If you are injured at your job in Georgia, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for your lost wages and medical expenses. According to an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer, any business in Georgia with three or more regular employees is legally required to purchase a workers’ compensation policy for its employees.
Unlike personal injury claims, where compensation depends on who is at fault for accidents, Georgia workers’ comp falls under a no-fault system. It does not matter whether you have contributed to your injury. If the injury happened while at work, it should be covered.
Injuries Covered by Workers’ Comp
Workers’ comp should cover any physical injury you suffered at work. The most common workers’ comp injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Industrial accidents
- Vehicle accidents
- Slip and fall accidents
- Repetitive motion or overexertion injuries
- Falling objects
- Machine-related injuries
- Eye, dental, and facial injuries
- Toxic chemical exposure, burns, and respiratory illnesses
- Lacerations, cuts, and disfigurement
- Amputations, paralysis, and death
- Long-term poisonings, such as exposure to carcinogens or Asbestos
The types of injuries covered in a workers’ comp policy can include everything from head, neck, brain, and back injuries to pinched nerves, broken bones, carpal tunnel syndrome, and long-term chronic illnesses. Moreover, they do not fall under workers’ comp coverage if you suffered injuries or damages during your regular commute to or from work. As long as you did not suffer such injuries during non-working hours or while you have performed unassigned duties, you can seek compensation.
Pre Existing ConditionsIf there is a causal relationship between your work and an illness or disease you have developed, you can likely file a claim for it. However, normal illnesses that have not developed or acquired due to your work are not covered. There are also limits on the benefits you can require regarding pre existing conditions. If you aggravate a pre existing condition and it prevents you from working, you may be eligible for compensation. Your benefits will stop once the aggravation subsides, and you return to your original condition.
Catastrophic InjuriesTheState Board of Workers’ Compensationclassifies severe burns, loss of limb, blindness, or other similar injuries that prevent you from working as catastrophic injuries. Employers must appoint medical professionals with experience in catastrophic cases to help you manage and recover from this injury and hopefully return to work.
If you cannot return to work, you can file for temporary total disability benefits, but these will cease once you return to work. However, if you cannot hold the same job you have before these injuries, you may be eligible to file for permanent partial disability benefits. The compensation you qualify for depends on the disability rating you have received from the panel healthcare provider.
Injuries Not Covered Under Workers’ Comp
Unfortunately, not all work-related injuries are covered under workers’ comp. There are still rare situations where your benefits may be reduced or denied. Examples of injuries and situations not covered under workers’ comp include the following:
- There has been a self-inflicted injury.
- You have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs when the accident occurred.
- You did not follow safety rules to prevent accidents or use provided safety devices.
- You were engaged in criminal activities, such as engaging in a personal fight not related to your employment.
- You were not in company time when the accident occurred.
- You suffered injuries while engaging in horseplay or practical jokes (unless you are the victim of those said jokes).
- You provided false information to receive benefits.
- Workers’ comp is not available for contractors or subcontractors.
Undoubtedly, getting injured on the job is overwhelming, but having a legal team on your side is essential to ensure you have the best possible chance at recovery.