Georgia Super Lawyer
Susan J. Sadow is honored to have been selected as a 2020 Georgia Super Lawyer in the area of Workers’ Compensation. This is her 15th consecutive year to receive this distinction.
Susan J. Sadow is honored to have been selected as a 2020 Georgia Super Lawyer in the area of Workers’ Compensation. This is her 15th consecutive year to receive this distinction.
Don’t listen to the advice of friends, neighbors and relatives who have had work related injuries. Every case is different and the workers’ compensation laws in every state are different. Hiring an attorney and who knows the workers’ compensation laws in Georgia and who is familiar with the best doctors for your injuries will mean a better medical outcome and a much higher settlement for you.
Don’t miss doctors appointments. If you do, your weekly checks can be suspended.
Don’t earn any money when you are receiving weekly temporary total disability checks. The only exception to this rule can sometimes apply if you had a second job at the time when you were injured.
Workers’ compensation adjusters will often use surveillance if you have been out of a work for an extended period of time or if they have doubts about your whether you were really injured on the job or if they think that you are exaggerating your injuries. Do not assume that even if you live in a remote area that they will not find you.
Do not exceed the work restrictions given to you by your treating physician. Private investigators will often follow injured workers to see if they are working on their homes, working on their cars, participating in sports or carrying heavy groceries.
Do not post any photos or talk about your activities on social media when you are involved in a workers’ compensation case. Employers and Insurers regularly look at the social media posts of injured workers.
If you have not any received income benefits, do not refuse light duty employment if it is offered to you. However, if you have been out of work receiving income benefits and then a light duty job is offered to you, your attorney can require the workers’ compensation carrier to obtain a light duty job description and submit it to your authorized treating physician for approval before you have to return to light duty work.
Do not go to the company clinic when you are first injured on the job. Immediately after you are hurt you should ask to see the panel of physicians posted by your employer to select the doctor of your choice. If you go directly to the clinic, you will only have one more chance to change doctors during your entire case. If you contact us as soon as possible after your accident, we will be able to review the panel to see if it is valid and help you select the best doctor for your injuries.
If you return to light duty work with reduced hours or at a lower rate of pay, you are entitled to receive wage loss benefits to compensate you. Keep every pay stub so that your wage loss can be documented.
Do not be lulled into a false sense of security by thinking that if you don’t hire an attorney you will be treated fairly Unfortunately, for all employers, what they spend in a workers’ compensation case affects their bottom line. If your employer decides to terminate you, they will do so whether or not you have an attorney. Protect yourself.
When you get hurt on the job and enter the workers’ compensation system, there is nothing that can prepare you for the financial stress with the challenges that lie ahead. Our clients suffered work related injuries through no fault of their own, receive medical treatment and a fraction of their prior wages. Many times your work related injury can lead to permanent work restrictions and physical limitations. The harsh reality for our clients that they may never be able to return to their prior career can be difficult and lead to a sense of hopelessness. At Sadow & Froy, we do our best to keep our clients’ focus in a positive direction because there is life after your workers’ compensation claim!
As your case progresses and your medical treatment begins to slow down we will begin to discuss the option of settlement. In Georgia, all settlements of workers’ compensation claims are voluntary, so this can never be guaranteed. However, most insurance companies will want to settle your case. Settlement is the best way to close the door on this horrible chapter and open the door to the next phase of life! Many attorneys will merely discuss values of the claim in terms of dollars and cents, but our clients deserve better. We pride ourselves on trying to help our clients look at the future in a positive light and discuss that settlement is more than a business decision, it is a family decision, it is a life decision.
Settlements of workers’ compensation claims in Georgia are tax free. It is rare in life to have the opportunity to secure a lump sum of tax free money to restart your work life. For some, their settlement money means that they can pay off a mortgage, which is every household’s most significant expense. For others, their settlement sends them back to school to be retrained for a substantially lighter and most times far more lucrative career! We recently had a client who was so intrigued by the mediation process involved in settling her claim that she is now working towards her certification to become a mediator herself. We love hearing these stories, people taking lemons and making lemonade. Other clients have used their settlement funds to start their own business. A lump sum from your settlement provides capital for equipment, marketing and overhead.
At Sadow & Froy, one of the most rewarding aspects of working hard for our deserving clients is the opportunity to watch them grow and prosper despite their limitations. We believe in giving our clients the best possible start for their next chapter in life and we will do everything we can to obtain the most favorable settlement to assist you and your family in making a bright future.
“The College of Workers' Compensation Lawyers has been established to honor those attorneys who have distinguished themselves in their practice in the field of workers' compensation. Members have been nominated for the outstanding traits they have developed in their practice of twenty years, or longer, representing plaintiffs, defendants, serving as judges, or acting for the benefit of all in education, overseeing agencies and developing legislation. These individuals have convinced their peers, the bar, bench and public that they possess the highest professional qualifications and ethical standards, character, integrity, professional expertise and leadership. They have a commitment to fostering and furthering the objectives of the College and have shown significant evidence of scholarship, teaching, lecturing, and/or distinguished published writings on Workers’ Compensation or related fields of law. In addition to these characteristics, a Fellow is expected to display the following traits in their day to day practice of workers’ compensation and related fields:
A Fellow stands out to newer attorneys as a model of professionalism in deportment and advocacy;
A Fellow has earned the respect of the bench, opposing counsel and the community;
A Fellow displays civility in an adversarial relationship;
A Fellow avoids allowing ideological differences to affect civility in negotiations, litigation and other aspects of law practice;
A Fellow demonstrates an active interest in resolving issues;
A Fellow is a student of the law;
A Fellow has a thirst for knowledge in all areas of the law that affects their representation of their clients in Workers’ Compensation or their duties in adjudicating cases brought before them;
A Fellow actively participates in the state, local and/or National Bar.”
I am very much looking forward to the Induction Dinner that will take place in New Orleans on March 28, 2020.
Susan J. Sadow
In our practice, we have clients who undergo various types of orthopedic surgeries on almost a daily basis. Repeat surgeries take a toll on injured workers and their families. They also increase claims costs for employers, insurers and self-insurers. Unfortunately, the number of repeat surgical procedures that we encounter seems to be on the rise. Evidently, this is not just a phenomenon that is limited to Georgia workers’ compensation cases. On March 5 and 6, 2020, the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) will be holding its 36th Annual Issues & Research Conference in Boston where the results of preliminary research on repeat lumbar spine surgeries in the workers’ compensation population will be discussed. A close look will be taken at readmission and reoperation rates in various states and the implication for payors, injured workers and policy makers.
