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Workers’ Compensation For Industrial Accidents

By Butler Prather LLP on May 26, 2021

Every worker should be able to count on receiving compensation when they sustain an on-the-job injury. Injuries can happen in any industry, but some are riskier than others. This is particularly true for various types of industrial work. Industrial accidents can lead to severe injuries, and it is not uncommon for victims in these situations to need extensive medical care and a significant amount of wage assistance if they cannot work while they recover. Here, we want to discuss the challenges of securing workers’ compensation insurance in the aftermath of an industrial accident.

Industrial Jobsites are Hazardous

Industrial jobs have risks. While there are countless ways that individuals can sustain an injury as a result of an industrial accident, some of the most common causes of these injuries include the following:

  • Vehicle accidents. There are various types of vehicles present at industrial job sites, including traditional cars and trucks as well as forklifts, cranes, and more. If any of these get into an accident, those involved can sustain severe injuries.
  • Slip and fall accidents. Slip and fall accidents can occur in any job setting, though industrial job sites do present more slip and fall risk hazards.
  • Falling objects. Falling objects are a concern in any type of industrial setting, particularly when there is new construction ongoing or when there are multiple floors at the site.
  • Chemical burns or exposure. Many industries rely on chemicals and other hazardous materials. Anytime these chemicals are not properly handled, or when the employees do not have proper training, severe injuries can occur.

Workers’ Compensation is Critical After an Industrial Accident

Anytime a person sustains an on-the-job injury, they should be entitled to payments through workers’ compensation insurance. The state of Georgia has fairly robust workers’ compensation laws, and nearly every employer must carry this type of insurance. This is considered a “no-fault” type of insurance system, which means that an injured worker will be able to receive payment for their medical bills and lost income regardless of who caused the incident. Even if the employee is at fault for the incident, they will generally be able to recover compensation for their losses.

Additionally, the workers’ compensation system also provides protection to the employer. When a worker sustains an on-the-job injury, they will typically not be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the employer. They will have to rely on workers’ compensation coverage to pay for their medical bills, lost wages, and possible disability benefits.

However, there are shortcomings when it comes to the workers’ compensation system in Georgia. Workers’ comp will not pay for an employee’s pain and suffering in the aftermath of an injury.

The Possibility of a Third-Party Lawsuit

In the aftermath of some industrial accidents, there may be the possibility of filing a third-party lawsuit against individuals other than the employer. For example, it is not uncommon for various contractors to be present at a job site in an industrial setting. If a third-party contractor does something to cause harm to an industrial worker, then the contractor could face a personal injury lawsuit. In these situations, this puts the case in civil court, which means an injury victim can try to recover various types of compensation, including coverage of pain and suffering losses.

Additionally, if an industrial accident was caused by a defective product, then the company or manufacturer of that product may hold liability. In these situations, the injured worker(s) would be able to file a third-party lawsuit against the company or manufacturer in order to recover various types of compensation.

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