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Death in the Workplace

Complex issues may arise where the decedent was working at the time his or her death occurred. Under Georgia law, employers maintain a duty to provide a reasonably safe workplace. However, an employee’s ability to enforce this duty is limited significantly by Georgia’s Workmen’s Compensation Act. O.C.G.A. 34-9-11. Generally, this statute precludes almost all suits brought by an employee against their employer for injuries or death occurring within the scope of their employment. When an employee’s death results, Georgia’s Workmen’s Compensation Act usually limits entitled family member’s recovery to compensation benefits.

As a result of the statutory restrictions on an employee’s and employee’s family’s right to recover against an employer, employers in workplace tort actions will frequently assert that Georgia’s Workmen’s Compensation Act provides an exclusive remedy for work-related injuries. In other words, the employer will assert that the employee or entitled family members may only recover workmen’s compensation for their injuries.

However, exceptions to this general rule exist. See, e.g., Hennly v. Richardson, 444 S.E.2d 317 (1994) (holding that an exception to the broad coverage Georgia’s Workmen’s Compensation Act may arise where injuries are “caused by the willful act of a third person directed against an employee for reasons personal to such employee”); O.C.G.A. 34-9-2(a) (specifying exceptions to the general bar on suits against employers for certain employees in the farming, railroad, domestic services, and other industries). Due to the complicated nature of these matters, it is imperative that parties touched by wrongful death seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. Law Office of Donald P. Edwards can provide the skill and experience to help in this difficult time.

In all matters involving wrongful death it is essential that measures be taken promptly to preserve evidence, investigate the accident in question, and to file a lawsuit prior to the deadline imposed by the statute of limitations. If a loved one has been a victim of wrongful death, call Law Office of Donald P. Edwards now at 404-526-8866 or CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A SIMPLE CASE FORM. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to accept your case, we will work on a contingent fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary award or recovery of funds. Don’t delay! You may have a valid claim and be entitled to compensation for your injuries, but a lawsuit must be filed before the statute of limitations expires.
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The above is not legal advice. That can only come from a qualified attorney who is familiar with all the facts and circumstances of a particular, specific case and the relevant law. See Terms of Use.

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