Regardless of your workplace, it’s likely that you take notice of general safety practices. Employers must meet certain standards in various environments to provide a safe workplace for their staff. If you’ve been injured at work, an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney can help.
Purpose of Workers’ Compensation
The point of workers’ compensation is to provide benefits that will help you or your family financially until you can return to work after you sustained an injury or illness while working.
Workers’ compensation is not more beneficial than working. But it serves to help cover medical or rehabilitation costs and some income if the employee was injured while on the job.
The purpose is to ensure that you, as the injured employee, can recover from your illness or injury and then return to work when you’re healthy.
The whole process of filing for workers’ compensation though is exhausting. Because each workers’ comp case is unique, it’s difficult to understand how these very generalized rules apply to you.
As you file for workers’ compensation, seek the help of an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney who can walk you through what benefits you might have access to during your time off of work.
Common Employee Concerns
Now, if you have a recent Atlanta workers’ compensation claim in, you might be wondering how certain unsafe working conditions factor into your claim.
Can your employer’s standard practices or policies keep the insurance company from making a payment on your benefits?
This concern is common. If you genuinely believe that your claim is at risk because of policies that aren’t upheld, you need to contact an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney.
Another common concern among injured employees is that filing a claim will result in the loss of their job. Or, that if they leave for necessary surgery or rehabilitation that the employer will replace them.
Georgia is an “at-will” state meaning that most employers, with few exceptions, have the right to terminate employees for any reason except discrimination.
If that happens, you have options, and still, have access to your claim benefits. You could also have access to filing claims or suits against the company regarding the Americans with Disability Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act. Both exist to protect those who cannot work at the given time.
Worry about these concerns if they come up, otherwise, stay focused on your health and recovery.
Employees who work in high-risk areas, in dangerous environments, or with hazardous materials are usually well aware of OSHA requirements. However, there are many aspects of safety that OSHA takes charge over which go unnoticed in many workplaces.
OSHA, or Occupational Safety and Health Administration, sets general safety expectations for work environments. As a federal agency, they do have a process that involves a lot of reporting and results in a lot of paperwork.
- Report unsafe conditions to OSHA anonymously.
- Receive a copy showing your employer’s response to the complaint.
- Request an on-site inspection of the workplace.
Typically, people concern themselves with OSHA reporting when there is more than one employee suffering. OSHA, however, doesn’t play a huge role in your initial claim.
A report of an OSHA violation may play a prevalent role in any appeal, or even mediation. Sometimes, OSHA may serve as the investigating authority for on-the-job incidents.
A No-Fault State
Workers’ compensation and OSHA are two separate entities, which means OSHA violations and workers’ comp don’t directly interact with each other.
The ruling factor in most workers’ comp cases the no-fault system. Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers will inform you that the no-fault system means you can usually get benefits. Regardless of whether your employer was at fault or not.
Medical benefits, and partial, temporary or permanent disability benefits are all available based on the injury.
OSHA violations or proof of OSHA violations doesn’t guarantee workers’ compensation benefits. However, injuries resulting from OSHA violations can use the violation as evidence of negligence within the workplace to pursue a personal injury action.
Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Many injured employees feel they can take on the task of handling their Atlanta workers’ compensation claim themselves. The most effective way to protect your benefits is to have an attorney process the request and pursue appeals at your direction.
During this time you should focus on a steady recovery rather than hunting down OSHA reports for an appeal.
Contact the Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at Reis Law for help with any of your claims, appeals or mediation. Call today to schedule a free consultation and speak with an Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney about your workers’ compensation case.