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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported 33 fatalities at work sites in Georgia in 2012. According to the Augusta Chronicle, that represents a 23 percent drop from the 43 workplace fatalities in the previous year.

Thirteen of the fatalities occurred in the construction sector. Sixteen took place in general industry, three in agriculture, and one in the maritime trades.

OSHA also reported progress in reducing the number of fall accidents injuring or killing Georgia workers. The number of deadly fall accidents dropped by 50% over the past five years. The number of workers killed in accidents involving trucks and other commercial vehicles also fell significantly, by 54%.

However, the drop in fatality numbers may be too soon to be very encouraged. A decline in construction sector activity resulting from the weakened economy may have contributed to the drop in fatalities.

As the Georgia economy improves, we may see an increase in workplace fatalities. Employers need to focus on worker safety programs to prevent accidents.

Maximizing the Benefits of Legal Representation

When a worker suffers a severe workplace injury, their quality of living is often affected for months, if not permanently. Although worker compensation can offset some lost wages during an employee’s recovery from an injury, it does not usually cover the true costs of a workplace incident, especially if the employee suffers serious physical damage.

A worker compensation claim often involves complications with insurance companies and employers, emphasizing the importance of retaining an experienced attorney who can help maximize benefits.

Workers can become disabled at any time, temporarily or permanently. Although heavy industry accounts for many serious injuries caused by lifting and moving freight, sometimes injuries result from the smallest sources, like a slippery floor.

The following are possible work injuries:

  • Burns
  • Shocks caused by electricity
  • Blindness or vision impairment caused by eye injury
  • Loss or impairment of hearing
  • Bone fractures
  • Various skin conditions or diseases
  • Conditions related to the respiratory system
  • Injuries to the knees and ankles
  • Injuries to the neck, shoulders, or back
  • Ladder, roof, and scaffold falls
  • An injury caused by a falling or flying object
  • Amputations or wounds caused by being squeezed, caught, crushed, pinched, or compressed between two or more objects, or parts of an object
  • Violence

Medical issues are sometimes caused by improperly maintained equipment, breakdowns of machinery, or mistakes made by coworkers or customers.

The Cost of Treating Injured Workers is Rising

Whatever the cause and whoever was at fault, workers injured at work should strongly consider seeking compensation for their injuries, illnesses, and financial losses. A workplace lawsuit may also address emotional issues caused by the employer.

Some workplace personal injury cases have enabled injured or ailing employees to recover compensation that can cover a range of costs, including medical bills, medical devices, lost income, travel expenses for medical purposes, debt, or penalties accrued as a result of lost income or missed payments, pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life resulting from permanent injury.

State-by-state deadlines for filing cases, called statutes of limitation, vary, so timing is important in pursuing compensation.

What are the Benefits of Hiring a Workplace Injury Lawyer?

A damage award is usually part of the legal remedy for workplace injuries. The employer pays a damage award to the plaintiff to help cover medical bills and other related expenses. In addition, some damages may be covered by insurance. The employer may bear other costs.

It is not uncommon for workplace injury issues to result in a lawsuit. You must obtain the services of a skilled and knowledgeable employment lawyer, as lawsuits can involve some very technical legal concepts. Additionally, you may need the assistance of a local employment lawyer if you need assistance filing a work injury lawsuit.

Michael Parsons is an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer representing injured workers in the metro Atlanta region and helping them recover the workers’ compensation benefits that they have earned.