We look forward to hearing the results of this study to see if the readmission and reoperation rates in Georgia exceed the national average. We are also anxious to learn how these rates compare with individuals in the general population who undergo repeat surgeries that are not the result of work related accidents. We hope that specific attention will be focused on delays in approvals for diagnostic testing and surgical procedures and whether these delays cause less than optimal outcomes for injured workers.
If you, a friend, or a family member is facing a repeat surgical procedure, whether for a lumbar spine, cervical, shoulder, knee or foot injury, you should not go down this path alone. We are available for a free consultation to offer our guidance and expertise. Call Sadow & Froy at 770-984-8900 today.
It seems like everywhere you look in the metropolitan Atlanta area construction projects abound. However, the dramatic increase in construction projects unfortunately brings with it a corresponding high cost to many workers who are involved in this field. USA Today reported on November 5, 2019, that ...“workers in the construction industry are most likely to use cocaine and misuse prescription opioids compared with other employees, according to a study published last week by the Center for Drug Use and HIV/HCV Research at the New York University College of Global Public Health.”
The article noted that the high injury and fatality rates is primarily attributed to falls, overexertion and workers who sustain devastating injuries after being struck by or caught in heavy machinery. The high injury rate due to labor intensive work very often leads to treatment or self-treatment with pain medication. “The study found that 12.5% of construction workers use marijuana, compared with 7.5% of all other workers. The analysis was based on surveys of 293,492 employees from 2005 to 2014.”
“Construction workers also had the second highest rate of marijuana usage after employees in service jobs. Investigators took workplace drug policies into consideration and found that stricter policies were linked with less marijuana use.”Continue Reading
Ms. Froy recently appeared before the Honorable Kimberly Boehm to fight for the rights of one of her clients. The client, (who we will refer to as ‘Mr. Smith”), began receiving workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatment after his accident and then all of his benefits were suddenly suspended. The first legal issue at the hearing was whether the Employer/Insurer had unreasonably suspended her client’s income benefits and medical treatment. The second issue involved the standard of “newly discovered evidence”. The final issue was whether her client had intentionally misrepresented his physical condition on his employment application. Judge Boehm ruled in favor of her client on all three issues and the Award was so strong that the Employer/Insurer chose not to appeal!
The facts of the case involved Mr. Smith who was injured while jumping out of the cab of a truck that had started shifting from the loading dock. He jumped in order to help his co-worker who was about to be hurt. As a result of the jump, Mr. Smith injured his left foot and low back.
Without conducting any investigation whatsoever, the insurance company denied Mr. Smith’s claim on the basis that he was not performing his job duties when he jumped out of the truck to assist his co-worker. Ms. Froy promptly filed a hearing request. Before any discovery had been completed, the insurance company agreed to accept the claim and to pay income and medical benefits to Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith began medical treatment. However, within two months, the Employer/Insurer filed a new denial of the claim based upon alleged “newly discovered evidence” and they also asserted a Rycroft defense (the intentional misrepresentation of his physical condition).Continue Reading
For airline workers, injuries can happen anywhere—in the terminal, on the plane, on the tarmac, in the air—for any number of reasons.
Ticket agents are susceptible to on the job injuries because they are required to handle passenger baggage at several points throughout the check in process. They retrieve and tag passenger baggage as well as move baggage onto a feeder conveyor. Awkward body postures, repetitive movements and the forces required to lift, lower, push, pull or carry heavy and oversized bags create potentially serious ergonomic hazards for these workers that can result in upper extremity, cervical and lumbar spine injuries.
Ramp agents have a very strenuous job and they are frequently the victims of work related injuries. In addition to stacking and shifting heavy and/or oversized bags, they have to load and unload baggage. Accidents can occur when ramp workers are struck or crushed by moving objects or when they trip and fall over obstacles on the ramp, such as cables, tow-bars, fueling hoses or spilt liquids.
Flight attendants are at risk for injuries to multiple parts of their bodies as a direct result of in air turbulence, pushing heavy meal and beverage carts and assisting passengers who are storing heavy luggage in overhead bins.
Neck and back injuries are common among crew members who clean the cabins due to repetitive twisting, turning and reaching. Airline employees whose job is to assist disabled passengers in and out of wheelchairs are similarly at risk for musculoskeletal injuries due to lifting, twisting and carrying which are all integral parts of their job duties.
We have successfully represented and negotiated excellent settlements for many airline workers who have suffered serious, life changing, work related injuries. If you, a friend, or a family member has experienced a job related injury in the airline industry, we can help. Call us today for a free consultation.
Fascinating article by ProPublica about the dramatic rise in job related injuries and deaths at Georgia Pacific plants nationwide. Workplace injuries and illnesses clearly increase when employers motivated by profit push employees to work longer shifts and do more work with less support and less training.
Georgia law requires all employers with three or more employees to have workers’ compensation insurance for any accident, illness or injury suffered on the job. Even though workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory, many employers and their insurance companies will try their best not to compensate you for your injuries. Employees will sometimes be lead to believe that due to their medical records or past medical history, they may not be able to receive workers’ compensation benefits.
This is false! A prior history should not affect your ability to receive income benefits and medical treatment for a new injury if your job duties or an accident at work has aggravated your pre-existing injuries. You have a right to know this.
You have several options: Before filing a claim, contact the expert workplace attorneys at Sadow & Froy to discuss your circumstances and allow us to formulate a game plan and start fighting for you. If you have already filed a claim and are running into roadblocks, delays, and denials of necessary medical treatment or testing, we will fight for you to help you receive proper, timely medical treatment for your injuries as well as the financial compensation you are due during your recovery.
In either instance, we will need to evaluate your case to determine the best course of action for you. It is never a good idea to go up against your employer or their workers’ compensation insurer on your own! That is exactly what they are hoping you will do. Hiring an attorney will level the playing field so that no one has an opportunity to take advantage of you after you have suffered an accident at work. Let us do what we do best. Call our office today and put your mind at ease!
