Ralph E. Hughes – Attorney at Law

Workplace Injuries

Ralph E. Hughes, ESQ.

Decatur Georgia Workplace Injury Attorney Representing Injured Clients Throughout DeKalb County & Beyond

Many assume the only remedy for a workplace injury is workers’ compensation, but there may be other factors in place that would result in another type of injury claim. I have the experience to handle your workplace injury accident case beyond workers’ compensation.


Danny loved to drive his tractor-trailer.  He had no formal education after the ninth grade but he was one of the best truck drivers in Georgia for more than thirty years.  Danny was a big man, and strong, but constantly climbing in and out of his truck, and pushing the clutch for ten to twelve hours a day, eventually caused his right knee to wear out.  At fifty years old, Danny was told he needed a knee replacement and a new line of work since he would not be able to drive his truck again.  Lacking the education or skills to perform any other type of work, Danny found himself with no job and no money.



A Workers’ Compensation claim was filed on Danny’s behalf.  Based upon statements made by his treating physician relating the knee injury to his work, Danny’s employer accepted the claim as compensable.  Danny began to draw temporary total disability benefits and to receive medical care for his knee.  Danny applied for and received social security benefits as well.  When it became evident Danny would not be able to return to work as a truck driver or any other meaningful employment within his educational and skill level, his claim was converted to a catastrophic designation so that he would receive lifetime Workers’ Compensation benefits.

Latisha’s Dad

Latisha’s dad worked for a construction company.  One day his dad had to jump down into a big trench and make sure some pipe was properly fitted together.  While he was in the trench, the walls collapsed burying him up to his neck.  Latisha’s dad died before they could dig him out.


A workers’ compensation survivor’s claim was filed on behalf of Latisha.  The claim was initially denied by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier because Latisha’s mom and dad were never married.  The case was tried before an Administrative Law Judge who ruled there was sufficient evidence to prove Latisha’s dad had supported her and that she was entitled to survivor’s benefits. 


Lou worked for a company that manufactured paint.  His job was to transfer chemicals from the tanker trucks which delivered them into large containers inside the factory.  The job required Lou to run hoses from the tanks to the truck, connect the hoses and engage a pump.  One day, Lou was overcome by chemical fumes, lost consciousness, and fell off the side of the tanker truck.  The container overflowed and, while Lou remained unconscious, he continued to breathe fumes of the chemicals that spilled onto the floor around him.  Lou was found several hours later by his co-workers and rushed to a local hospital.  Lou suffered internal injuries from exposure to the chemicals and was unable to return to work.


A workers’ compensation claim was filed on Lou’s behalf.  The employer/insurer agreed to pay Lou’s temporary total disability benefits but refused to pay for certain medical treatment recommended by his treating physicians, including treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.  An Administrative Law Judge ruled that Lou was entitled to full payment of medical benefits including psychiatric counseling.  Lou struggled with the effects of his injuries for more than ten years and, despite constant psychiatric care, became increasingly depressed.  Sadly, his depression drove him to commit suicide.  After his death, a claim was filed on behalf of Lou’s children for survivors benefits.  We argued that the sole proximate cause of Lou’s death was his depression as caused by the post-traumatic stress disorder suffered as a result of his original accident and injury.  Eventually, the case was settled for the survivor’s benefits due to Lou’s family.


James worked for the County as a jail guard.  His job involved transporting prisoners to various work details around the County.  One day, a prisoner distracted James while he was driving, causing a wreck and badly injuring James. 


A workers’ compensation claim was filed on James’ behalf.  He was awarded total disability benefits and medical expenses by the Administrative Law Judge.


Sandy was a seamstress for a clothing store in a local mall.  As she walked through the shop, Sandy fell over merchandise placed on the floor earlier by a salesperson.  Sandy jammed her shoulder and arm trying to catch herself as she fell.  Ongoing should pain led Sandy to an orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed her with a torn rotator cuff.  Although Sandy underwent multiple surgeries, she was never able to return to her pre-injury condition. 


A workers’ compensation claim was filed on Sandy’s behalf.  She received total disability and medical benefits for an extended period of time and eventually her case was settled for a significant sum.


Travis was a police officer for the City of Atlanta Swat Team.  One day during a training exercise, Travis fell from a helicopter injuring his right knee. 

A workers’ compensation claim was filed on Travis’ behalf and he received medical and total disability benefits.