North Georgia has several major carpet manufacturers including Mohawk Industries and Shaw Industries. Many of the carpet manufacturers are located in Dalton, Calhoun, or Cartersville.
Working in a carpet mill or for any company that manufactures flooring can be dangerous work. Some of the hazards employees encounter include:
- Dangerous machinery
- Motorized vehicles (forklifts, etc.)
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Electrocution hazards
- Heavy lifting
- Trip and fall hazards
Many employees in a carpet mill suffer some type of work-related injury over their period of employment. Because of this, they end up dealing with the Georgia workers compensation system.
Workers compensation can be very tricky. The workers compensation system has its own special rules. Unless you deal with workers compensation every day, you are at a disadvantage when it comes to dealing with the insurance company because the adjuster and other employees at the insurance company deal with workers compensation cases all the time.
Also, the insurance company has vastly different interests than you do when it comes to your workers compensation case. You want to make sure you receive the benefits you should and get the medical treatment you need so you can get better. But, the insurance company usually wants to get you released from a doctor’s care as soon as possible so your case will cost them less money.
Because of these conflicts, you will need to do a couple of things to make sure you get the benefits you should:
- Understand the Georgia workers compensation system as well as you can
- Consider hiring an attorney who specializes in workers compensation to make sure you are treated fairly
What happens if I get hurt while working at a carpet mill?
When you get hurt, you will need medical treatment. If your injury limits your ability to work, you may also have lost wages.
Two of the primary things that workers compensation pays for are medical treatment and lost wages. But, there are special rules about when and what workers compensation will pay for lost wages and medical treatment.
When your injury occurs, you do not know if your employer will do the right thing or not. Most people have never dealt with workers compensation before, so they do not know the first steps that they should take after an injury.
Understanding those steps is extremely important to getting the medical treatment and lost wages you should receive. This article discusses some of the first things you should do after you get hurt at work.
What will workers compensation pay for?
In Georgia, workers compensation pays three types of different benefits:
- Wage loss benefits which compensate you for not being able to earn as much as a result of your injury
- Medical benefits for the treatment and testing you need as a result of your injury
- Permanent partial disability benefits which compensate you for permanency of your injury
The wage loss benefits come in two different forms – temporary total disability and temporary partial disability. Temporary total disability compensates you when you cannot work as a result of your injury. Temporary partial disability pays for when you are able to work but your earnings are reduced. This article provides some more information about the difference between these two types of wage loss benefits.
Medical benefits help you get the medical treatment you need to get better. These benefits allow you to see the doctor and get the medical treatment and testing the doctor recommends. One big advantage of workers compensation is that it covers one hundred percent of the cost of the medical treatment you need, but there are rules that determine what doctors the insurance company has to pay for.
Permanent partial disability compensates you when you have a permanent impairment as a result of your injury. Hopefully, you do not end up having to receive these benefits because you completely recover from your injury. But, serious injuries often lead to some form of permanent impairment. To make sure you are fairly compensated for that, you need to make sure you understand how these benefits work.
Can I sue the carpet mill to recover damages for my injury?
Your rights to file a lawsuit against the carpet mill are often replaced by your workers compensation case when you have an on the job injury. The basic idea of workers compensation is that it provides a system that get you medical treatment and lost wages more quickly than if you had to file a lawsuit against your employer.
It does that by taking fault out of the system. It does not matter whose fault it is that you got hurt under workers compensation. The workers compensation system should cover you as long as your were doing your job when you were injured.
The law in Georgia makes workers compensation your exclusive remedy against your employer for your injury in most situations. This usually means that you cannot successfully file a separate lawsuit against your employer for your injury. But, you do have the workers compensation claim.
However, there are many situations where you can file a personal injury lawsuit against another individual or company who caused your injury. This happens when someone other than your employer was negligent or reckless and caused your injury.
The good news in these situations is that you will not have to choose between the personal injury case and the workers compensation case. Generally, you can pursue both. But, make sure you talk to an attorney to understand how these two different types of claims work and how they affect each other.