For many people struggling to cope with the pressures of life in a 24/7, on-demand world, sleep gets relegated to the bottom of their to-do list. Sleep is sacrificed to squeeze in an extra hour of productivity, or because rest time is equated with wasted time.
“A large percentage of the U.S. workforce is fatigued on the job,” said Claire Caruso, a research health scientist at NIOSH.
Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. However, data from the National Health Interview Survey published in the journal Sleep shows that about 30% of U.S. workers got less than six hours of sleep a night in the mid-2000s – up from 24% in the 1980s.Continue Reading
We are proud to announce that Susan J. Sadow has been included in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Workers’ Compensation Law - Claimants. This is the 16th consecutive year that Ms. Sadow has been selected to receive this distinction.
Georgia workers are more likely to sustain on-the-job injuries during the hot summer months. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most work injuries occur in June, July, and August. It is therefore important for workers to be vigilant about safety, especially during this time of year.
Summer means warm weather, vacations, and seasonal job opportunities. However, it also brings increased risks associated with high temperatures and busy schedules. Common types of accidents that cause serious injuries to workers during the summer months include car accidents and slip and falls.
Car accidents – There is more traffic during the summer, when people are traveling to and from summer activities and going on vacation. Truck drivers, delivery people and those who drive for work should be aware that others are more likely to be distracted during the summertime. Workers who are injured in work related car accidents due to the negligence of a third party may have both a workers’ compensation case as well as a potentially valuable claim against the driver who caused the accident.Continue Reading
Your dedication and commitment to excellence have been so instrumental in making our firm a success! You have changed many lives for the better. Continue to shine!
Spinal Cord Stimulators have been a part of the pain management arsenal for over 30 years. They consist of a medical device that uses electronic currents to block pain signals before they reach the brain. A spinal cord stimulator device is surgically placed under the skin and sends a mild electric current to the spinal cord. Thin wires carry current from a pulse generator to the nerve fibers of the spinal cord. When turned on, the spinal cord stimulator stimulates the nerves in the area where pain is felt. Pain is reduced because the electrical pulses modify and mask the pain signal from reaching the brain. Maintenance of spinal cord stimulators is expensive and may continue for the rest of an injured worker’s life.
We generally see spinal cord stimulators recommended for our clients who suffer from chronic pain when all other treatment options have been unsuccessful. The injured workers who are most likely to receive a recommendation for a spinal cord stimulator from their pain management physician typically fall into three categories: crush injuries, multiple failed back surgeries, or those who have been diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.
Although they are often touted as a panacea, it is important to keep in mind that the success of spinal cord stimulators varies. Recent studies have noted that the incidence of complications from spinal cord stimulators varies from 30% to 40% of patients. Adverse results are usually either hardware-related complications or biological complications. The most common hardware related complication is lead migration. Other lead related complications such as failure of the leads or fractures have also been reported. Biological complications include infection and pain over the implant. More serious complications such as dural puncture headaches and neurological damage are rarely observed, but have been reported.
If you or a family member has a work related injury and a spinal cord stimulator recommendation has been made, this is a serious and potentially life changing decision. We can help you make the right choice about implantation and we can also ensure that if you go forward with a spinal cord stimulator, your future medical costs will be covered by your workers’ compensation carrier. Call us today for your free consultation.
We have represented many clients over the years who have suffered serious injuries at work as a result of ladder accidents. Recovery from these injuries can be long and painful. The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Sadow & Froy fight to make sure that our clients who have suffered falls at work receive the maximum income benefits they are entitled to as well as top quality medical treatment. Our goal is to see that our clients have the best physical recovery and financial recovery.
Ladder accidents on-the-job happen frequently, despite that fact that they are entirely preventable if workers are given proper equipment and climbing training. Unfortunately, far too often, that is not the case. Approximately half of all ladder related accidents are due to workers carrying items as they climb. The most common type of injuries that results from a ladder related fall are fractures.
The majority of work related ladder accidents fall into four different categories:Continue Reading
We have represented hundreds of workers in Georgia who have suffered or continue to suffer from chronic pain after on-the-job accidents. Chronic pain can develop after failed orthopedic surgeries, after crush injuries and when injured workers have been diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome “CRPS”. While it is always very challenging to treat chronic pain, fortunately there are currently a variety of treatment options.
Medications for Chronic Pain:
The most popular Georgia workers’ compensation question we are asked by potential clients is, “What is my case worth?” If you call an attorney on this phone and he or she gives you an immediate answer about the value of your case, you should be wary. The value of every case is dramatically different, even when it appears on the surface that two people have suffered the same type of injury.
We believe in honesty and in giving our clients realistic expectations. So if you call us and want to know how much a torn rotator cuff is worth, we will not provide a quick answer because we know that many factors need to go into this analysis. We will want to obtain more in depth information about the status of your medical treatment, your permanent work restrictions, your job duties and your work history.
A potential client recently called and she asked what her case was worth after tearing her meniscus and having surgery. A meniscal injury is usually fairly straight forward and many clients make a good recovery. However, in this case, after we reviewed the medical records, it became apparent that the first surgery wasn't successful and the treating physician was recommending total knee replacement surgery in the near future. This gave her case much more value than a standard meniscal repair surgery.Continue Reading
We pride ourselves on having exceptional communication with our clients so they know what is going on in their cases every step of the way. We talk to our clients after each medical appointment so that we are updated on their medical status and their recovery.
We have specialized legal knowledge because we handle only workers’ compensation cases. We are frequently invited to lecture to other attorneys at seminars on current workers’ compensation topics.
We actually meet with our clients and don’t send a non-lawyer to their home to sign them up.
We are nationally recognized in Best Lawyers in America in the area of workers’ compensation.
Both Susan J. Sadow and Heather D. Froy have been recognized as Georgia Super Lawyers in the area of workers’ compensation.
We don’t advertise on radio or on television to attract new clients. A great number of our clients are referred to us by past clients who have successfully used our firm to resolve their cases.
We have over 100 5-star ratings on avvo.com.
We are two working women who understand the needs of people who are hurt on the job, but still have to provide for their families.
We make it our business to know as much as possible about doctors throughout the State of Georgia so we can provide our clients with top quality medical care.
