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Q: I was hurt because of somebody else’s negligence. How long do I have to sue?

A: While it’s always best to consult with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney about your particular case, the general statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim is two years under Georgia Code § 9-3-33. However, depending upon the type of case (and other factors), the time for making a claim could be significantly shorter.

Q: How does the type of case affect the time for filing suit?

questionQ: I hurt my back at work today while attempting to move a heavy piece of equipment. I didn’t tell anyone at work about it because I didn’t think it was that serious. Now that I am home, however, my back pain has gotten much worse. What should I do?

A: The first step in any Atlanta workers’ compensation claim is to give notice to one’s employer. There is also a claim form (called a WC-14 form, available online through the State Board of Workers’ Compensation website) that must be submitted in order to formally protect an employee’s legal rights.

Q: What happens after I give my employer notice that I was hurt?

shutterstock_477151726-300x200An injured worker in an Atlanta workers’ compensation case may be entitled to several types of benefits, including paid medical care. Of course, what exactly that “medical care” may entail varies widely from case to case.

For some employees, especially those with permanently, totally disabling work-related injuries, “medical care” may include in-home care – either by family members, professional nurses, or a combination thereof.

Facts of the Case

childcare workerThe question of whether a given employer is required to have Georgia workers’ compensation insurance on its employees can vary from state to state. The general rule is that individuals, corporations, or other entities that employ three or more people are required to carry coverage.

Of course, not every employer that is required to have coverage complies with the law. When a worker is hurt on the job, the employer then must pay the employee’s medical expenses and other workers’ compensation benefits out-of-pocket.

Facts of the Case

police carGenerally speaking, when an Atlanta car accident is caused by the negligence of someone who is “on the clock” with their employer, the employer can be held vicariously liable for the resulting injuries to the plaintiff.

There are some exceptions to this general rule, and the defendant in a given case may have a good argument that it should not be held liable under a certain set of facts. Even if vicarious liability is not possible, an injured person who is hurt by someone who is purportedly acting within their employment – or, at the least, is driving an automobile owned by their employer – may have another claim, such as negligent entrustment.

An appellate court in a recent case involving a police officer explored these different types of liability, ultimately concluding that some of the plaintiff’s claims had to be dismissed as redundant in that particular case.

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Workers who are hurt during the course and scope of their employment may be entitled to substantial compensation in the form of temporary or permanent disability payments, medical treatment, and other benefits. Although the injured employee is not required to prove that the employer was “at fault,” the worker does have certain obligations and must meet the statutory requirements in order to receive certain benefits.

Facts of the Case

A recent decision from the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation resolved a claim for temporary total disability (TTD) filed by a 41-year-old concrete trucker who was allegedly hurt in an accident on the job in June 2015. The defendant employer did not begin paying TTD benefits to the employee until March 2016, and he sought payment of benefits from the date of his injury up until the time the employer began paying him TTD benefits. The employee also asked the Board to require the employer to pay certain medical expenses for which it had denied responsibility.

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Atlanta truck accidents can result in complex litigation, including claims against not only careless truckers but also the companies for which they work. In a truck accident lawsuit, a trucking company may be held vicariously liable for the negligence of its employee, and it may also be found directly liable for its own negligence.

This is a good thing, since large trucking companies typically have higher liability insurance limits than might an owner-operator, thus increasing the likelihood that a seriously injured person or the family of someone killed in a fatal truck accident may be fully compensated.

Facts of the Case

shutterstock_100154162-300x200There are many factors that can complicate an Atlanta workers’ compensation case. One of the most common of these is a prior work injury. The employer and its insurance company will often dispute a new injury claim in such situations, arguing that the employee’s current condition is due to the old injury rather than a subsequent accident or a work-related aggravation of the condition at his or her present place of employment.

If you find yourself in such a situation, the best course of action is to speak to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible. While not every work injury case is winnable when there are complications like a previous injury, your chances are considerably improved when you have a trained professional advocating for you.

Facts of the Case

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Which types of injuries are considered compensable in a Georgiaworkers’ compensation case? The short answer is “most, but, unfortunately, not all.” For example, if there is an explosion at work, and a worker is killed, the worker’s family will probably be entitled to death benefits on the deceased employee’s behalf. If a second worker is physically injured in the explosion, but he or she is not killed, that person may be entitled to benefits for medical expenses and time off from work due to injuries suffered in the accident.

But what if, instead of being physically injured, the second worker claims a psychological injury – not from what happened to him, per se, but from knowing that a co-worker later died as a result of the accident?

Facts of the Case

large potholeIn an Atlanta car accident lawsuit, the defendant is not always a negligent motorist whose actions led to a crash. Sometimes, a party who was not even present at the accident scene may be named as a defendant – such as in a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer of an uncrashworthy vehicle or, as in a recent appellate case, a city (and city officials) who allegedly failed to maintain a roadway, thus causing an accident.

When the defendant happens to be a governmental entity, however, special rules apply, and such cases can prove to be more difficult than cases against “regular” defendants, such as individuals or businesses.

Facts of the Case