According to data available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are approximately 2.8 million non-fatal work injuries that occur each year across the country. The good news is that nearly every worker in the state of Georgia is covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This should provide some comfort to those injured on the job. Unfortunately, there are times when workers’ comp claims are denied or delayed unnecessarily. Here, we want to discuss who is eligible for workers’ comp benefits and what injuries are covered.
Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Georgia?
Georgia law requires that all employers with three or more employees have workers’ compensation coverage for every worker. In general, this means that every company in the state is required to have workers’ comp coverage for their employees. If your employer tells you otherwise, there is a good chance that they are avoiding paying workers’ compensation premiums, or they want to discourage you from filing a claim.
There are some types of employees that are not considered actual employees, but rather they are independent contractors. In general, independent contractors are not covered by workers’ compensation provided by the person they are working for, though there are times when employers purposely misclassify their employees in order to avoid paying for workers’ compensation coverage.
Examples of Injuries Covered by Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation coverage will generally cover any injury that occurs on the job. This covers a wide range of injuries, including the following:
- Broken or dislocated bones
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Amputations and crush injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Sprains and strains
- Eye injuries
- and more
However, workers’ compensation also covers various injuries that take longer periods of time to manifest. This can include a range of repetitive motion injuries, including the widely known carpal tunnel syndrome. Also covered are occupational illnesses that occur due to exposure to hazardous elements in the workplace. This can include lung diseases, cardiovascular diseases, various types of cancer, hearing and vision loss, and more. If you believe your disease or injury qualifies for a workers’ compensation claim, contact our Newnan workers compensation lawyers for assistance, we offer free no-obligation consultations.
Injuries Not Covered by Workers Compensation
While most injuries that occur at work will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, there are some instances when a “work” injury may not be covered. In general, very minor injuries, such as ones that are completely remedied by using a simple first-aid kit, will not be severe enough to warrant a workers’ compensation claim. This could include small cuts or scrapes or simple headaches.
Also not covered are injuries that occur outside of work hours or work-related duties. This could include injuries that occur:
- During the commute to and from work
- During a person’s break or lunchtime
- Off the work premises when a worker was not performing work duties
Typically, an employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will dispute claims for injuries that they believe occurred when a worker was intoxicated by alcohol or drugs or when the worker was horse playing and caused their injuries.
What Kind of Compensation is Available?
In general, injured employees are entitled to receive the following types of compensation after sustaining an injury at work:
- Coverage of all medical expenses related to the injury or illness
- Compensation for lost wages for days away from work
- Possible short- or long-term disability benefits for more serious injuries
If you have any questions about whether or not you should receive workers’ compensation, or if your claim has been delayed or denied unnecessarily, you should speak to an attorney about your case immediately.