What if your work-related injury prevents you from ever working again? Under Georgia law, these are referred to as catastrophic injuries. The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act contains specific definitions of “catastrophic”. A claim is considered catastrophic if it includes one of the following:
- Spinal cord injury involving severe paralysis of an arm, a leg, or the trunk;
- Amputation of an arm, a hand, a foot, or a leg involving the effective loss of use of the appendage;
- Severe brain or closed head injury;
- Second or third degree burns over 25% of the body as a whole or third degree burns to 5% or more of the face or hands;
- Total blindness; and,
- Any other injury of a nature and severity that prevents the employee from being able to perform his or her prior work and any work available in the national economy for which such employee is otherwise qualified.
Most of the litigation regarding whether a case is catastrophic relates to the last qualification due to the statute’s broad, catch-all nature of the definition. Many special rules apply to these sort of cases, so it is wise to speak with an attorney if you think your work-related injury may qualify as such. Contact our office today to discuss in further detail.