Having a compensable injury basically means that your injury qualifies for workers compensation benefits.
When is an injury compensable in Georgia?
In Georgia state law, a workplace injury is “compensable” if it meets two requirements:
- The injury “arises out of” the work you do. That means there is some kind of cause-effect relationship between the nature of your work and the injury. In other words, if you were simply walking through your workplace and had a stroke, that is not compensable, because the stroke has nothing to do with the work you do (though there are some cases where a stroke could be related).
- AND, the injury happened “in the course of” doing your job. That basically means it happened while you were “on the clock” or working, and while you were at your place of employment. Injuries that happen off-site on your lunch break, for example, are not compensable. But injuries that happen while at a lunch meeting in a client’s office may be compensable, if doing the meeting was part of your job duties.
In other words, the injury has to happen while you’re doing something required for your job, and it has to be related to your job.
If you check both those boxes, you have a right to compensation—it’s “compensable.”
Sound complicated? That’s normal. The truth is, for the average worker, it’s hard to be certain whether an injury will be considered compensable or not. That’s especially true since your company’s insurance provider, and even your employer themselves, may downplay whether your injury counts. The insurers can save a lot of money if they can find a way to disqualify your claim.
There are three things you need to know:
- Even a pre-existing condition may be compensable if something that happened at work made it worse,
- You don’t necessarily need to determine who was at fault in order to be compensated, and
- The intent of Georgia’s workers compensation laws is that workers SHOULD be covered. The whole point is that workers are giving up the right to sue, in order to be guaranteed coverage. Insurers don’t like to view it that way, but the law is often on your side—and a lawyer can help.
We Can Help You Determine if You Have a Compensable Injury
Don’t assume worker’s comp won’t apply—it might. Let the Atlanta workers compensation lawyers of John Foy & Associates give you a FREE consultation on your injury. Fill out the form to your right or call us at 404-400-4000 to get your FREE consultation today.