In Georgia, all employees are covered by Workers’ Compensation Insurance. This insurance is specifically designed to cover any work-related injuries that the worker may incur at the workplace or when performing an assigned, work-related activity. Workers’ compensation insurance is offered by the employers to their employees. Any company that employs three or more employees in Atlanta is required by law to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance. All workers are covered by this insurance program, and there are no minimum hours that a worker needs to work to be eligible for these benefits. If a worker is employed – part-time or full-time in Atlanta and gets injured at work, they can file for workers’ compensation benefits.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured at Work?
In Atlanta, GA, there is a certain level of responsibly that is expected to be demonstrated by the employee once they are injured at work. First and foremost, workers are required to report the injury to their employer as soon as they possibly can. The Workers’ Compensation Board will not hold it against you if such a report is not made immediately. There can be circumstances where the worker is seriously injured and needs medical attention immediately. The initial medical treatment may keep the worker, and their family occupied, and these circumstances may result in delays. However, it is important to report the accident within 30 days. Failure to do so may result in a denial of your workers’ compensation claim.
When the employee reports the injury, they should provide as much detail as possible about how they were injured at work. Both the Workers’ Compensation Board and the employer’s insurance company will need this information to determine the authenticity of the claim. Workers’ compensation claims are generally not evaluated on the basis of fault. However, the employer will not be asked to pay damages for an incident that is clearly unrelated to work or the workplace. That is why the more detail you provide, the better your chances would be compensation.
Things Workers Should Know
As a employee, you should be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if you are injured at work. However, you need to know that all injuries are not covered by workers compensation. There are certain exemptions which include:
- Injuries sustained due to the worker’s own carelessness or non-serious behavior;
- Injuries sustained due to a personal conflict or altercation between a worker and a third party or a worker and a fellow employee;
- Injuries that are a result of a pre-existing condition that is not related to the assigned job;
- Injuries that are sustained to and from work and that are not incurred while performing a work-related task or during a work-related event or activity.
If you are a worker in Atlanta, Georgia, you should be aware that in order for an injury to be covered by workers’ compensation, it is required that the injury arises out of and is incurred in the course of employment. This means that there needs to be a clear and specific cause and effect relationship between the injury and the workplace. You will be covered if you injure yourself during the time you are employed and while you were doing something that is work-related. All other injuries that you sustain due to any personal involvement, incident or conflict is not the employer’s fault and is not associated with your employment or your workplace. Hence these injuries will not be covered by workers’ compensation.
Occupational Disease and Mental Illness
Occupational diseases have always been a complicated and controversial subject when it comes to workers’ compensation. As far as the law is concerned, employees who develop occupational diseases are covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, before such a claim is approved, the worker has to clearly establish that the disease is in fact, occupational. As long as there is clear evidence that the worker developed the disease due to the workplace environment, chemicals or any other associated factor, the employer is responsible for paying damages. But if the worker fails to provide this evidence, medical or otherwise, the employer and their insurance company cannot be held liable.
The same is true for emotional trauma and psychological illness. These injuries are sustained over a period of time and are generally difficult to prove. If you fall off a ladder and break your leg or hit your head, there is physical evidence that supports this claim. However, mental illnesses are difficult to prove. Even if a healthcare provider confirms that a certain worker suffers from anxiety or stress, there is still a need to establish that this stress or anxiety is because of the workplace.
Seek Legal Counsel from a Georgia Workers’ Comp Attorney
There is no doubt that all workers are eligible for workers compensation benefits in case they are injured at work. However, there are situations where employers can simply deny that the injury is work-related or they could try to blame the employee that it is their fault they got injured and that the injury was not incurred while the worker was engaged in a work-related activity. Such situations do arise, and insurance companies can sometimes make life difficult for workers.
If you were injured at work and you are unsure of what you should do next, contact us at the Bader Law Firm. We have been dealing with workers’ compensation claims for several years, and we are aware of the legal requirements, the procedures and the documentation that may be required in order to file your claim. If you are unsure that your employer has informed the Board or if you have doubts that your employer carries workers’ compensation, you can contact the experienced workers’ comp lawyers at 678-562-5595. Bader Law Firm will help you determine how to deal with an Atlanta workers comp claim, your employer, and the insurance company. We can also help you determine which benefits you can be eligible for and how you can make such a claim. Remember, you need to file your claim within a certain time-frame so the sooner you take action, the better it will be for you and your family.
Seth Bader is an Auto accident, Workers Compensation and Personal Injury Attorney who practices in Atlanta, Rome, Savannah, Norcross, Carrollton, Georgia. He graduated from Florida State University College of Law, and has been practicing law for 14 years. Seth Bader believes in fighting for the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.