We work to earn an income, but what happens if we are hurt on the job and need time to recover? How can we support ourselves? Unfortunately, injuries and illnesses caused by employment circumstances are not uncommon.
There is a recourse for employees who experience these situations: worker’s compensation. Workers’ compensation provides employees who sustain a job-related illness or injury with medical coverage and partial wages for the duration of their recovery. While accidents can happen at any job, there are industries that produce more workers’ compensation claims than others.
Industries with the Most Workers’ Compensation Claims
As reported by the Insurance Information Institute (iii), data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the top ten private industry occupations generating workers’ compensation claims for injury and illness. The industries represented by these occupations include healthcare, trucking, retail, construction, manufacturing, and repair. The top-ten specific occupations are:
- Nursing Assistant
- Registered nurse
- Truck driver (heavy trucks and tractor-trailers)
- Stocker and order filler
- Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse
- Retail salesperson
- Personal care aide
- Production worker
- General maintenance and repair worker
According to a recent BLS Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the transportation industry saw the highest number of fatal on-the-job accidents. There were 1,982 deaths reported, representing an increase of 11.5% from the previous year. These industry deaths accounted for 38.2% of all reported job-related fatalities.
The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries also reported rates for other industries and occupations with high numbers of job-related deaths. Causes included:
- Violence is caused by persons or animals. Of these 761 deaths, intentional injuries by a person was the largest subcategory, representing 718 deaths.
- Exposure to harmful substances or environments: 798.
- Slips, trips, and falls: 850. Of this number 370 falls occurred in the construction and extraction industry.
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Georgia Industries and Occupations with the Most Workers’ Compensation Claims
For a recent full year of data collection, the BLS recorded over 78,000 nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the private industry. Of that total, 41,600 were “of a more severe nature” and required the injured workers to have days away from work, job transfers, or restrictions.
The transportation industry had the highest number of injuries and fatalities. Accidents in the transportation industry include:
- Car accidents
- Train wrecks
- Aircraft crashes
- Commercial truck accidents
- Pedestrian accidents involving work (such as construction vehicles)
What Is Workers’ Compensation?
Any business owner employing three or more workers must buy workers’ compensation insurance. This requirement stands even if employees only work part-time, but are regular workers in the business. Workers’ compensation coverage begins on an employee’s first day on the job.
Business owners purchase workers’ compensation insurance through a third-party company, and this is the company that pays out benefits if workers are hurt on the job. In Georgia, you must have a physical injury to be eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you experience emotional trauma along with a physical injury, you may qualify for psychiatric care.
Benefits Provided through Workers’ Compensation
Through workers’ compensation benefits, you can receive a weekly paycheck if a doctor orders you to stay off the job for seven or more days. The check only comprises two-thirds of your typical weekly wages but is tax-exempt, so your take-home pay may not be reduced. You can collect temporary benefits for 400 weeks unless your injury is catastrophic, in which case you may receive lifelong benefits.
A panel of at least six doctors must determine your medical treatment. Workers’ compensation will cover medical bills, physical therapy, travel expenses, and other related costs.
If you are permanently injured, you are entitled to payments under the American Medical Association guidelines. The payment is based on a permanent or partial disability rating.
If your loved one is killed in an on-the-job accident or job-caused illness, you may be entitled to death benefits through workers’ compensation.
When you experience a job-related injury or illness, or if you have lost a loved one to an on-the-job accident, put yourself in the best position to get every dollar you deserve by partnering with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation lawyer from John Foy & Associates.
Why You Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Job-related illnesses and injuries may just require time to heal, or they may be catastrophic, changing your abilities for life. Types of injuries that have prompted recent workers’ compensation claims, as listed by The National Safety Council (NSC), include:
- Fractured or crushed bones
- Infections and inflammation
- Strains and sprains
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Lacerations and punctures
- Contusions and concussions
- Occupational diseases
Whatever your situation, it is best to partner with a workers’ compensation attorney who can help you file appropriately and fight for you if your employer or the insurance company tries to deny your claim or shortchange you on your benefits. You can appeal a denial but are more likely to win that appeal if an attorney handles your case.
Georgia Still Lags Behind
Recently, the Georgia House of Representatives voted to increase workers’ compensation benefit amounts. If the bill passes through the Senate, claimants will see a modest increase in temporary partial and full disability payments and in amounts paid to surviving spouses. Even with these potential increases, Georgia provides less coverage for injured workers than surrounding states.
If you need more than workers’ compensation can provide, you may have grounds for a third-party personal injury lawsuit. If so, your lawyer can handle your case and work toward a substantial settlement.
If You Are Hurt on the Job, We Can Help
The risk of on-the-job injuries is a daily reality for workers in numerous professions. From brave firefighters battling blazes to skilled roofers braving heights, and dedicated loggers working amidst heavy machinery, these individuals put their safety on the line every day to keep our communities functioning. When accidents happen, it’s crucial for injured workers to know their rights and seek the compensation they deserve.
Whether you work in an industry with a high or low record of workers’ compensation claims, you can still be hurt or suffer a work-related illness. When your recovery requires medical care, time away from work, or work restrictions, you need coverage and income to provide for yourself and your household.
A workers’ compensation attorney from John Foy & Associates will help you secure the benefits you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.