Because spinal cord injuries have such serious consequences, it is imperative you speak with an Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Compensation Lawyer as soon as your doctor indicates that you may have suffered a severe spinal cord injury. Workers' compensation benefits should be available to provide the medical care you need, as well as to provide income to help support you and your family if your disability prevents you from working. An experienced Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Compensation Attorney will help to make sure you get the full extent of the benefits available under Georgia workers' compensation laws.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries in Workplace Accidents
Spinal cord injuries can happen in any type of workplace accident. However, there are certain common incidents that occur in the workplace and that are likely to cause damage to the spine. According to the Liberty Mutual 2011 Workplace Safety Index, the following were among the top 10 causes of disabling work injuries in 2009:
- Falls on the same level or falls to a lower level
- Injuries resulting from being struck by an object or from striking against an object
- Involvement in an accident on the highway
- Injuries resulting from being compressed in or caught by something
- Workplace assault or violence
These top causes of workplace injuries are all likely to result in damage to the spine. For example, even a fall from a relatively low height can cause a severe spinal injury depending on the angle at which you hit the ground. When these or other injuries happen either on the job site or when you are performing some type of required work duty off-site, workers' compensation benefits can kick in. This is true even if you were careless and even if your employer wasn't negligent, since workers' compensation makes employers liable for every work-related injury regardless of who was at fault.
Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Compensation Benefits for Severe Spinal Damage
The National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center (NSCISC) reports that a 25-year-old who suffers a spinal cord injury can expect to spend between $1,517,806 and $4,543,182 in medical costs and expenses over the course of his or her life. The variation in costs is related to whether you suffer a complete spinal cord injury (complete SCI) or an incomplete or partial injury such as Brown Sequard Syndrome or Anterior Cord syndrome. Those who are completely and totally paralyzed and have no movement or feeling from the neck down will, obviously, incur more significant costs than those who suffer partial paralysis only.
In any case, workers' compensation benefits should cover:
- Medical costs to-date including necessary transportation to appointments and the cost of adaptive medical devices
- Ongoing future medical costs. Estimating these and making sure that you get appropriate ongoing payments or that these are accounted for in a settlement can be tricky so be sure to get help from an Atlanta, Georgia workers' comp lawyer
- Complete or partial permanent disability benefits. A severe spinal cord injury will not go away and is considered a catastrophic injury, so you can potentially receive disability benefits for life. If you are completely unable to work, your benefits will equal 2/3 of your prior weekly wage up to $500. If you can still do some work but your income power is reduced, you'll receive a portion of the difference between what you were making before and after the injury.
To learn more about these and other workers' compensation benefits, you should consult with an experienced Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Compensation Attorney. Employers and workers' comp insurers sometimes try tricks and unsavory tactics to reduce the benefits they are required to pay you, so it is important you have a legal representative and that you meet all of the requirements of filing a workers' comp claim to get the benefits you deserve.
Getting Help From A Qualified Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Compensation Lawyer
Severe spinal cord injuries are devastating and you deserve to be taken care of by your employer if a work accident or work injury caused you to sustain life-changing damage to your spine. At Van Sant Law, LLC, our Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Compensation Lawyers have handled spinal damage cases throughout the State of Georgia and we can put our experience to work for you. Give us a call today at (404) 991-5950 to speak to our knowledgeable and compassionate Atlanta, Georgia Workers' Compensation Attorneys and to learn how we can help you.