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Former Georgia sheriff pursues workers' compensation claim

A workers' compensation lawsuit filed by a former sheriff of Dade County. According to the county attorney, workers must miss 30 days of work before they can start to receive compensation. However, the sheriff's case is complicated because the county paid his full salary while he was out of work for an extended period of time after suffering an injury on the job.

Current Dade County officials say that the sheriff injured his back in 2006 or 2007 when he was carrying a dead body away from a scene that he had responded to on Sand Mountain. While the county paid his salary for the time that he was off of work, the county's workers' compensation carrier paid for his medical treatment. The sheriff lost his primary re-election bid last year and went off the county payroll when his term in office expired.

The sheriff's claim was still open at the end of November, and county officials said that they weren't sure when the lawsuit would be settled or even what the sheriff's demands are, but they assume that he is asking for a lump sum settlement. The claim is being handled by the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, they said. Workers' compensation claims are not considered public record in the state.

Many claims proceed without complications for workers who suffer on-the-job injuries. Sometimes, however, problems arise and claims may be partially or totally denied. When this happens, a workers' compensation attorney may be able to help a worker get his or her claim back on track and pursue a lawsuit, should it become necessary.

Source: The Dade County Sentinel, "Ex-Sheriff Presses Worker's Comp Claim", Robin Ford Wallace, November 27, 2013

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