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Wrongful Death in an Atlanta Workplace - What You Should Know

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 members' recovery to compensation benefits.

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Georgia's Workmen's Compensation Act

As a result of the statutory restrictions on an employee’s and his or her 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 argue that the employee or entitled family members may only recover workmen’s compensation for their injuries, not punitive or other damages in a court of law.

However, exceptions to this general rule exist. For instance, when the injuries were by the intentional act of a third party for reasons personal to that employee, may trigger an exception to the broad coverage of Georgia's Workmen's Compensation Act. Hennly v. Richardson, 444 S.E.2d 317 (1994). In addition, where injuries are the result of negligence by persons or companies other than the injured person's employer, claims against these parties are not barred by workers' compensation laws. Other exceptions generally bar wrongful death suits against employers in certain industries, such as farming, railroad, domestic services, and other industries. O.C.G.A. 34-9-2(a).

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Speak With an Atlanta Workplace Fatality Attorney

Due to the complicated nature of these matters, it is imperative that parties touched by wrongful death seek the advice of a knowledgeable attorney. The Atlanta wrongful death attorneys at Grant Law Office can provide the skill and experience to help in this difficult time. Please call (404) 995-3955 today for assistance.

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