There is an excellent case in the Fulton County Daily Report today that illustrates why in Canton, GA, Atlanta, GA and the Entire State of Georgia the importance that certain cases should be treated as both workers’ compensation case and as Personal Injury cases and why, in a workers compensation case when there is pain and suffering and other damages not covered under workers’ compensation claims, that the workers’ compensation attorney should never agree to subrogate the personal injury insurance company that may be on the hook to make the Plaintiff whole again.
The case in point involves two tractor trailers who were involved in the incident and the driver that was held responsible crossed the median and hit the other tractor trailer causing the driver of that trailer broken bones and other severe injuries. The interesting part about this case is that the tractor trailer that was responsible for the accident was carrying frozen chinese food and that the chinese food entered the body of the injured driver of the other vehicle that did not cause the incident which caused that driver weeks of fighting for his life due to poisoning from the chinese food entering his body during the collision.
Furthermore, it was argued that the driver of the tractor trailer that caused the accident may have fallen asleep just before the overpass which is one very specific reason why trucking accidents should not be treated as auto accidents since falling asleep at the wheel can be a major cause of a trucking accident and trucker’s logs should be reviewed, along with other investigative measures, immediately following an accident involving a tractor trailer.
Typically, in a workers’ compensation case when a worker is injured or killed on the job, the injured worker is only entitled to damages, in part, that have to do with getting the injured back to work or damages that cause the injured worker’s employment status to change. Workers’ compensation claims do not reimburse for pain and suffering and workers’ compensation cases rarely amount to large sums of money.
In this case, however, this is a perfect illustration of why workers’ compensation cases can also be personal injury cases, and if the Plaintiff (i.e. the injured worker) is not made whole (i.e. returned to the working status, or life status, that the injured worker enjoyed prior to the on the job incident) that these may also be Personal Injury Claims whereby the injured worker may also be entitled to collect for pain and suffering, and other damages, from the insured for Personal Injury claims that would otherwise not be allowed under Workers’ Compensation Laws.
This is such a case in point. In this case the total recovery was $ 3.9 million and that recovery included the fact that the Plaintiff (i.e. the injured) suffered greatly and still requires daily pain medication, has long term, and possibly permanent, nerve damage from the injuries, and can no longer work like he did prior to the incident to provide for his family with three (3) children like he could before the accident. Not to mention that the Plaintiff can not enjoy the daily activities that the injured Plaintiff was able to enjoy prior to the accident which are damages that are usually the largest amount of damages in Personal Injury claims, and may not be damages considered in a workers’ compensation action.
Therefore, it is imperative that attorneys who handle workers’ compensation cases never agree to subrogate the Personal Injury insurance companies in these cases based on the argument that the workers’ compensation claim did not make their client whole and that the Personal Injury insurance is the only remedy in making the client whole again, if ever.
At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, our Workers’ Compensation and our Personal Injury Attorneys work closely together to insure that you, our client, receive the total amount of compensation that you deserve in both your Workers’ Compensation case, and, if applicable, your Personal Injury claim as well. If you have been injured on the job, it is important to Contact Us immediately so that you get the full compensation that you deserve. The insurance companies are there to protect their interests, and we are here to protect yours!