With over 40 years of combined experience in the area of workers’ compensation, we have developed an outstanding network of contacts in the workers’ compensation industry. We also have an exceptional network of attorneys in other areas of practice who we regularly refer our clients to if they have personal injury, products liability or medical malpractice claims.
Georgia’s weekly rates for temporary total disability and temporary partial disability have traditionally been some of the lowest in the country! In addition, the financial benefit for dependents who suffered the loss of a loved one due to a work related injury in Georgia have also been woefully inadequate. We are happy to report that temporary total disability benefits, temporary partial disability benefits and compensation to a surviving spouse will be increased for all injuries or workplace deaths that take place on or after July 1, 2019.
For the past seven years, limitations on medical treatment have also presented an enormous problem for many of Georgia’s injured workers. On July 1, 2013, severe time restrictions were imposed on the rights of individuals who suffered work related injuries to receive medical treatment. These restrictions capped medical treatment at 400 weeks from the date of injury for all non-catastrophic injuries. This meant that durable medical goods such as replacement prostheses, spinal cord stimulators, intrathecal pumps, hearing aids, orthotics and prescription eyeglasses would no longer be paid for by workers’ compensation insurers after the 400 week period. The huge financial burden for Georgia’s seriously injured workers that resulted from these limitations on medical treatment has finally been addressed!Continue Reading
If you or one of your family members has been injured in a workplace accident in Georgia or has developed a medical condition as a result of daily job duties, it is very important for you to know how and when to seek workers' compensation benefits. Georgia’s workers' compensation law is a no-fault system. This means that you may receive lost wage benefits and medical treatment regardless of who is responsible for your injury as long as your injury arose out of and in the course of your employment.
Georgia places the burden of reporting a work related injury on the injured worker. This means that it is your responsibility to report an on-the-job accident to your supervisor or someone in management with your company as soon as possible after the accident occurs. Although the law allows for a 30 day notice requirement, the longer you take to give notice of an accident, the higher the likelihood that your claim will be denied.
When you report your injury, it is essential that you inform your supervisor that you would like to receive medical treatment. It is also critical that you tell your employer about every body part that you think may have been injured in the accident. Your employer is required to show you a list of doctors to choose from for your FIRST visit. Your employer should NOT just send you to the local company clinic and give you no choice of medical providers.Continue Reading
We anticipate that the following significant changes will be made to Georgia Workers’ Compensation law on July 1, 2019.
Increase in the maximum weekly compensation rate for temporary total disability benefits from $575 to $675 for all injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2019.
Increase in the maximum weekly compensation rate for temporary partial disability benefits (wage loss) from $383 to $450 for all injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2019.
For all injuries not designated as Catastrophic injuries under subsection (g) of O.C.G.A. Sec. 34-9-200.1, the following items will no longer be subject to the 400 week cap:
The total compensation paid to a surviving spouse as a sole dependent at the time of death where there is no other dependent for one year or less after the death of the employee will increase from $230,000 to $270,000.
The increase in the weekly compensation rate for Georgia’s injured workers is long overdue. Georgia’s weekly compensation rates still remain some of the lowest in the country even after this increase. The changes to the law concerning durable medical equipment are critical to the welfare of workers’ who have suffered severe injuries and had no source of paying for durable medical goods beyond 400 weeks from their accident dates or after their case settled. Requiring employers, insurers and self-insurers to pay for these goods will enable attorneys to include the future cost of these goods in settlement evaluations and will ensure that injured workers continue to receive the medical equipment that they need for the remainder of their lives.
Be sure to report your on-the-job injury to your supervisor as quickly as possible after your accident. The longer you wait, the greater the chance that your claim will be denied. Failing to promptly report an injury can also result in delays in receiving medical treatment.
Consult with an attorney before going to an occupational medicine clinic or selecting a doctor from your employer’s panel of physicians. Your attorney will know exactly which specialist is right for your injuries. You only have the right to a change of doctors once in your entire case. Don’t lose that right by making the wrong choice of doctors in the beginning.
When you meet with a doctor for the first time, it is very important that you list every single body part that is injured. If you mention new body parts to your doctor one month after your accident, the insurer will likely deny treatment of those body parts.
If asked about prior injuries or accidents, be truthful with your physicians. It is also critical that you give the same description of your accident to every doctor that you see.
Do not quit your job and do not be a “no call, no show” after your accident, even if you are in pain. You need to be placed on a “no work” status by your authorized treating workers’ comp. physician in order to be paid for missing time from work.
While most injured workers are new to the workers’ compensation system, we certainly are not! Our approach is knowledgeable and strategic. When you work with us, you are surrounding yourself with expert legal advice. This allows you to focus on your recovery. We know all of the games the insurance companies play and we don’t let them take advantage of our clients! By obtaining our help early in the process, we can get you to the right doctors, gather convincing evidence and negotiate with the insurance companies to get you every dollar that you deserve. Our team will answer even the most complex questions for you and we will develop a strategy that will result in a highly successful resolution of your case.
Everyone knows that Atlanta traffic has gotten progressively worse year after year. Unfortunately, with the increase in traffic, comes a corresponding increase in traffic accidents. Motor vehicle accidents present a huge danger for anyone who spends a large portion of their day on the road. This can include over-the-road truck drivers, delivery drivers, traveling sales people and visiting nurse practitioners. Even simple job related errands can lead to accidents which can seriously injure drivers. Many of these accidents are the result of distracted driving due to phone calls and texts.
If you, a friend, or a relative has been injured in a work related motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation checks and payment of your medical bills. In addition to a potential workers’ compensation case, you may also have a personal injury claim against the at fault driver in your accident. Our job is to let each and every one of our clients know what their options are. We will get you the treatment you deserve and negotiate the highest possible recovery for your injuries.
If you live in the Atlanta metropolitan area, you see construction taking place everywhere. Everyone knows that construction work can be extremely dangerous. However, a recent study revealed that smaller construction companies in particular often fail to provide adequate safety measures to protect their employees. Evidence of the magnitude of the problem can be found in a third quarter report for 2018 published by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR).
