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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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.
Do I really need a Georgia workers' comp attorney if the insurance company is supposed to settle with me?
Not all workers' compensation claims require an attorney. However, if your workplace accident case involves substantial injuries, lost wages, and medical expenses, you can benefit from the representation of an experienced Georgia workers' comp attorney. Here's why.
The more serious your injuries, the more your employer's workers' compensation insurer will have to pay out in medical and wage replacement benefits. As profit-focused businesses dedicated to protecting their bottom line, insurance companies rarely pay claimants what they're owed without a fight. Sometimes, insurance adjusters may even use tricks—such as disputing the cost of needed medical care—in an attempt to reduce their financial obligation to you. Fortunately, you don't have to take this kind of unfair treatment lying down.
A knowledgeable workers' compensation attorney can level the playing field between you and the insurance company's savvy corporate legal team and ensure that your claim is resolved fairly. Your attorney will investigate your accident and eligibility for benefits and handle communication and negotiations with the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurer fails to act in good faith, an attorney can also take your case to trial.
After a Georgia workplace injury, you may be counting on workers' compensation benefits to help you get back on your feet and back to work. With so much at stake, it's crucial to make sure you're receiving the full and fair compensation you deserve. Let a skilled workers' comp attorney protect your rights and interests.
Get the Georgia Workers' Compensation Benefits You Deserve
If you were hurt on the job, Rechtman & Spevak's seasoned workers' compensation attorneys can provide the aggressive and effective legal representation you need to successfully resolve your claim. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your workers' comp case with a member of our legal team.
Do I need an attorney to handle my motorcycle crash claim?
If you were injured or your motorcycle was damaged in a crash caused by another person's negligence, yes, you need an attorney.
Motorcycle crash cases aren't like other types of motor vehicle accident cases. Because the motorcycle provides no meaningful exterior protection, motorcyclists often sustain catastrophic, life-changing injuries.
The greater the injuries and damages, the larger the potential settlement or financial award—and the insurance company is unlikely to pay you what you deserve without a fight. Implicit bias against motorcyclists can also endanger your ability to make a fair recovery. Fortunately, a knowledgeable motorcycle accident attorney can help.
In addition to helping you understand your rights and options, as well as the process for filing a legal claim, an attorney can thoroughly investigate your motorcycle crash, determine whether you're entitled to compensation, negotiate with the insurance company and, if it comes to it, vigorously represent you in court. There, an attorney can call upon expert witnesses such as accident reconstructionists, medical professionals, and economic experts to prove your claim for damages and ensure the judge and jury view you in a favorable light.
An accomplished motorcycle accident attorney can help you obtain the money you need while allowing you to focus on your physical recovery.
Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Georgia Motorcycle Crash Attorney
With so much at stake, you simply can't afford to go it alone. However, if you're worried that you can't afford the legal representation you need, we have good news for you.
Accident attorneys like those at Rechtman & Spevak work on a contingency fee basis, so having limited financial means doesn't have to prevent you from seeking the compensation—and justice—you deserve. We also offer free initial consultations. If you would like to discuss the details of your motorcycle accident case with a knowledgeable member of our legal team, contact us today to schedule an appointment.
What kinds of injuries are associated with working in an office?
When thinking of dangerous workplaces, offices probably aren't one of the first places that come to mind. However, injuries occur in office settings far more often than most people realize.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 76,000 office and administrative workers sustain serious on-the-job injuries each year. Some of the most common injuries associated with working in an office environment include:
- Strains, sprains, or repetitive motion injuries to the hands, wrists, back, and neck
- Eye strain and other vision problems
- Respiratory illnesses
- Stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues
- Broken bones
Falls—whether from a height, as a result of a slip and fall accident, or due to tripping over cords or objects in walkways—are the leading cause of disabling office injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other causes of office injuries include overexertion, poor ergonomics, electrocution, striking (or being struck by) objects, or being caught in or between equipment.
Despite their reputation for being hotbeds of monotonous and sedentary work, offices have several hidden dangers that result in injury or even death. If you're an office worker who was seriously injured on the job in Georgia, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits including reasonable medical expenses, weekly income benefits, and compensation for permanent injury. An attorney can help you build a strong case for the benefits you deserve, and ultimately obtain a lump settlement for you.
Injured at Your Office Job? Consult an Experienced Workers' Comp Attorney
Workers' compensation benefits are available to all eligible Georgia workers—not just those who work in industries characterized by serious hazards or inherent dangers. If an on-the-job office injury required you to miss work or receive medical treatment, you may be able to collect workers' compensation benefits.
The accomplished attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you understand your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation with a member of our skilled legal team.
What should I do to protect my rights after a personal injury accident?
A car or truck crash, slip and fall, or another personal injury accident can leave you seriously hurt, unable to work, and wondering how you'll keep up with mounting medical and household debts.
If the accident that caused your injury was caused by another person or a company's negligence, you might have grounds for a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit.
However, what you do in the minutes, hours, days, and weeks that follow the accident can have a significant impact on your ability to collect compensation.
Here's what you can do to protect your right to a fair financial recovery:
- Gather evidence. This includes photos and videos of the accident scene, your injuries, any property damage, and contact information for involved drivers and witnesses. This type of evidence can be integral to building a strong case for compensation.
- See a doctor right away. Prompt medical attention protects both your physical health and the health of a future personal injury claim or lawsuit by ensuring that accident-related injuries are documented in your medical records.
- Continue your medical care. Following your doctor's treatment plan—including attending all scheduled follow-up visits—is essential to secure a successful outcome in your case.
- Document your accident-related expenses and other losses. Careful documentation is needed to ensure a fair recovery. Save all medical bills and receipts, property damage repair estimates or invoices, wage statements, and other relevant documents.
- Consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. An attorney will review your case, advise you about your rights and options, and help fight for the compensation you need and deserve.
Additionally, when it comes to protecting your rights, knowing what not to do after a personal injury accident can be just as important. For example, it's best to avoid:
- Apologizing at the accident scene.
- Providing an insurance adjuster for the at-fault party's insurance company with a recorded statement or broad medical release.
- Accepting an early settlement offer without first speaking with an attorney.
Request More Information
If you were hurt in a personal injury accident, the skilled attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak can help you fight for justice and compensation. Schedule an appointment for a free initial case consultation or request a free copy of our book, The Ultimate Guide to Accident Cases in Georgia, for additional information.
How do I know if I have grounds to pursue a personal injury lawsuit?
If you were hurt or suffered significant property damage in a Georgia car crash, truck wreck, or another type of personal injury accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and other losses you sustained. It's vital to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you understand your rights, options, and whether you have grounds to take legal action.
In the meantime, here's a quick overview of some of the factors that affect your ability to file—and win—a personal injury lawsuit.
Comparative Fault Liability
Who was at fault for the accident plays a big role in whether you can collect compensation. However, in Georgia, being partially at fault for an accident doesn't necessarily preclude you from making a financial recovery.
Because the state follows what's known as comparative fault rules, as long as you were less responsible for the accident than the other party, you could potentially recover damages—although the amount you receive may be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if the other party was 85 percent at fault for an accident and you were 15 percent liable, your monetary award of $100,000 would be reduced to $85,000.
Statute of Limitations
Statutes of limitation laws restrict how long you have to file a lawsuit against someone. In Georgia, personal injury lawsuits must be filed within two years of the date of the accident or injury. If the two-year statute of limitations expires, you won't be able to file a lawsuit or pursue compensation.
Elements of a Personal Injury Case
In order for your accident case to have a favorable outcome, you and your attorney must prove the following points, which are often referred to as the elements of a personal injury claim:
- Duty of care. This means the other party had a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure your safety. For example, all drivers must drive safely in order to reduce the risk of causing a crash.
- Breach of duty of care. Once duty of care is established, you must show the defendant breached that duty in some way. In our car accident example, this could mean driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding, or texting behind the wheel.
- Causation. Next, you must prove you sustained injuries, property damage, or other losses as a direct result of the defendant's negligent action.
- Damages. Finally, you must demonstrate that the harm in question resulted in actual damages, such as medical expenses, property repair or replacement costs, lost wages, and other relatable losses.
Contact Us Now to Request a Free Initial Consultation
Make an appointment with the experts at Rechtman & Spevak for a free consultation, and we'll review the details of your case and discuss the options. Don't wait—contact us today!
What can I do if I was hurt at work because someone removed a safety guard or device?
Safety guards and devices are designed to help prevent on-the-job accidents and injuries. Unfortunately, when businesses prioritize profits over safety, these devices may get removed for the sake of expediency—and workers can suffer serious injuries or even death as a result.
If you were hurt in a workplace accident caused by a missing safety guard, you may be entitled to compensation.
However, the route you take to seek damages varies depending on the circumstances of the accident. For example:
- If the safety guard was removed by your employer or a co-worker, and you were injured as a result, you may qualify for workers' compensation and should file a claim with your employer. Workers' compensation is a no-fault system that provides medical treatment and wage replacement benefits to qualifying workers who were hurt on the job. In Georgia, workers' compensation is the sole legal remedy for workplace injuries caused by an employer or co-worker.
- If an independent contractor or a worker from another company removed the safety feature, leading to your accident and injury, in addition to a workers' compensation claim with your employer, you may also have grounds for a third-party personal injury lawsuit against the negligent party. Personal injury lawsuits allow you to pursue compensation for your medical expenses and lost wages, as well as for non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring or disfigurement, and other subjective losses.
Hurt in a Georgia Workplace Accident?
If you were hurt on the job, it's important to consult an attorney as soon as possible. The skilled attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak have extensive experience handling both workers' compensation and personal injury claims. We'll review the details of your case, help you understand your legal rights and options, and fight for whatever compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.
Are temporary employees eligible for workers' compensation benefits in Georgia?
Usually. Workers' compensation is a no-fault insurance system that provides medical treatment and wage replacement benefits to workers who were injured on the job.
Georgia law requires most employers to carry workers' compensation insurance for their employees, and doesn't distinguish between traditionally-hired workers and those hired on a temporary or seasonal basis.
Contrary to popular belief, temporary and seasonal workers are often eligible for workers' compensation benefits.
However, where they should submit their claims depends on whether they were hired by a staffing agency or by the company directly.
Temporary workers assigned through a staffing agency are considered employees of the agency, rather than employees of the business where they work. As a result, they should report their injuries to their supervisor at the staffing agency to start a workers' compensation claim.
The claims process is slightly different for seasonal workers the company hires directly. When they're injured in an on-the-job accident, they can report claims to their supervisors to jump-start the process and receive prompt medical attention.
Other temporary and seasonal workers who may not qualify for workers' compensation benefits include independent contractors and migrant farm workers. However, because workers are often misclassified, it's important to speak with an experienced attorney if you think you might actually be eligible for benefits.
Hurt on the job? You might be eligible for compensation for reasonable and necessary medical treatment, including ambulance transportation, emergency care, hospitalizations, surgical procedures, medication, and more. Additionally, if you've missed work while recovering from your injuries, you may be able to collect compensation for lost wages.
Help for Your Georgia Workers' Comp Case
Are you a temporary or seasonal employee who was injured in a workplace accident? Not sure if you're eligible to collect workers' compensation benefits? The skilled workers' compensation attorneys with Rechtman & Spevak will review your claim, and outline your legal rights and options. Contact us today to schedule a free initial case consultation.