How Can I Qualify for Workers’ Compensation?

Suppose you were hurt at the workplace or became sick due to the conditions on the work site in Athens, Georgia, or the surrounding regions. In that case, you should file a claim and consult with a worker’s compensation attorney to ensure your rights are protected and that you receive fair compensation for your troubles. Read more here.

But how exactly can you qualify for workers’ compensation? Are there any specific situations? Let’s find out!

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Becoming Eligible for Workers’ Compensation, Athens, Georgia

In Georgia, the moment you are hired is already the point at which workers’ compensation covers you, regardless if an accident occurred in your first days of work or during trial work periods. 

Also, you don’t have to prove negligence to receive compensation since Georgia follows a no-fault compensation system, but there are some exceptions. 

For example, suppose you work for an understaffed employer, meaning they have two or fewer employees and get hurt at the job site. In this case, your employer isn’t subject to Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.

Yet, the advantage here is that your employer is also unprotected by the exclusive remedy provision of the Worker’s Compensation Act. In this scenario, you can sue your employer for compensation but must prove their negligence.

In general, apart from such rare situations, what you do need to worry about is whether or not the insurance company offers you fair compensation, which you can find out by working with a workers’ compensation attorney. If you need to prove negligence, they can also help you with this.

There are two primary and straightforward ways for a worker to become eligible for workers’ compensation benefits:

  • Being an employee and not an independent contractor
  • Suffering an injury at the job or due to the job

 

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility Scenario 1: You are an Employee

If you were an employee when the accident occurred, even a part-time employee or seasonal employee, and not an independent contractor, you are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

To find out if you were employed, it’s crucial to analyze three aspects: 

  • Were you provided with a regular salary or hourly wage?
  • Did the employer hire you without a designated end date?
  • Did the employer withhold taxes from your paycheck?

If the answers above are yes, then you were most likely employed. Suppose you were only a temporary worker hired through a temporary agency. In that case, they are responsible for covering you as temporary workers are more prone to personal injuries at the worksite.

 

Workers’ Compensation Eligibility Scenario 2: You Suffered an Injury

The second scenario where you become eligible for workers’ compensation is whether or not the injury occurred on the job or because of it. In this case, the accident occurred while you were working for your employer’s benefit, or you were exposed to toxic substances or faulty products that made you sick or hurt you, and no safety or warning signs were put in place.

If you already have a health condition that manifests at the job, there are certain situations where workers’ compensation might not cover you. The best way to tell and defend your rights is by contacting a workers’ compensation attorney. 

They can help review your case and help you figure out who is responsible for your injuries and what you are owed. When the insurance companies come in and offer you a settlement, they will negotiate with them to ensure that you are properly compensated for all your troubles, including damages that aren’t necessarily of a physical nature, such as PTSD.