According to that alarming report, smaller construction companies are far more likely to experience fatal work-related accidents. In 2016, 67 percent of all construction-related deaths were reported in companies with no more than 19 employees. The fatality rate for these smaller companies was significantly higher than in companies with 20 or more employees. This may be attributable to the fact that smaller companies are under more pressure to cut corners in order to reduce their costs. This comes at a grave expense to their employees and their families.
From 2011 to 2016, the most common fatal accidents in the construction industry included:
Falls to lower levels: Falling from ladders, scaffolding, and other equipment increased by 26 percent from 2001 to 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Approximately 61.5 percent of these fatal accidents occurred in companies with less than 10 employees.
Struck by accidents: These accidents involve being struck by equipment, materials or debris. Approximately 32.8 percent of deaths attributed to struck by accidents occurred in companies with no more than 10 employees.
Electrocutions: Uncovered wires and water exposed wires on a construction site can result in electrocutions. Approximately 55.6 percent of electrocution deaths happen within companies with no more than 10 employees.
Caught-in/between accidents: When workers get caught inside or in between equipment and structures, they can be fatally injured. Approximately 44.9 percent of caught-in/between accidents occur in companies with no more than 10 employees.
The construction industry is booming, particularly in the metro Atlanta area. With the rise in construction projects comes an increase in work related injuries. Typical workers’ compensation claims from construction accidents include slip and falls, often from considerable heights, lacerations from power tools, and cumulative trauma among those workers who carry out consistent repetitive motions. The injuries construction workers suffer are typically quite serious and frequently require surgery with months of rehabilitation and recovery.
We have handled thousands of construction accident claims throughout our careers. We know what a huge impact these injuries can have on your life. Our job is to find the best doctors for your injuries. We will aggressively and passionately fight for you and ensure that you receive all of the income and medical benefits that you are entitled to. Contact Sadow & Froy for our expert legal advice today.
We all know that in today’s economy, many people are remaining in the work force much longer than their parents or grandparents did. Consequently, older workers often face an increased risk of injury than their younger counterparts. Below are some reasons why:
In general, people lose 15 to 20% of their maximum muscular strength from the ages of 20 to 60. While older employees may be able to perform the same tasks as younger workers, in order to do so, they may have to work closer to their maximum level. Since the musculoskeletal system weakens over time, this results in decreased capacity for load-bearing work. Highly repetitive motions can cause physical problems at any age, but particularly for older workers.
Between the ages of 20 to 60, workers also lose 15 to 20% of their range of motion. While most jobs do not require a person to use all of their strength, older employees may need to work closer to their maximum levels to get the job done. Since the musculoskeletal system weakens over time, a decreased capacity for load-bearing work can result in work related injuries.
As we age, our bodies lose some 'range of motion' and flexibility. Older workers may be used to certain range of movements at one task or workstation. However, being less flexible or less able to reach can cause problems in unpredictable situations that require unusual movements.
Between the age of 30 and 65, the ability of the heart, lungs and circulatory system to carry oxygen decreases. Functional breathing capacity can reduce by 40%. These changes can affect older workers’ ability to perform extended heavy physical labor. They also reduce the ability of older workers’ bodies to adjust to hot and cold conditions.
This is a question that we are asked on almost a daily basis. Unfortunately, the answer is “yes” because Georgia is an “at will” employment state. Many injured workers are fearful of losing their jobs if they pursue a workers’ compensation claim against their employer. That is precisely why immediately after you are hurt on the job, you need to do everything possible to protect yourself. Hiring an attorney is the first step in this process.
A common misconception is that you will be fired if you hire an attorney, but you will keep your job if you do not seek representation. This is simply not true. A separation from employment is no more likely to occur if you have hired an attorney than if you have not. If you are separated, or fear that you are about to be fired from your job, our skilled and knowledgeable team of female lawyers are here to help you. Employers will look for reasons to fire injured workers “for cause”. We know how to help you avoid this from happening.
Termination after a workers’ compensation injury is a complex legal issue that can impact your weekly benefits as well as the settlement value of your case. Your employer will not hesitate to seek legal advice to protect their interests. You are entitled to be armed with the best legal advice too. If you have concerns that you may be terminated by your employer, you should speak to an attorney as soon as possible. We have years of experience that enable us to expertly guide our clients through a Georgia workers’ compensation system that is designed to wear injured workers down and benefit the interests of employers and insurers. We know that there is no substitute for hard work on behalf of our clients. We will develop a strategy unique to your situation so that we can protect your rights, benefits and future settlement.
Workplace accidents happen. Despite best intentions and careful observance of safety regulations, many Georgia workers are seriously injured each year. If you or someone you love has been injured in the workplace, or while working off-site, we're here to help. This means that our knowledge of workers' comp. is thorough and current. Our firm is well known for handling even the most difficult or complex cases. We invite you to meet with us to learn more about what sets us apart from other law firms.
We understand that no amount of money can make you whole again — but our job is to ensure that you receive the maximum workers’ compensation benefits that you are entitled to for your injury. We will also ensure that you receive all of the medical treatment you need at the employer/insurer’s expense. At Sadow & Froy, we know how important it is to you and your family that you receive timely weekly workers’ compensation checks whether it be for temporary total, temporary partial, or permanent partial disability.Continue Reading
If you have suffered a work related accident, you will often receive a call from the adjuster assigned to your case or an investigator assigned by the adjuster to contact you. The adjuster or investigator will seek your permission to ask a number of questions about your case and your responses will be recorded. Unfortunately, there are so many times when potential clients call us AFTER they have already given a recorded statement to their adjuster, instead of before. This is a dangerous thing to do and can result in your claim being denied!
Insurance companies are concerned about making money and keeping their insurance rates low. That means they are motivated to give you as little as possible and to deny any claim where they have even a small likelihood of winning. They are hoping that a denial will mean that you will not pursue your workers’ compensation claim any further and that you will instead, use health insurance to pay for your medical treatment.
We have been handling workers’ compensation cases since 1992! Our mission is to treat every client with care and respect, protect their rights and guide them in their pursuit of justice so that they can get top quality medical treatment and receive the highest possible settlement for their injuries.
