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Workplace accidents result in injuries to thousands of workers each year in Georgia. Whether due to a slip on a wet floor, an incident with heavy machinery, or exposure to hazardous materials, these incidents can lead to significant injuries, time away from work, and mounting medical bills. 

At Gautreaux Law, we fight for the rights of injured workers. We understand the challenges confronting workers seeking compensation. It’s important to understand that when you are injured on the job, you may have two cases – a workers’ compensation claim, and a personal injury claim, sometimes called a “third-party claim.”  For example, suppose an employee is terribly injured because a machine guard failed to work and the person lost an arm as a result. This can give rise to a worker’s compensation claim because it happened on the job, and it may give rise to a separate third-party claim against the machine manufacturer for a product defect based on the failure of the guard.

We work with other lawyers who focus on workers’ compensation cases, while we handle the personal injury claim. This same analysis applies to car wrecks that happen on the job – an employee may have both a worker’s compensation claim and a separate personal injury claim against the other driver.  If you’ve been injured on the job, we will guide you through every step of the process and protect your rights and interests. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

About Workplace Accidents in Georgia

Workplace environments across multiple industries harbor potential risks that can lead to various types of accidents. Some of the most common include:

  • Slips and falls often occur due to wet floors, uneven surfaces, or cluttered walkways, resulting in sprains, fractures, or more severe consequences.
  • Machinery and equipment accidents are common in industrial settings when machinery malfunctions or safety protocols aren’t followed. Potential injuries include amputations, crush injuries, or burns.
  • Overexertion and repetitive strain injuries arise from prolonged, repetitive motions or tasks that affect the muscles, nerves, and tendons, leading to conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome or back strain.
  • Transportation and vehicle-related accidents are common in sectors that involve driving or operating heavy machinery, often resulting in fatal outcomes.
  • Falling objects at construction sites and warehouses where items and equipment are stored at heights can lead to head injuries, broken bones, or even fatalities.
  • Exposure to harmful substances or environments, including chemicals, asbestos, or extreme temperatures puts workers at risk of respiratory issues, poisoning, or long-term health complications.

Understanding these types of workplace accidents is essential for prevention and ensuring a safer working environment for everyone.

Common Causes of Workplace Accidents

The circumstances leading to workplace accidents can be varied, but certain causes emerge repeatedly across different industries:

  • Inadequate training – Employers fail to provide workers with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their tasks safely. This lack of training can result in errors that endanger the employees and their coworkers.
  • Poorly maintained equipment – Machines and tools that aren’t regularly inspected or maintained can malfunction, leading to potential harm. 
  • Lack of safety measures  – The absence of established safety guidelines or failure to enforce them can result in hazardous situations. Every workplace should have clear safety protocols that are regularly reviewed and updated.
  • Unsafe working conditions  – Poor lighting, clutter, or lack of proper ventilation can increase the risk of accidents and injuries.
  • Human error – Mistakes can happen, especially when workers are fatigued, stressed, or distracted. Regular breaks and stress-relieving measures can help to reduce errors.
  • Lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) – In environments where exposure to harmful elements is possible, goggles, N95 masks, and other types of PPE are essential. Without these, workers are left vulnerable to potential harm.

Addressing these causes head-on, through education, infrastructure investment, and proactive monitoring, can make a significant difference in the safety of a workplace.

The Rights of Injured Workers

Like other injured people, injured workers may be entitled to several forms of compensation: 

Medical Treatment

This may include doctor visits, surgeries, physical therapy, and prescriptions. 

Compensation for Lost Wages

If an injury forces a worker to miss work, they can receive weekly income benefits under workers compensation laws. The amount typically represents two-thirds of the worker’s average weekly wage, up to a maximum set by state law.  They may also seek full lost wages in a separate personal injury lawsuit. 

Right To File a Claim

Workers have the right to a worker’s comp claim without fear of retaliation or discrimination from their employer. Georgia law prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who file a workers’ compensation claim. Any adverse action taken against a worker for exercising their rights can lead to additional legal consequences for the employer.

Third-Party Claims in Workplace Accidents

Workers’ comp is a no-fault system, meaning injured workers generally cannot sue their employer. However, as explained above, it is possible to take legal action against a careless third party. Possible third-party claims encompass:

  • Construction accidents – Injured construction workers may be able to take legal action against careless property owners, contractors, subcontractors, engineers, designers, equipment manufacturers, and their insurance providers.
  • Manufacturing mishaps – Manufacturing employees who face injuries from faulty machines or equipment may be able to launch a product liability lawsuit against the equipment producer or seller.
  • Transportation-related incidents – Injured truck operators may be able to pursue a third-party claim against negligent drivers or entities responsible for an accident.

If you have been injured at work due to the negligence of a third party, we will determine whether you have a valid third-party claim and help you recover damages. 

How Gautreaux Law Can Help

At Gautreaux Law, we recognize the physical, emotional, and financial burdens workplace accidents place on injured workers and their families. With our experienced team by your side, you can focus on your recovery while we handle the details. Our attorneys will: 

  • Gather and review all relevant evidence, from accident reports and witness statements to medical records and safety protocols in place at the time of the incident.
  • Handle all communications with the insurance company and any other involved parties. 
  • Calculate your past, present, and future expenses related to the injury including medical bills, lost wages, and any other related costs, to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Our legal team will help you navigate workplace injuries to protect you from potential intimidation or unfair settlements.

Representing Georgians In Workplace Accidents

Gautreaux Law is your ideal legal partner if you have suffered injuries in a workplace accident. Contact us today so we can start working on your claim.