How to receive compensation after suffering a leg injury in the workplace
A leg injury can have devastating consequences that make it impossible to work and prevent you from managing other important responsibilities. Considering that your legs bear the brunt of your weight, it isn’t much of a surprise that an injury to this part of your body is possible in almost every occupation.
People who have job duties that require heavy lifting or long periods of standing are at the highest risk of injuring their legs. Construction workers, firefighters and factory workers are just a few of the people who need to be alert for potential leg injuries.
While you can do your best to avoid slip-and-fall accidents and use caution when lifting heavy objects, all it takes is 1 misstep to completely alter your life. In Georgia, leg injuries are covered under workers’ compensation laws, but you’ll find that there can be vast differences in how cases are handled.
Because of the serious nature of a leg injury, you want to make sure you follow the proper steps to get the compensation you need to cover your expenses and heal from your injury.
Common types of work-related leg injuries
A leg injury at work typically involves trauma to either the entire leg or the upper portion. Typically, knee, ankle and foot injuries are treated slightly differently since they focus on only 1 portion of your leg. For example, a broken leg may occur at any point, but it will usually limit your range of motion and ability to place weight on your entire leg.
In addition to broken legs, you could experience sprains and pulled muscles that can range in severity. A serious sprain could involve tendon ruptures or tears that require surgery. You may also need long-term physical therapy to help you recover full use of your leg following your initial medical treatment.
An amputation is the worst-case scenario for a leg injury. While whole leg amputations are rare, they can occur if your body gets trapped in or under heavy equipment or if your leg is severed by a sharp object. Rarely, a leg amputation may also be a last resort if you experience a severe infection or injury that won’t heal after an accident at work.
How long does it take to recover from a leg injury?
The recovery time for a leg injury can range from as little as a few days to an entire lifetime. When determining the appropriate amount of compensation for a leg injury at work, multiple factors need to be taken into account, including the severity of your injury and the expected length of time that you’ll need to recover.
Your compensation amount will also be determined by whether or not you can expect a partial or total loss of your abilities. For instance, although you will eventually heal from a leg amputation, your ability to return to your former job duties may be drastically affected. Meanwhile, someone with a leg sprain may be able to go back to work and resume their normal activities once they’re cleared to do so by their physician.
What will workers’ compensation cover following a leg injury?
Workers’ compensation is primarily meant to help you stay financially afloat during your recovery. You can expect your compensation to cover the cost of your medical expenses and any rehabilitation services that you require. Your settlement should also include compensation for the time that you lose from work, which generally amounts to two-thirds of your average weekly wage.
How much compensation can you get for a leg injury?
The workers’ compensation that you receive for your leg injury is calculated using several different methods that apply to your specific circumstances and depends on whether the injury is temporary or permanent.
Temporary total disability benefits
In Georgia, you might receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits if you cannot work at all due to your injury but are expected to eventually be able to return to the workforce.
With TTD, you should receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage up to a maximum of $675. With temporary benefits, your payments will stop once you reach the point of maximum medical improvement or you hit a set number of weeks.
Partial disability benefits
You might receive partial disability benefits if you can return to work, but you aren’t able to perform your normal job duties. An example of this would be a construction worker who needs to take a desk job when they can no longer safely work outside with heavy equipment.
If you receive this type of workers’ compensation, the amount will be calculated to reflect two-thirds of the difference between the wages you made before your injury and what you make when you return to work in your new role. This compensation can be permanent or temporary, depending upon the extent of your leg injury.
When should you contact a workers’ comp attorney?
Time is of the essence when it comes to making sure that you have the ability to cover your household needs along with your medical care after an injury. Due to the complex nature of leg injury cases, it’s best to begin working with a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. During your initial consultation, a lawyer can take a look at the factors surrounding your case and explain the next steps to help you recover the most compensation possible.
Workers’ compensation insurance companies may use a variety of tactics to minimize your compensation, such as delaying a decision or even denying your claim. An experienced workers’ comp attorney knows how to deal with insurance companies and will work on your behalf to make sure your claim is treated with the highest level of concern.