Do I Have a Workers’ Compensation Claim?

a welder weldingInjuries at work can be a double-edged sword – not only are you in pain and suffering, but you’re also unable to work. If you have been injured on the job, you may be overwhelmed with questions. The first question that you may be asking is whether you qualify for workers’ compensation if you’ve never had to file a claim before. 

If you have questions, the Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can help – call us at 404-255-6677 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation about your case. 

Is Your Employer Required to Carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance?

Under Georgia law, any employer with three or more employees is required to carry workers’ compensation. The three-employee minimum includes both full-time and regular part-time workers. 

For example, your employer would be required to provide workers’ compensation coverage even if there are only one full-time employee and two employees who work only on the weekends. On the other hand, they would not be required to provide workers’ compensation coverage if you are the only employee other than the owner. 

That said, any officers are considered employees of the business. As a result, if your employer is a corporate entity, they may have to provide workers’ compensation coverage even though there are fewer than three employees.  

It is a misdemeanor offense If your employer is required by Georgia law to carry workers’ compensation insurance but does not.

Are You an Employee?

In order to qualify for workers’ compensation coverage, you must be an employee of the business where you worked when sustaining your injury. It’s important to recognize, however, that independent contractors are not protected by workers’ compensation. Many independent contractors are indistinguishable from other ordinary employees. Your employment status will be critical in determining whether you can pursue a claim for workers’ compensation.  

Is Your Injury Work-Related? 

The critical piece in the workers’ compensation puzzle is whether or not your injury was work-related. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation, you must have suffered your injury while performing your duties as an employee. There are a number of ways this can be formulated, but a good rule of thumb is that you were injured while performing some benefit for your employer. For example, a typist who develops carpal tunnel as a result of their job will likely qualify for workers’ compensation. 

However, not all injuries suffered while at work are covered. The following injuries may not be covered by workers’ compensation: 

  • Injuries due to misconduct such as horseplay or fighting
  • Injuries sustained while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Injuries sustained while committing a crime

These examples are all relatively straightforward, but determining whether or not you qualify for workers’ compensation coverage is very fact-specific. If you were injured in connection with your job, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney can provide valuable guidance as to whether you qualify for workers’ compensation. 

Injured at Work? Call the Georgia Workers’ Comp Lawyers at Slappey & Sadd

Workers’ compensation claims can be complicated, and unfortunately, the clock is ticking. If you wait too long, you could lose all of your rights to compensation. The Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys at Slappey & Sadd can walk you through the process and help you get the benefits you deserve. Contact us today at 404-255-6677 to schedule a free consultation.

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