Injuries Employees May Not Know Qualify for Georgia Worker's Compensation Benefits
Many people who suffer job-related injuries never pursue financial compensation under Georgia's worker's compensation system because of a misconception about what constitutes a covered work injury. Many people presume that the injured employee must be involved in a sudden traumatic workplace accident like a fall from a scaffolding or fire that results from OSHA violations or other unsafe conditions in the workplace.
However, the notion of a compensable work-related injured is far broader than the type of injury that permits one to prevail in a personal injury lawsuit. Because our Atlanta worker's compensation attorneys know that many employees are confused about the nature of injuries that may justify worker's compensation benefits, we have provide a list of types of injury traits and situations that some may not know qualify for worker's compensation benefits.
Injuries Not Caused by an Accident: Although many people tend to think of job site accidents involving motor vehicles, heavy equipment, falls and other incidents as the basis for benefits, worker's compensation claims are most frequently based on repetitive stress injuries (RPIs). Data provided by OSHA reveals that RPIs like carpel tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries, bursitis and similar injuries caused by repetitive motion are the most common worker's compensation claims. The federal agency reports that repetitive motion injuries account for approximately twenty billion dollars annually in worker's compensation expenses.
No Negligence or Safety Violations by the Employer: Most people are at least vaguely familiar with the concept of "negligence" as a basis of fault so they tend to presume that worker's compensation coverage will not provide benefits if the employer has not engaged in conduct that endangers the employee or causes an accident. The exact opposite is true because the worker's compensation system is a "no fault" system for compensating employees for on-the-job injuries. Even if the employer took reasonable precautions and complied with all workplace safety laws, this will not prevent a worker from recovering worker's compensation benefits.
Injuries While Running Work-Related Errands: Some employees are involved in motor vehicle accidents while traveling to pick up work supplies, drop off a deposit at the bank or other errands that benefits one's employer. When the errand is for the benefit of the employer, this may constitute the basis for worker's compensation benefits even if the task had nothing to do with one's regular job duties. This same rule may apply even when the employer did not expressly request the employee to take care of the task as long as it was performed for the benefit of the employer.
Injuries during Work-Related Social Functions: If you are injured during a company softball game or other social activity that is an officially sanctioned event where employees are asked to participate like a company picnic, an injury suffered while participating in the event might justify worker's compensation benefits depending on the specific situation.
Injuries Caused by the Employee's Carelessness: While most worker's compensation systems have exceptions that exclude compensation for injuries that are intentionally self-inflicted or result from substance impairment on-the-job, an employee generally will not be excluded from worker's compensation benefits because he or she was negligent. Depending on the specific laws in your state, there are certain types of negligence that may disqualify an employee from receiving worker's compensation benefits, such as certain types or horseplay or refusal to wear required safety equipment. If your employer has indicated that you cannot receive benefits because your misconduct or carelessness caused the work injury, you should seek immediate legal advice from an experienced Georgia worker's compensation lawyer.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 30 Years of Experience to Work For You
These are only a few examples of types of injuries that some employees do not realize may provide a basis for worker's compensation benefits. If you or someone close to you is injured at the workplace or while engaged in a work-related function, our Georgia workers compensation attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.