IIf you have been seriously injured on the job, even if you have worked for your employer for years, don’t let the adjuster lull you into a false sense of security and make you think that you do not immediately need legal representation. Our job is to look out for you. The adjuster’s job is to look out for the insurance company and your employer’s bottom line. We have the knowledge to guide you and to keep you from making mistakes that will dramatically affect the value of your claim! Call us at 770-984-8900 so that a meeting can be scheduled with one of our experienced lawyers today!
Many of our clients are diagnosed with previously asymptomatic degenerative or bulging discs that have been aggravated by an injury at work. If physical therapy and medication don’t work after a work related accident, the next step is often injections. Unlike oral medication which impacts the entire body, a series of injections will allow your doctor to target the therapy to a specific area such as your neck or low back. In addition to relieving pain, injections can assist your doctor to better pinpoint the source of the pain based upon where you experience the most relief.
There are a variety of injections that a pain management physician can use, including epidural steroid injections, trigger point injections, sacroiliac joint injections and peripheral joint injections. Cortisone or lidocaine can be injected into a joint, muscle, nerve area or the spinal cord, alleviating pain and accelerating the healing process. Joint pain in knees can be relieved through viscosupplementation which involves a series of hyaluronic acid injections into the joint. This gel-like substance is naturally found in the fluid surrounding joints and acts as a shock absorbent and lubricant allowing your bones to move smoothly over each other. If you are a candidate for knee replacement surgery, viscosupplementation can provide you with sufficient pain relief so that the knee replacement surgery can be delayed.
Protein-rich plasma (PRP) therapy is a newer type of injection that we are starting to see in workers’ compensation cases. This injection involves collecting your own blood and running it through a centrifuge to separate the platelet rich plasma from the other ingredients in the blood. The growth-stimulating PRP is then injected into the site of injury, where it boosts the body’s natural healing abilities. Some pain management physicians are also using stem cell injections to treat cartilage that has been degenerated and aggravated after an accident at work.
If you are looking for the right pain management doctor so that you can avoid surgical intervention for your work related injury, we can help get you to a knowledgeable pain management specialist who can help you. Call 770-984-8900 for your free and confidential consultation today.
We understand that settlement is more than a legal decision, it is a decision that affects each and every client and their families. We take the time to discuss future plans with our clients to help them decide how best they can use their settlement funds to start the next chapter in their lives.
We don’t push our clients to settle their cases. We wait until the time is right. The time is only right when our clients have decided that they have received all of the medical treatment that they need for their injuries and they have gone as far as they wish to go with respect to surgical options.
We make it clear to our clients from the initial consultation that this is a partnership and we are here to provide them with the best strategy for how to proceed with their cases. We believe in providing our clients with reasonable expectations about what kind of settlement they will receive for their injuries.
We take our settlement evaluations very seriously and we discuss every single settlement evaluation with our clients. That way our clients are fully informed and there are no surprises.
A recent article revealed that a former New Hampshire postal worker plead guilt to making false statements and working while receiving federal workers’ compensation benefits. The postal worker had been collecting weekly checks for alleged neck, back and arm injuries for more than two years. Investigators observed him at a Comic Con event where he repeatedly lifted boxes of comic books, apparently without discomfort and sold them at the convention.
Insurers are becoming more and more aggressive about hiring private investigators, particularly to perform surveillance on Georgia’s injured workers who have been out of work for extended periods of time. They are trying to obtain evidence that an injured worker is working and earning money while he or she is collecting workers’ compensation benefits or is performing activities that are contrary to the restrictions imposed by their authorized treating physician.
If surveillance is successful, it can result in an injured worker’s income benefits and medical treatment being suspended. This saves the employer and insurer thousands of dollars over the life of the claim. The injured worker may also be investigated by the fraud unit of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.Continue Reading
Work related injuries can happen in an instant. We know that they can be life changing for you and your family, no matter what your occupation.
At Sadow & Froy, we have had the privilege of representing injured workers from all walks of life since 1992. Our clients include nurses, certified nursing assistants, paramedics, retail workers, warehouse workers, electricians, flight attendants, local delivery drivers and tractor-trailer drivers, construction workers, brick masons, roofers, framers, carpet layers, firefighters, law enforcement officers, teachers, utility and electrical workers, janitorial workers, law-enforcement officers, landscapers, office workers and clerical staff.
No matter what your occupation, we will navigate the workers’ compensation system for you. We take our job very seriously. It means working hand in hand in a partnership with our clients. It means knowing the medical community so that we can determine which physicians and specialists are best suited for our clients’ individual needs. It means having the necessary expertise to interpret Georgia’s ever changing workers’ compensation laws.
The workers’ compensation system in Georgia can be like a chess game with the employer and insurer attempting to control your life. We won’t let that happen and our adversaries know it! They respect us and are well aware of our proven track record.
At Susan J. Sadow, P. C., we pride ourselves on our ability to make the right moves to win the game and to obtain the maximum benefits that each of our clients deserves.
If you, a friend, or a loved one has been injured on the job, we can help you:
Call Sadow & Froy at 770-984-8900 today to schedule your free consultation. Let us fight for you!
Susan J. Sadow is proud to announce that she has been included in the 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers in America in the area of workers’ compensation. This is the sixth consecutive year that she has received this honor.
Congratulations to Brandy Brackett on celebrating the start of her 15th year with our firm! Thanks Brandy for your incredibly hard work and devotion to our clients and our practice. Here’s to the next 15!
Catastrophic injuries can happen anywhere to anyone. Safety National, the largest provider of excess workers’ compensation coverage for self-insured employers in the United States, recently compiled data regarding which types of injuries accounted for their “large workers’ compensation claims”. Safety National defined “large workers’ comp. claims” as those where Safety National incurred costs of over $1 million over and above the underlying employer’s retention, which for the claims reviewed, ranged from $225,000 to $3 million.
According to Safety National’s claims data, five types of accident accounted for 86% of their catastrophic injury claims:
24% Motor vehicle accidents: Employees who drive have significant exposure for catastrophic injury claims. Often these are single vehicle accidents where the driver lost control due to road conditions. Interestingly, since Safety National insurers many municipalities, many vehicle accidents involved police officers where the injuries sustained were likely a direct result of the officers not wearing a seat belt.Continue Reading
Reba and I were recently honored to pose for a photo with our client, Calvin Gresham, who presented us with this awesome plaque. (We couldn’t turn Calvin down because he is much bigger than both of us!)
