If a dog bites you while you are performing your job duties in Georgia, you will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. While there is no need to prove negligence on anyone’s part, you must be able to show that the dog bite happened in the course of your employment.
For example, a mail carrier, meter reader, or delivery driver bitten by a dog at a customer’s property would likely qualify. You must report the injury to your employer promptly and file a workers’ comp claim.
Your employer’s insurance should pay for reasonable medical treatment stemming from the dog bite injury as well as benefits like lost wages if you miss work due to the injury. Hiring an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer is the best way to protect your rights when pursuing compensation.
What Should You Do If a Dog Bites You While You’re Working?
If a dog bites you while you are at work, it’s important to take action right away. Seek medical care as soon as possible. Inform your supervisor and file an injury report with details of when and how you were bitten. Take photos of the bite wound, if possible, for documentation.
Keep records of all doctor visits, medical expenses, and work time missed related to the bite. You may need these to file a workers’ compensation claim. Scarring and nerve damage from dog bites can be disfiguring and disabling. If your doctor advises it, pursue corrective surgery or physical therapy.
Consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to learn about your rights and legal options. You may be entitled to lost wages, medical benefits, and compensation for scarring. Your lawyer can help you file your paperwork correctly so you can access these benefits.
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What Does Georgia Workers’ Compensation Cover?
Georgia workers’ compensation provides coverage for injuries and illnesses sustained on the job.
Some of the main benefits include:
- Medical expenses: Workers’ compensation pays for all reasonable and necessary medical treatment related to your work injury. This category includes hospital bills, surgery costs, physical therapy, medications, and more. There are no deductibles or copays for this medical care.
- Lost wages: If your injury leaves you unable to work for a while, workers’ compensation will pay a portion of your lost wages. In Georgia, this is typically 2/3 of your average weekly wage, up to a maximum cap. Fortunately, workers’ compensation payments are not taxable.
- Permanent disability: If your injury causes a permanent impairment, you may receive disability benefits. The amount depends on the severity of disability and wages.
- Vocational rehabilitation: These services help injured workers return to gainful employment through job placements, training, and career counseling.
- Death benefits: If a work accident results in death, workers’ comp provides burial expenses and ongoing death benefits for dependents like a spouse or children.
Georgia workers’ compensation aims to cover all costs associated with on-the-job injuries, including dog bites. The coverage applies to most workers, providing vital protection and support.
Can You Go After the Dog’s Owner or Their Homeowner’s Insurance Company?
In most cases, you cannot sue the dog owner or file a claim with their insurance company if you were bitten on the job. Workers’ compensation would be the “exclusive remedy” in this situation.
There are a few key reasons for this:
- In Georgia, when you receive workers’ comp benefits, you waive the right to sue any third party, like a dog owner.
- Workers’ compensation exists to provide swift or guaranteed benefits for work injuries without determining fault or liability. So, it is usually the fastest way to recover compensation.
- Delivery drivers and postal workers assume some risk of dog bites as part of their work duties. So, it becomes very difficult to prove liability to the owner when bitten during a delivery.
- Homeowners’ or renters’ insurance usually excludes dog bite coverage for incidents involving commercial activities on the property. Therefore, suing the owner is not usually the best option.
The only exception is if the dog owner intentionally caused your injury or knew the dog was vicious, per O.C.G.A. § 51-2-7. But these cases are extremely hard to prove. So relying on workers’ compensation is usually the only realistic option for delivery drivers bitten on the job.
A personal injury lawyer from our team can advise you of the appropriate course of action for your situation.
Free Consultation Regarding Your Dog Bite Injury Claim
If you’ve suffered a dog bite while working, contact John Foy & Associates for a free case review. We have spent over 20 years fighting for the rights of injured workers in Georgia. One of our attorneys will evaluate your situation and advise you on the best path forward.
Dog bite injuries can cause severe pain, scarring, infection, lost wages, and other hardships. But you don’t have to endure this alone. Let our legal team fight to get you the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve. We deal with insurance companies so that you can focus on healing.
Call or contact us online for a free consultation.