Poultry Processing Plant Injury Attorneys in the Atlanta Region
While poultry products like chicken are one of the leading staples throughout Atlanta and the United States, as a whole, the labor involved to make it store-ready is hazardous to the poultry processors making it possible. In 2017, a report from the U.S. The Government Accountability Office, poultry processors, and meatpackers came in at number eight for the highest number of injury reports in 2015. This may be due to the increased risk of machinery dismembering fingers and limbs, as well as repetitive stress injuries, back pain from standing for hours on ends, and exposure to toxic chemicals and airborne disease. As such, for workers in the industry, selecting from the few Atlanta poultry processing plant injury attorneys should be a high priority.
What are Common Causes of Work Injuries for Food Processing Workers?
Chicken plants (like Pilgrim’s Pride) frequently have harsh working conditions that contribute to employee injury rates. These facilities often have higher-than-average numbers compared to other meat processing industries. If you work in a poultry processing facility in Cobb or Gwinnett County, you are at risk of being exposed to any of the below situations that could cause you catastrophic harm:
- Heavy lifting
- Slip, trip, and falls
- Repetitive motion
- Defective machinery
- Extended standing
- Excessive line speeds
- Biological hazards
- Chemical exposure
- Hearing impairment
- Inadequate ventilation
- Plant explosions
- Smoke inhalation
- Burns due to fire or chemical exposure
If you are a worker who suffered an injury or contracted a disease while on-the-job in a poultry processing plant, you do have legal remedies for your damages. Workers’ compensation can help relieve you of the burdens caused by your occupational illness or injury by helping to reimburse covered medical costs, lost wages, and other damages you have incurred.
At The Law Offices of Darwin F. Johnson, our experienced poultry processing plant injury attorneys understand the challenges you face and how meat processing plants are often at fault for not ensuring worksite environments and tools are safe for their employees. Contact us today to learn more about your rights and how we can help you recover compensation for the harm their negligence caused you.
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work for Poultry and Meat Processors in Gwinnett County?
Georgia requires most businesses employing three or more workers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This coverage is crucial in protecting employees who get injured on-the-job or suffer an illness related to their profession. If you are in this situation, you should have the right to use this insurance to receive benefits to cover related medical expenses, lost wages, and other associated costs.
To claim these benefits, you have to establish that your injury or sickness was a direct result of your job. For poultry plant workers, this can also be challenging because the insurers providing these policies often try to deflect liability onto the injured or sick. This can make for a challenging negotiation and litigation process to ensure you receive a fair and just compensation award for your damages.
Making this more complex is that sometimes the full extent of the harm you or a loved one suffered may not be fully known for several years. An experienced Gwinnett County workers’ comp lawyer like those at The Law Offices of Darwin F. Johnson are well aware of this issue and can make sure that any settlement offer takes into account your future well-being, as well.
What Benefits Can I Receive If My Workers’ Compensation Claim is Approved?
Once your workers’ compensation claim gets approved, the type of benefit you receive is contingent upon your injuries and the impact on your life and future. Keep in mind that you may have suffered catastrophic damages, which might entail a separate personal injury suit. Typically, those who receive approval for worker’s comp in Georgia will have a few of the following benefits:
If you now have a partial disability because of your injuries, the state of Georgia supplies temporary partial and permanent partial disability benefits.
Temporary Partial Disability
If you can only work in a lesser role making less money for a temporary period of time, you may qualify for temporary partial disability benefits. This benefit can cover gaps in your pay until you can resume your regular duties again.
Permanent Partial Disability
This type of disability is a benefit that covers the gap in pay after you have to permanently take a lesser-paying role due to your injuries reducing your usual work capacity.
If your injuries were devastating and have left you unable to work for weeks or months on end, you may qualify for total disability benefits. Like partial disability, this support could be on a temporary or permanent basis:
Temporary Total Disability
Being unable to work for weeks or months may qualify you to receive temporary total disability benefits under Georgia workers’ compensation laws. This coverage can ensure that any wages you have lost due to your injury get reimbursed until you can return to work.
Permanent Total Disability
Should you be unable to ever return to work again because of your work-related injuries, you will likely qualify for permanent total disability benefits. This financial support lasts indefinitely and replaces the income you would have earned had you not gotten hurt at work.
Medical Care Benefits
Medical procedures, equipment, care, and related evaluations all get covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This policy also includes any related out-of-pocket costs, including transportation expenses taking you to and from doctor appointments.
If you need to undergo physical therapy, see a physiologist, or other occupational therapists, the cost of this rehabilitative care is covered.
Are There Deadlines for Filing a Fulton County Poultry Processor Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Whether you had the tip of your finger cut off by machinery on your line or you slipped and fell on a wet floor near your station, the resulting injury could require a lifetime of care. Unfortunately, filing a claim for these work injuries has tight deadlines and specific criteria to meet.
Deadline to Notify Your Employer
In the state of Georgia, you have 30 days from the date of injury to notify your employer that you got hurt on the job. While not required, it is always best to do this in writing via email or written letter. If you plan to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney, they can guide you on what you need and don’t need to state in your notice. This is critical advice since anything you submit can later be used against you as evidence.
Formal Claim Filing Deadline
Georgia law is specific about when you can formally claim workers’ compensation after being hurt in a chicken plant or any other job. Typically, workers must file a formal complaint within a year of getting injured or when they were reasonably aware or should have known they had gotten hurt. Those who miss this deadline risk losing their right to any financial compensation. This reality makes it crucial to hire a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney who is with poultry plant injury cases.
Can an Atlanta Poultry Processing Plant Injury Attorney Help My Case?
Poultry processing companies like Foundation Foods have an army of lawyers available to bully, manipulate, and overwhelm injured workers throughout the entire claim process. They have a brand to protect and, more importantly, a bottom line to keep. This attitude means they do not ever have your best interests in mind when offering to work with you on a claim settlement.
From low ball settlement offers to blaming those injured on the job, these corporations are ruthless in accident claims. Simple mistakes in statements or submitted paperwork can cost you everything during this challenging time. At The Law Offices of Darwin F. Johnson, we have decades of experience representing Atlanta families. Our poultry processing plant work injury attorneys fight for workers devastated by the negligence of employers throughout Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb Counties.
Trusting a Gwinnett County workers’ compensation lawyer to assist you with your poultry plant-related injury case means peace of mind knowing deadlines get met. By relying on our firm to help, you can focus on healing.
Fulton County Poultry Workers Deserve Representation They Can Count On
The top priority of the attorneys of The Law Offices of Darwin F. Johnson is to guide you through the entire workers’ compensation and personal injury claim process. We are passionate about ensuring your best interests and rights to compensation are never jeopardized. Our legal team understands the long-term implications that losing a finger or being exposed to dangerous chemical leaks can do to your future and those who rely on you for support. We can assist poultry workers in Gwinnett, Fulton, Cobb, and DeKalb Counties and throughout the Atlanta region.
Set up a free consultation today by contacting us online or calling us at (404) 521-2667 right away.