The plaque reads: “In recognition for a superb job with successfully managing my very challenging WC case. No act of gratitude can relay nor no gift can represent what your dedication and support have meant to me. This is a token of appreciation to show my heartfelt admiration for the extraordinary work you and your team did on my behalf.”
Navigating through a workers’ compensation case can not only be financially difficult, it can also be emotionally draining. Many times being involved in a work related injury will be life changing. As you move through your medical treatment, we will be with you every step of the way to guide you through the process. There will come a time during your case when you will reach a plateau in your medical treatment. This plateau is referred to as “maximum medical improvement”. It is at this time that the decision process will begin regarding when would be the appropriate time to settle your workers’ compensation case. This is a challenging decision because settlement involves resignation from your employment and having to pay for your medical treatment on your own. Many injured workers find the workers’ compensation system to be extremely stressful, and after settlement, that feel a huge sense of relief because they regain control of their lives.Continue Reading
My client worked as a loss prevention manager for a major retail store. He suffered a serious injury to his neck in late 2013 and his neurosurgeon recommended surgery. The insurance adjuster would not approve the surgery, denied paying income benefits and offered us $3000 to settle my client’s case. Of course, we rejected the offer. We litigated the case and won. The employer/insurer did not appeal. My client had the extensive cervical surgery and received income benefits for several years while he was recovering. We recently settled his case for $250,000 plus funding of a Medicare Set-Aside. This just goes to show that you can never go wrong fighting for what is right.
Many of Georgia’s workers believe that Workers' Compensation is an automatic benefit. They become understandably frustrated when that proves not to be true, and they are forced to wait for a weekly benefit check and for necessary medical treatment.
Just as an injured worker has the right to make a claim for workers’ compensation benefits, so too does an employer and their workers’ compensation insurance company have the right to contest those benefits.
To make sure your workers' compensation case goes as smoothly as possible, it is essential that you provide notice of your injury to your employer. Notice means that you must alert your employer that you had an accident. The notice can be verbal or in writing. This should be done as soon as possible after the accident, but not more than thirty days later. If your accident occurs on a Friday, it is particularly important that you give your employer notice of the accident before the weekend. The later notice is given, the more likely that your employer and their workers’ compensation carrier will deny your claim.
If getting through your workers’ compensation case seems as difficult as climbing this mountain, call Sadow & Froy. We handle the most complex workers’ compensation cases. Our goal is to make life less stressful for our clients while they are out of work. We carefully monitor their medical treatment and negotiate the highest possible settlements to ensure that our clients will be well protected in the future. There is no mountain we can’t climb!
This article reveals the nationwide problem with defense IME's in workers' compensation cases. If the employer/insurer in your case has scheduled you for an IME, you need to be prepared. We offer our clients expert advice so they know how to best handle a defense IME. We also select the best specialists who can provide medical opinions to counter a defense IME. Our strategy based upon years of workers' comp. experience results in surgery approvals and higher settlements for our clients.Continue Reading
Inform Your Supervisor about any Suspected Unsafe Conditions
If you see something that could potentially hurt you or a co-worker, remove the object or clean the area if you can do so safely. Otherwise, inform your supervisor immediately so that your work environment can be kept safe.
Use Equipment Properly
Using tools and/or machinery incorrectly accounts for one of the major reasons why workplace injuries occur. Make sure that you receive proper training which will allow you to use equipment correctly and for its intended purpose. Regularly clean and inspect equipment to ensure that it is safe.
Wear Safety Equipment
Always be sure to wear proper safety equipment and check first to ensure that the safety equipment is undamaged. This will significantly reduce your likelihood of getting injured.
Prevent Slips and Trips
Slip and falls are the second most prevalent cause of non-fatal work injuries. It is vital that aisles are clear and spills are cleaned to avoid tripping or slipping. If you are working with liquids, use drip pans and guards. Clean up any spills immediately to keep conditions safe. Watch out for any holes, loose boards, or nails projecting from the floor.
Keep Work Areas and Emergency Exits Clear
Make sure to remove any clutter blocking emergency exits, equipment shutoffs, and areas where you are working. A cluttered work area can lead to not having enough space to use tools and pick up heavy objects properly. Furthermore, if an exit is obstructed, you may not be able to quickly escape if an emergency occurs. Placing equipment in proper storage areas after use will help keep the work area and emergency exits clear.
There has been quite a bit of discussion recently in the Georgia workers' compensation community about the harmful effects that injured workers experience when employers/insurers delay authorization of surgery. Susan J. Sadow and Heather D. Froy aggressively fight to make sure that our clients are able to get the surgery that they need as quickly as possible after a surgical recommendation has been made by their authorized treating physicians.
A recent study published in Clinical Spine Surgery confirmed the importance of early intervention in surgical cases. The study examined 227 workers' compensation patients in Ohio who underwent lumbar spine surgery from 1993 to 2013. The patients either received an operative decompression prior to or after one year of symptoms. The group that returned to work did so within two years and remained at work for at least six months.Continue Reading
In Georgia, an aggravation of a preexisting condition is considered to be a compensable workers’ compensation claim. This means that just because you had a previous injury or condition to the same part of your body that was injured on the job, you may still be entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits and medical treatment. In the area of workers’ compensation, employers take employees “as they find them”, including any preexisting conditions. Therefore, an aggravation may give rise to a compensable workers’ compensation claim.
In 1994, the Georgia Legislature amended the definition of “injury” and “personal injury” in O.C.G.A. Section 34-9-1(4) to state that “an injury and personal injury shall include the aggravation of a preexisting condition by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, but only for so long as the aggravation of the preexisting condition continues to be the cause of disability; the preexisting condition shall no longer meet this criteria when the aggravation ceases to be the cause of the disability.”Continue Reading
We frequently meet with new clients who are injured in motor vehicle accidents while driving to a customer’s house or a job site. We always let our clients know that if they suffer serious injuries in a work related motor vehicle accident, they may have not just one claim, but two: the workers' compensation claim and a personal injury claim. In Georgia, when an employee is injured on the job, his or her exclusive remedy for compensation against the Employer is through the workers' compensation system. However, when an injury is the result of a third party’s negligence, a personal injury claim can also be pursued In order to have a winning personal injury claim after an auto accident, the other driver must be at fault. Then a claim can be filed against that driver’s automobile insurance carrier. However, if the motor vehicle accident was your fault, a personal injury claim typically cannot be successfully pursued.
