Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Assisting Injured Individuals in Atlanta
If you or a loved one has worked in a warehouse environment in recent years, you know how dangerous they can be. Often under pressure to quickly identify goods and get them transported to where they need to be, workers risk injury from large equipment, the weight of heavy items that must be moved, and the general chaos of their frenetic environment. Workers’ compensation attorney Julie A. Rice understands the challenges that employees in the Atlanta area face when they are hurt on the job. She has helped numerous individuals fight for their right to compensation after a devastating injury.
Common Warehouse Accidents
One of the most common sources of injury for warehouse employees is the use of forklifts. These are large and often unwieldy pieces of equipment that can be hazardous to both their operators and those in the immediate vicinity. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, forklifts kill over 80 individuals, across all industries, each year.
In an effort to protect warehouse workers from forklift injuries, OSHA has set forth strict requirements for the training of forklift operators, and individuals under the age of 18 are prohibited from operating them. Forklifts require extensive training on use, including how to operate, how to prevent tip-overs, and how to regularly inspect them to ensure safety before use. Finally, operation of a forklift requires careful coordination and communication in a warehouse space in order to avoid placing others at risk.
Beyond forklift accidents, warehouse employees may also face the risk of slip and fall accidents as they quickly move about warehouse spaces, and they are at risk of back or leg injuries due to the heavy lifting of warehouse equipment or goods. In order to prevent these types of injuries, warehouse employers are required to provide safety documentation and training to employees, to quickly address unsafe conditions, and to continually update procedures for ensuring the safety of all individuals moving throughout the warehouse space. If you have been hurt because your employer has failed to comply with these requirements, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation.
Filing a Claim for Benefits in Georgia
If you have been hurt in a warehouse accident, you may be entitled to benefits under Georgia’s workers’ compensation law. This is a no-fault system in which insurance coverage generally is provided to injured employees whether or not the employer was responsible for the harm. Depending on the extent of the harm and the individual’s ability to return to work, benefits can last for a permanent or temporary duration. They also can compensate for a reduction in working capacity that does not eliminate the accident victim’s ability to hold a job.
To maximize your chance of receiving benefits, it is important that you immediately report your injury to your employer and promptly file a claim for workers’ compensation with the state. While some employers may readily acknowledge a workplace injury, others are likely to fight back against these claims. For example, a company or its insurer may argue that your harm was the result of a pre-existing condition unrelated to your occupation. Even if this is partly true, however, you may be able to secure benefits for the additional injury caused by your workplace environment. Thus, it is important that you carefully document the effects of your accident and any therapeutic treatment that you have received.
A tragic loss of life can occur when a forklift or another piece of heavy machinery malfunctions. If you have lost a loved one in a warehouse accident, you may be able to seek death benefits through the workers’ compensation system. As with other types of claims, the job-related injury does not need to be the sole cause of the death. The amount of benefits that may be available to a dependent of the deceased person depends on whether he or she was totally or partially dependent.
Consult an Atlanta Attorney to Discuss Your Work Injury Case
If you have recently been hurt in a warehouse accident, it is important that you contact a qualified attorney as quickly as possible. While the Georgia’s workers’ compensation system is meant to protect employees, it can be complicated and time-consuming to navigate the claims process alone. Work injury lawyer Julie A. Rice has over two decades of experience helping Atlanta workers assert their right to cash compensation and reimbursement for medical expenses, among other benefits. We assist individuals from Decatur, Marietta, and other communities in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, and Gwinnett Counties. You can contact us for an initial consultation at (770) 865-8654 and (813) 363-6664, or online.