Can I Receive Workers’ Comp if I Am At-Fault?
Workplace injuries can be caused by a variety of acts, sometimes by the injured worker’s own acts. Injured workers may think that they cannot receive workers’ comp benefits if they caused the accident. However, this may not be the case.
An experienced workers’ comp lawyer from Roden Law can discuss your claim and let you know whether you might be eligible to workers’ comp benefits. Contact us to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Workers’ Compensation is a No-Fault System
Before the workers’ compensation system was established, workers who were injured on the job who wanted compensation for their injuries would have to sue their employers. However, this created an unbalanced situation and workers feared they would lose their job if they took legal action against their employer. The workers’ compensation system was established to provide medical treatment and other benefits to injured workers. In exchange, workers gave up their right to sue their employer.
Workers’ compensation is considered a no-fault system because it generally does not matter who is at fault for the injury in order to qualify for benefits. The issue of who is at fault for the injury is not usually relevant when considering a worker’s eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits.
To receive workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia, a worker must demonstrate certain eligibility requirements. He or she must show that the injury or illness arose out of employment, meaning that there is a causal connection between the event at work and the resulting injury. Additionally, the worker must show that the accident occurred while the worker was working during a period of employment in a place where the employee was fulfilling his or her job duties.
Workers’ compensation benefits may be paid for the following types of injuries:
- Accident-related injuries
- Aggravation of a pre-existing condition
- Occupational illness or disease
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Types of Injuries Not Covered
Although Georgia’s workers’ compensation system is a no-fault system, there are certain injuries that are not covered by this system even if they occurred while you were working. Some exclusions are:
- Horseplay – If you are injured while participating in horseplay at your job site, the injury may not be compensable because this act may not be considered to arise out of the course of employment. However, if you were harmed by another person’s horseplay or practical joke, your injury may be compensable.
- Fighting – Workers’ compensation benefits are meant for work-related injuries. If your misconduct is significantly outside the scope of your work, your injury may not be covered. If you were fighting with a coworker and were injured in the fight, the injury is likely not compensable.
- Driving to or from work – Injuries that occur while driving to or from work are usually not compensable under the “coming and going” rule. However, if you are injured in your employer’s parking lot, the injury may be compensable. Additionally, if your employer provided you with transportation or you are running an errand for your boss when you are injured, the injury may be compensable.
- Injuries during rest breaks – Injuries that occur during scheduled rest breaks or during lunch are usually not compensable.
- Psychological or emotional illness – Georgia’s workers’ compensation law only covers psychological or emotional illnesses that arise out of a physical injury, such as if a person suffers an amputation and then develops depression related to this loss.
Because this area of the law is complex, it is important to discuss your claim with an experienced lawyer who can determine if your injury is compensable.
Contact Us to Learn More
If you were injured at work and believe that you are to blame for your injuries, this alone may not disqualify you from receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
The skilled lawyers at Roden Law can evaluate your claim and determine if you may still be eligible for workers’ comp benefits. We can discuss this information during a free and confidential consultation. We charge no upfront fees and only get paid if your claim is successful.