If you are hurt at your job, Georgia law entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits. These benefits can pay for your medical expenses and lost wages. Most injuries you could sustain while working are covered, though there are a few exceptions.
According to the Law Offices of Nathaniel F. Hansford, LLC, you should understand what workers’ comp covers. Sometimes, even with an injury that is covered, you may have trouble with your claim. Working with an experienced attorney in these matters can help you recover the damages you are owed.
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What Are the Workers’ Compensation Laws in Georgia?
In the state of Georgia, any business that has three or more regular employees is required by law to purchase a workers’ comp policy. If the place you work meets these requirements but doesn’t have workers’ comp, you’ll want to speak with a workers’ compensation attorney immediately.
Workers’ compensation differs from personal injury claims in that there is no fault under workers’ comp. Whether you contributed to the injury due to accidental error or not, if it happened at work, it should be covered. Your legal rights entitle you to file a claim.
Injuries That Are Covered By Workers’ Comp
If you are at work and suffer a physical injury, it should be covered under the laws for Georgia workers’ comp. Most commonly, this will include vehicle accidents, industrial accidents, falling objects, machine-related injuries, injuries from repetitive motion or overexertion, and slip and fall accidents.
Typically, more dangerous jobs will have a higher rate of serious injury in the workplace. That doesn’t mean that you can’t become injured while working a desk job in an office though. For example, you could be tasked with filing or putting books away on large shelving units. If those were to topple over, you could be seriously injured.
If you were hurt at work and aren’t sure if you are able to claim workers’ comp, it’s important to discuss the particulars of your case with an attorney. Even if your job isn’t something that is listed as dangerous, you still have rights that protect you in the state of Georgia.
What Injuries Are Not Covered?
In the majority of work injuries, workers’ comp will cover it. However, your benefits may be reduced or denied altogether in a few circumstances. For example, if you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when your accident occurred, you will likely be denied this coverage.
Other things that could result in a denial of your claim are not following the proper safety rules or using provided safety devices to prevent accidents like neglecting to wear your required hard hat in a hard hat zone.
Georgia law won’t approve workers’ comp claims if you willing harm yourself at work. Additionally, you could face large penalties if you knowingly provide false information to receive your benefits.
How Pre-Existing Conditions Factor into Workers’ Compensation
If you have a pre-existing condition, this can also make navigating workers’ comp claims more challenging. In Georgia, pre-existing conditions that are irritated through your work are still covered by workers’ comp. However, the condition must lead to a disability of some kind.
Your employer only needs to provide compensation to you until your condition returns to the state it was in before it was aggravated by your work duties. If you have back problems that were irritated by performing the duties of your job, your workers’ comp should cover treatment. It will do so until your back improves to the way it was before your work made it worse.
Some instances can get trickier when trying to obtain workers’ comp in Georgia. For things like occupational diseases for example, you will want to have an experienced attorney to help you.
Does Workers’ Comp Cover Injuries Outside of Working Hours?
Many employees wonder what to do after they have been injured when they are not actively working or on the clock. Each case is different which is why an attorney is advised for these scenarios.
In most cases, you will still be covered by workers’ compensation if you are running an errand for your employer, on-call for your job, coming or going from the parking lot at your place of work, or traveling for business reasons. There are also some circumstances where taking unscheduled rest breaks can also be covered.
If you were injured at work, you should talk to an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer, especially if your employer has neglected the paperwork. You can also find out more about your case if it falls into one of the gray areas of the law. In this way, you can be sure to get the compensation you deserve from your injuries if they fall into the proper categories for worker’s comp coverage.
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