Learn loggers’ rights to work injury compensation under Georgia law
Logging is one of the most dangerous professions. It’s a fact. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 2015 and 2018, the average number of lumberjacks killed on the job per year was 64. Per 100 workers, the average number of logging workers injured was 3.6. The number of workers per 100 who missed days from work due to injury was 2.9.
There are numerous large-scale logging companies that operate in Georgia, such as Goss Logging Service, Destiny Sky and Logging, Whitehead Logging Inc, A&W Land and Timber Inc., Evans Timber Co., Wes Brawley Logging and KS Harvesters Inc. While logging companies may use the best safety practices as regulated by OSHA, some accidents still occur and many are the result of negligence.
If you’ve been hurt while working for a logging company, our experienced Georgia workers’ compensation attorney can help you understand your rights and fight to get the compensation you deserve.
Don’t take your employer at their word if they say your workplace injury isn’t covered.
Contact us today for your free consultation.
Common logging injuries
One of the challenges of logging injuries is that they often occur in remote locations that are far from medical care. Therefore, injuries are often worse than they otherwise would be. The most common cause of a logging injury is a falling object. Trees, tree limbs and logs can all fall on workers and cause broken bones and head injuries.
Logging equipment often sprays sawdust, wood chips and bark at workers, causing eye injuries, mouth injuries and sawdust inhalation. The excessive inhalation of sawdust can lead to respiratory disorders.
Equipment designed to cut through trees can also cause serious injuries. The chainsaw can sometimes “kickback” and cause serious cuts and even severed limbs. Tree limbs and saplings can strike as well.
Loggers can fall off of logging trucks, loading platforms and sliders. Workers can also fall into holes. Even short falls can lead to sprains and broken legs.
Because of all the heavy and powerful equipment used during a logging operation, logging workers can become trapped and can suffer pinching and crushing injuries. Motor vehicles used in logging sometimes hit lumberjacks, especially during wet weather.
Our record of winning accident cases in Georgia speaks for itself:
Your rights as an injured lumberjack in Georgia
Like most Georgia workers, loggers have the right to file a claim for workers’ compensation after they have been injured on the job. However, the process can be more complex than most lumberjacks expect and mistakes can lead to denied claims or a reduced settlement.
Injured workers have less time to file a claim than in other personal injury cases. According to Georgia’s statute of limitations, you only have 1 year from the date of the accident to file a workers’ compensation claim.
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance provider may pay benefits for lost wages and medical expenses. You can receive total disability benefits for at least 7 days, even if you have been incapacitated.
After that, you will continue to receive reduced benefits until you have reached what is called “maximum medical improvement” (MMI). At this point, your doctor believes that your health will no longer through further treatment.
These payments will only continue for 400 weeks unless you have suffered a catastrophic injury. Injuries that qualify as catastrophic injuries include the amputation of a limb, traumatic brain injury, paralysis from spinal cord injury and severe burns.
Even if you are still working, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you are unable to earn as much due to your injuries. Your benefits should equate to two-thirds of your current average weekly earnings subtracted from your average weekly earnings before your injury.
You may also be eligible for permanent disability if your doctor determines that you will never recover. Then, you may receive benefits for life.
When to consult a workers’ compensation lawyer
Due to all the benefits you may be entitled to, the workers’ compensation insurance provider will do everything they can to reduce your settlement. They may assert that you’re not as injured as you claim. They may deny your claim if you do not provide enough medical evidence or if they believe that you are not following your doctor’s medical advice. They may also pressure you to see a physician who represents the interests of the workers’ comp insurance provider.
The insurance provider might retain an attorney who will do everything possible to minimize your settlement or deny your claim outright. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer on your side will know all the tricks and tactics commonly used by adjusters and lawyers to deny you the benefits you deserve.
You may also face some complications such as a preexisting condition. In such cases, the insurance provider might attempt to blame your injury on the previous condition rather than on the workplace accident.
Filling out all the necessary paperwork is time-consuming and difficult. If you make a mistake, you may have to wait longer before you can receive benefits. You may also fail to include medical records that would serve as evidence for your claim (which is the most common reason for a claim being denied).
Since you are focused on recovering, the last thing you want is a legal battle with an insurance provider or your employer. For this reason, it’s important to speak with an experienced and trusted attorney.