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West Georgia Workers' Compensation and Personal Injury Blog

Top 4 reasons not to return to work too quickly after an injury

Even though employees are an employer's most valuable asset, when it comes to work-related injuries, an employer's best interests can sometimes be at odds with an employee's best interests. On-the-job injuries can lead to higher insurance premiums, which isn't ideal for employers. Unfortunately, returning to work too quickly after an injury isn't good for employees.

Though an employer may mean well by asking an employee to come back to work sooner rather than later after an injury, employees should always resist the urge to comply. Here are just four reasons why returning to work too quickly after an injury is a bad idea:

Truck crashes can differ from most vehicle accidents

When two cars collide on the highway, serious injuries almost always occur.  When a semitrailer truck is involved, however, the results can be catastrophic.  The mere size of the big rig makes it a formidable hazard. Risks increase exponentially if you add the weight of a load and highway speeds. On a busy thoroughfare, that can translate into serious injury or death.

Several other factors contribute to making collisions involving commercial trucks different from the typical vehicle accident, especially where recovery is concerned under a personal injury claim. Commercial carriers are obligated to carry more insurance and drivers must prove they've complied with federal and state regulations to obtain appropriate licensure. Beyond that, however, ongoing regulatory oversight might be hit or miss.

According to the US Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, for the year ending 3/31/2017, there were 165,536 crashes and 4660 fatalities involving Large Trucks and Buses.

It's hot out there, is your employer keeping you safe?

Summertime in Georgia; whether you are climate change believer or denier, there is no denying that it's hot outside. That heat is bad enough for workers who toil outside day in and day out. If the humidity happens to rise on any given day, the potential for illness and injury due to hazardous working conditions only increases.

There are ways for outside workers to stave off the effects of heat stroke. Keeping three key words in mind is a good place to start. Those words are water, rest and shade. But did you know that providing those things isn't something you are responsible for? As the Occupational Safety and Health Administration notes, it's the employer's responsibility to maintain a safe work environment and water, rest and shade are basic necessities for preventing heat illness.

Can I sue for my motorcycle injury if I wasn't wearing a helmet?

Georgia's motorcycle law is clear. It states, "No person shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle unless he or she is wearing protective headgear." Not only do riders and passengers have to wear helmets, the safety gear has to comply with federal safety standards.

Considering the greater risk motorcyclists inherently face if they are involved in a vehicle collision on the road, it might seem to be a matter of common sense to require helmets. But state laws vary and helmets are voluntary in some locales. One common question that experienced attorneys receive in this regard is whether violating Georgia's helmet law negates the possibility of filing a personal injury suit if a rider is injured in an accident due to another driver's negligence. The answer should come as good news.

So, your employer doesn't believe you are really injured...

Suffering an injury that no one can see from the outside can be incredibly frustrating, especially when that injury is work-related. You know that your pain is real, you will need medical attention and you will need time away from work to heal. Unfortunately, your boss has a skeptical look in their eye, possibly even thinking you're lying about your condition.

Situations like this are all too common among workers who suffer internal physical injuries including repetitive stress injuries, joint injuries, back injuries, head injuries and more. These types of injuries are often met with skepticism, which can make accessing workers' compensation benefits a challenge. 

Is Georgia ready for autonomous vehicles?

Technology advances are revolutionizing just about every aspect of our lives and they seem to come down the pike at break-neck speeds. In some cases, the benefits are immediately apparent. In others, the prospects are less clear. Still, cultural forces being what they are in the United States - political, economic and otherwise - we often press ahead without knowing exactly what we might encounter around the bend.

One of the most notable current trends in this regard is the drive toward autonomous cars and trucks. This spring, Georgia joined the ranks of states that have chosen to pave the way to allow unmanned vehicles to hit the road sooner, rather than later. Not fully answered at this point is who can be held responsible when an autonomous vehicle causes someone to be injured in a crash.

Motorcycle safety tips

Spring is here and it's time for bikers to dust off the motorcycle. While the hardy may ride on warm days in the winter months, most find it enjoyable to wait until the trees start to turn green. No matter what time of year it is, danger still lurks on the road because of inattentive drivers and poor road conditions. This can lead to time in the hospital or worse.

While motorcyclist can't control the behavior of fellow drivers, nor completely prevent accidents, they can take precautions to lessen the dangers of riding a bike. These include:

What's crucial in workers' comp, where I work or where I live?

Every state has workers' compensation law in place. That does not mean that all plans are the same. Indeed, where Georgia and Alabama are concerned, differences in benefit amounts can be significant. This has the potential for generating major confusion.

If you work in Georgia but live in Alabama, it might be important to know which state will exercise jurisdiction over benefits in the event you suffer a disabling injury on the job. For example, in Georgia, if you lose an arm due to a work injury, you could be eligible for lifetime benefits worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. If that same injury occurs to workers in Alabama, compensation might be capped at less than $50,000.

Is compensation for an illness possible after employment ends?

The answer to the question above might not seem very promising when faced with the results in a 1998 article published by the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. According to a study outlined in the article, roughly 97 percent of workers living with an occupational illness don't receive compensation for their work-related condition.

Ask those who have filed a workers' compensation claim for an occupational illness in recent years and they will tell you things haven't changed much.

I just bought a car under a salvage title. Do I need to worry?

If you ever bought a used car in Georgia, you probably are familiar with the term "as is." This is a way sellers use to say - buyer beware. There's no warranty on the car. New car dealers have to comply with provisions of the state's lemon law, but no such law applies to used cars. That puts an extra burden on buyers to take extra care.

Considering all the ways car accidents can occur and the breadth of possible injuries - including death - used car buyers owe it to themselves to dig as deep as they can into a vehicle's past. Answers to questions such as, does this car have any faulty systems, or does it contain any parts subject to recall, could be crucial to seeking compensation if you are injured in a crash

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