excellent news for the nearly 100,000 seasonal employees online retail giant Amazon adds to its workforce during the winter holiday months.
Workers at Amazon fulfillment centers like those in the Atlanta area may be exposed to hazardous conditions such as dangerous noise levels, unsafe machinery, electrical hazards, repetitive stress risks, and a lack of personal protective equipment. This puts workers at risk for serious injuries, including:
- Ergonomic stress injuries
- Eye injuries
- Hearing damage or loss
- Knee injuries
- Broken bones
- Cardiac issues
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Sadly, Amazon's seasonal workers are particularly at risk—both for the threat of injury and difficulty obtaining the workers' compensation benefits they deserve.
If you were hurt while working a temporary seasonal job for Amazon, you're likely entitled to workers' compensation benefits for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and income. These benefits are intended to help you heal from your injuries and rejoin the workforce as soon as possible. However, because obtaining benefits can be both complicated and challenging, it helps to have an experienced workers' compensation attorney by your side who can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Hurt While Working a Seasonal Amazon Job? We Can Help.
The knowledgeable workers' compensation attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you recover the benefits you need and deserve after an Amazon workplace injury. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a complimentary, no-obligation initial consultation. Don't wait—the sooner you involve us in your case, the more quickly we can get to work advocating on your behalf.
How long do I have to file a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia?
If you lost a loved one in a motor vehicle crash, slip and fall, or other personal injury accident caused by someone else's negligence, you may have grounds for a Georgia wrongful death claim. This type of civil litigation allows eligible family members to seek compensation for financial and emotional losses related to their loved one's untimely death.
Taking legal action may be the last thing on your mind while mourning an unexpected loss in your family.
However, if your loved one's death was caused by a person or business entity's negligent, reckless, intentional, or criminal acts, it's important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Why? State statute of limitation laws limit how long you have to file a claim for damages. In Georgia, you have just two years from the date of your loved one's untimely passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. Failing to file before the statute of limitations expires has devastating consequences in most circumstances—your case can be dismissed and you'll have lost the ability to pursue compensation.
There are some exceptions to the two-year filing deadline. For example, if your loved one's death is also the subject of a criminal case, the two-year countdown pauses—or “tolls”—until that case is resolved. Additionally, the statute of limitations can be tolled for up to five years if the decedent's estate isn't probated. An attorney can help you determine the right time to file your claim.
Consult a Knowledgeable Georgia Attorney About Your Wrongful Death Case
If your loved one was killed in a personal injury accident, you may be entitled to compensation for losses incurred as a result of their death. Have questions about a wrongful death case? Contact Rechtman & Spevak today to schedule an appointment for a free, initial consultation. The sooner you contact us, the faster we can get to work investigating your case and advocating for your best interests.
What penalties can an employer face for not having workers' comp insurance?
The state requires employers with three or more employees to carry workers' compensation insurance or complete an application process to become self-insured.
Employers who fail to do so may be subject to civil or criminal penalties, as well as liability for workplace accidents and injuries that would have otherwise been covered by a workers' compensation insurance policy.
Here's a quick overview of the potential penalties employers can face.
- Criminal penalties. Failing to maintain workers' compensation insurance coverage is a misdemeanor crime that, upon conviction, can result in a fine up to $10,000, one year of imprisonment—or both.
- Civil penalties. Employers who refuse to comply with regulations that require them to carry workers' compensation insurance may face fines of up to $5,000 for each violation.
- Civil liability. If an employee is injured in the workplace and the employer doesn't have workers' compensation insurance, an employer may be personally liable for compensating the employee for injuries and losses.
Obtaining compensation from an employer who failed to carry workers' compensation insurance can be challenging and often requires the representation of an experienced attorney who can file a request for hearing before a workers' compensation judge to seek the damages you deserve.
Hurt on the Job? Consult an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney About Your Case
The knowledgeable attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you make sense of your legal rights and options when an employer fails to carry the workers' compensation coverage the law requires. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free, initial consultation.