Can I pursue a lawsuit against my employer for high levels of benzene in the workplace

Asked about 5 years ago - Atlanta, GA

hi i was working at a place that had a lot of benzene in the are. i was a vaccum truck driver and had a load of benzene water and was told to put it in a container that didnt have any place to connect my hose safely. my supervisor told me to open the top hatch and place the hose in the hatch to unload my truck. well the hose came out knocked me off the top of the tank and covered me head to toe in benzene water. i missed 1 day of work due to a badly swallon shin came back worked 1 day and they let me go. now i really dont care about the getting let go but the benzene i am worried about. they didnt give me a copy of the test results. so should i pursue this due to the hazard of benzene or just leave it be?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. James Johnston Long

    Contributor Level 3

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Best Answer
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    Answered . You can't sue your employer when you have been injured on the job, even when it was the fault of your employer or a coworker that caused your injury.
    Your employer should have a list of doctors to see for an on the job injury. You should ask your employer to send you to one of those doctors. If you need treatment your employer would have to provide it to you at no cost with no time limit. If you can't work on account of this and the doctor agrees you can receive income benefits.
    Please also be aware that there is a one year time limit for filing a workers' compensation claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation in order to preserve your right to medical treatment and income benefits.

  2. Donald W Singleton

    Pro

    Contributor Level 6

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . You need to consult with a good worker's compensation lawyer. Call me and I can give you a name of a friend of mine.

  3. Howard E. Spiva

    Contributor Level 12

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . In Georgia the "exclusive remedy" for an on the job injury against your employer is a worker's compensation claim.

    That doesn't mean there is not a case against a third party if there is a manufacturer type defect or intervening action.

    They are some exceptions but they are very difficult. Our firm has gotten around the exclusive remedy in a couple of very unique cases.

    Below are some of my comments on some general wc questions.

    QUESTIONS ABOUT SPECIFIC INJURIES

    Q. Can I be compensated for occupational related diseases?

    Yes.
    If your disease meets certain tests imposed by law, you can be compensated. There must be a causal relationship between your employment and the disease. It cannot be a disease that is an ordinary disease of life to which others are exposed.

    Q. What happens if I re-injure a pre-existing condition or injury?

    The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act limits the extent to which an aggravation of a pre-existing condition or injury is compensable.

    An aggravation of an on-the-job injury is compensable while the aggravation is the cause of the disability. Once the aggravation resolves and you return to the pre-injury condition, the claim will no longer be compensable.

    Q. Can I be compensated for a repetitive motion injury?

    Yes.
    Repetitive motion injuries are compensable if they arise out of and in the course of employment.

    Q. What is a catastrophic injury?

    Catastrophic injuries are extremely severe injuries, i.e., loss of limbs, severe burns, etc.

    Your employer is required to appoint a rehabilitation supplier who has expertise in handling catastrophic cases. This person would assist you in managing your medical care as well as any other assistance you might need in the recovery period following the accident. You will be entitled to Temporary Total Disability benefits for as long as you remain unable to work. Once you have returned to work, the Temporary Total Disability benefits will cease. If you are placed in a lower paying job, you will begin receiving Temporary Partial Disability benefits. After those benefits have been paid, you will begin receiving Permanent Partial Disability benefits.

    Q. Are heart attacks and strokes covered under workers’ compensation?

    Maybe.
    Heart attacks and strokes are not considered injuries under workers’ compensation unless it is shown by a preponderance of competent and credible evidence, which shall include medical evidence, that the condition was attributable to the performance of the usual work of employment.

    Make it a great day!
    Howard Spiva
    Howard@spivalaw.com (email)
    www.Spivalaw.com (main web page)
    www.georgiaworkcomplaw.com (Worker's Compensation)
    (912) 920-2000

    The Spiva Law Group does not represent insurance companies and is dedicated solely to the representation of individuals who are injured and their families.


    Here is some more information on WC claims:
    http://sbwc.georgia.gov/vgn/images/portal/cit_1...

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