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West Georgia Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Blog

Five things that can cost you your workers' comp in Georgia

Most workers in Georgia know that if they suffer an on-the-job injury, then the costs of treatment and lost wages will be covered by their employer's workers compensation insurance. Unfortunately, far too many workers don't understand that there are things they might be doing that could jeopardize this coverage.

Here is a list of just five things that could affect or cost you workers' compensation benefits:

Five things that can cost you your workers' comp in Georgia

Most workers in Georgia know that if they suffer an on-the-job injury, then the costs of treatment and lost wages will be covered by their employer's workers compensation insurance. Unfortunately, far too many workers don't understand that there are things they might be doing that could jeopardize this coverage.

Here is a list of just five things that could affect or cost you workers' compensation benefits:

Addressing the Georgia opioid epidemic

Prescription narcotics are one of those medicines that represent a double-edged sword. Doctors who specialize in pain management know these drugs, also called opioids, are effective tools for treating pain. What's equally clear from data over the past decade is that opioids can be very addictive - to a point where they become deadly.

The issue is so bad here in Georgia that the state's Department of Public Health says we are in the midst of an opioid abuse epidemic. Late last month, doctors gathered in Atlanta to lay out some plans for how to address the crisis.

How do I know if my eclipse glasses failed?

The great solar eclipse of 2017 is history. It came and went in a matter of minutes. If you happened to be in Georgia, the transition wasn't total but was pretty darn close.

Ahead of the event, there was a lot of hype. Some of it even proved true. Flowers shut their petals as the moon passed between the Earth and sun. In the northwest, eclipse-created tides tore apart nets on a fish farm. Hundreds of thousands of salmon died. The big question for human eclipse watchers has to be whether they took it in without suffering damage. Here's how you can tell if you were hurt and what recourse you may have.

I'm afraid to return to work after suffering a work injury

There is physical health and there is mental health. In the eyes of many, the two are separate and rather distinct, but in recent years, the line has become less bright. Several mental health parity acts have been enacted at the federal level. In each instance, the law requires that insurance plans provide equal coverage for conditions whether they are physical or psychological in nature. Workers' compensation is included under this umbrella.

Readers of this blog may recall that we wrote about the challenges of pressing a claim for invisible work-related injuries not long ago. Sometimes those injuries are physical - resulting from repetitive stress or work conditions that lead to muscle strains or debilitating joint injuries. Just because they aren't seen doesn't make them any less real.

Gauging the value of a human life

How do you put a price on a human life? Just asking the question is hard for many. However, in the aftermath of a tragic death, especially if that loss was preventable, the question is bound to come up. And if you happen to be among those who suffered the loss, putting things in the context of money is about the only way to seek and obtain compensation.

What sparks this post is a spate of recent deadly disasters involving high-rise buildings. In London, the 24-story Grenfell Tower went up in flames killing at least 80 residents. That happened in June. As of earlier this month, reports say many victims remain unidentified. Meanwhile, last month in Hawaii, three people died in a blaze in a high-rise apartment building built in 1971. Fire officials say a sprinkler system would have saved lives, but like many older structures, it lacks such measures.

Is your employer one of the 'Dirty Dozen?'

In 1970, the Occupational Health and Safety Act was signed, promising safer working environments for employees all across the nation. Since its passage, "the number of annual workplace deaths has dropped by 65 percent," states a recent article for Oye! Times. Unfortunately, despite the passage of the OHS Act, workplace accidents are still happening resulting in injuries, occupational illnesses and fatalities.

To make matters worse, on-the-job worker fatalities in some U.S. workplaces are happening with such frequency, that they have grabbed the attention of the National Council on Occupational Safety and Health (NCOSH), who recently released its list of the most dangerous employers in the U.S. called the "Dirty Dozen."

Dairy manure ponds just one deadly hazard in agricultural work

The Idaho Statesman recently published a major story on the dangers of agricultural work, and especially the hazards associated with manure ponds. While the focus was on Idaho, there's no reason the accidents described in the story couldn't have occurred here in Georgia.

Manure ponds are a common way for dairies to store manure for later use as fertilizer and to keep it from preventing waterways. The trouble is that some dairies fail to post warning signs or encircle the ponds with barriers. When conditions change, such as when flooding occurs, the pond can literally disappear into the landscape.

Don't forget the ticking clock if considering civil action

TV crime drama fans may know the term "statute of limitations." It represents the time beyond which prosecutors can't charge someone for an alleged crime. For example, the statute of limitations for alleged misdemeanors in Georgia is two years. The more serious the crime, the longer the window of prosecution opportunity. For murder, there is no statute of limitations.

Many might be surprised to learn that civil action statutes of limitations exist, too. The reason is twofold. First, as in all legal cases, evidence is vital and imposing limits ensures that the facts related to a case remain viable. Second, statutes of limitations assure potential defendants they won't be under threat of lawsuit indefinitely.

Georgia jury awards $11.2 million for wrongful death on movie set

The family of a crew member who died while working on the 2014 biopic about Gregg Allman has just been awarded a total of $11.2 million by a Chatham County jury. The unanimous jury award came after a six-day trial. The filmmaker, first assistant director and unit production manager had already settled with the family.

The crew member was killed in 2014 when a moving train came through the area that had been staged for the film, which was never completed. Props and equipment had been set up on a railroad bridge and trestle just south of Savannah, and the train struck the materials and, tragically, the worker.

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