It is critical to be sure that a police report is issued at the time of the accident citing the other driver as the at fault party. During a consultation with our office, we will explore any potential third party liability case you may have and we have excellent relationships with many personal injury attorneys who will handle the third party claim for you. We stay in close communication with the third party attorney throughout the workers’ compensation and personal injury cases.Continue Reading
On Saturday, October 7, 2017, Heather Froy will be presenting at the annual Workers' Compensation Law Institute held at Sea Palms Resort on St. Simons Island. Heather will be speaking with Ryan Klee, a defense attorney with Drew, Eckl & Farnham, on "Issues Which Arise During and After Settlement". In addition, she is also speaking with David Kay of the State Board of Workers’ Compensation.
Our culture has become one of “sharing” everything about our lives on social media. In the realm of workers’ compensation, this can have a negative impact on your claim. First and foremost, we recommend that you do not “friend” your superiors or your coworkers on Facebook or on any other forms of social media. The privacy settings on your social media need to be kept just that, private. In our experience, your claims adjuster, employer, and their attorney will look to your social media as an avenue for developing evidence to reduce their claim exposure or to find a reason to deny your claim. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you keep your social media private rather than allowing it to be accessed by the public.
Many times we will post things that are seemingly benign, or others may tag us in posts that also do not appear to be damaging. However, to the outsider, your activities could be construed as exceeding your work restrictions, or “not the activities of someone who is actually hurt”. Rather than trying to explain away your social media posts, our best advice is to first, get off social media altogether while your claim is pending. But, if not, at the very least, limit what you post and make sure that your settings are secure. Finally, make it a point not to connect with anyone from your employer on social media as this could be a recipe for disaster. As much as you would like to believe that your coworkers are loyal friends, when their job are on the line, they will not hesitate to provide your superiors with whatever information or access that they request.Continue Reading
If your case is in litigation, you will likely be deposed by the attorney for the Employer/Insurer. From the perspective of the Employer/Insurer, a deposition is not only a fishing expedition for information, it is also an opportunity to attack your credibility. When giving your deposition, you will be under oath such that the deposition testimony can be used against you if your case goes to hearing. Below are our top ten deposition tips!
Under Georgia law, your employer can maintain control over your medical treatment if they have a valid panel of physicians posted at the time of your accident. What is a panel of physicians? A panel of physicians is a list of at least six doctors from which an injured worker must select his or her authorized treating physician. An authorized treating physician is the doctor who is in charge of providing you with medical treatment and making appropriate referrals to any specialists you may need. The panel of physicians is supposed to be posted in an easily visible location at the workplace and its function should be explained to each employee at some point prior to his or her work related injury. Workers’ Compensation rules require that the panel of physicians be presented to the injured worker when an injury is reported in order for the injured worker to make a valid selection of an authorized treating physician.
Many employers fail to post a valid panel of physicians. The impact of an employer failing to post a valid panel of physicians is that the injured worker is then entitled to select a doctor of his or her choice rather than having to be treated by a doctor selected by the employer/insurer. This is critical in the handling of your workers’ compensation claim. Gaining control of the medical treatment in your claim gives you the best chance of actually receiving appropriate treatment by a physician who will truly advocate for you! The doctors on an employer’s panel of physicians are many times “insurance company doctors” who will push to rush you back to work before you have received the treatment that you need to avoid re-injury.Continue Reading
Reason #1: Workers' Compensation laws in Georgia are constantly changing. You need an attorney who knows how to navigate a system that is biased towards employers and insurers.
Reason #2: Workers' Compensation insurers are cheap! They want to spend the absolute minimum on your income benefits and medical treatment. They are not interested in your well being.
Reason #3: Having Sadow & Froy on your team when you’ve been injured in an accident at work will let you focus on getting your life back on track.
Reason #4: You never pay a dime out of pocket to hire Susan J. Sadow, P.C. if you’ve been injured on the job unless we recover money for you.Continue Reading
Swedish researchers have concluded that patients who had previously undergone total hip replacement surgery experienced less reduction of pain one year after low back surgery compared to patients with no prior total hip replacement. Their findings were recently presented at an orthopedic conference in Vienna.
Researchers reviewed the Swedish Spine Register and the Swedish Hip Arthroplasty Register to extract demographic and surgical data, along with patient-reported outcome measures, for patients who underwent low back surgery or total hip replacement for degenerative spine or hip disorders. The researchers combined data from the two registries. The two groups were directly matched on age, sex, year of surgery, spinal stenosis, type of surgery and preoperative patient reported outcome scores. After selection and matching to a corresponding control patient, the researchers analyzed the differences in patient reported outcome scores in the study group vs. the controls. One year patient reported outcomes after low back surgery were also assessed.Continue Reading
Did you ever wonder why your workers’ compensation case was running smoothly and then one day, out of nowhere, it all started going downhill in a hurry? We have your answer. You have become an “old dog”. In the insurance industry, an “old dog” is a case that appears to be in limbo with no end in sight. If we break it down to the simplest form, to an adjuster, the best kind of case is a closed case. Period. End of Story.
The fact of the matter is that over time, the adjuster will realize that your case has become stagnant and he/she will review it to determine what steps can be taken to close your file. This can be accomplished by cutting off your workers’ compensation checks, finding a way to deny your medical treatment, or offering you a low ball settlement. When this happens, if you haven’t already retained an attorney, you need to do so immediately! This is the time when you need an advocate who will fight for your rights to ensure that you receive the maximum recovery for your injuries.Continue Reading
There are countless articles written in insurance industry publications promoting the fact that investigating injured workers through Social Media is a powerful tool in the fight against workers’ compensation fraud. Social Media can also be especially helpful for uncovering incriminating evidence about injured workers suspected of lying regarding what they can and cannot do.
The effective use of information gathered through Social Media enables insurers to dramatically reduce the value of worker's compensation claims. Some companies even have full time employees whose job is to troll Social Media sites looking for information. While Social Media can be a great source of entertainment, it can also be a disaster for injured workers.Continue Reading