Georgia Workers' Comp Blog Rotating Header Image

March, 2009:

My workers’ comp stipulation was approved, when should I expect a check?

Once a stipulation agreement is approved by the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, the employer generally has 20 days to make the payment. The question arises, then – if a payment is mailed, when does it have to be mailed to be considered timely? (more…)

Death and Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Claims

From time to time an injured worker will file a workers’ compensation claim and subsequently die before the resolution of the claim. This is always a sad situation and it can leave the surviving family members and the deceased’s former employer uncertain as to the proper way to handle the pending claim.  Initially, one might assume that death cuts off any obligation the employer has to pay an injured worker. (more…)

Injury in Restroom Deemed Compensable

Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1(4), an employee’s injury may be compensable only if it is an injury “by accident arising out of and in the course of” the employee’s employment.  However, even in a case in which an employee is injured during a non-scheduled break the employee’s claim still may be deemed compensable. A court has previously stated (more…)

When the Workers’ Comp Exclusive Remedy Provision does not Apply

In general, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides protection for the employers and insurers from tort actions. This protection is known as the “exclusive remedy provision.” The provision exists to protect the employers and insurers from additional exposure after being legally required to provide benefits without proof of any level of intent or negligence. This protection generally (more…)

Employee Injured During Fight May Not Qualify for Benefits

Pursuant to State v. Purmont, 143 Ga. App. 269, 238 S.E.2d 268 (1977), if an employee is injured in an attack by another employee, the employee must not have been the aggressor in order to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. When asserting an aggressor defense under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-17(a), it is the employer that bears the burden (more…)

Consideration Before Settlement

As we have discussed on our blog site on numerous occasions, the Workers’ Compensation Act provides somewhat limited remedies for people who have been injured at work. The limited nature of the remedy leads to what are sometimes surprisingly low settlement offers.  Based upon these low offers, the injured worker should probably take several things into consideration before deciding to accept an offer. (more…)

The term “physician” has a broad definition in Workers’ Comp

In a recent ruling by the Appellate Division, a neuropsychologist is a “physician” defined by O.C.G.A. § 34-9-201(a).  Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 34-9-201(a), (more…)

Is There a Timeframe for Reporting an On-The-Job Injury?

The Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act requires an injured employee report an on-the-job accident to a supervisor or employer agent shortly after the incident.  Please see O.C.G.A. § 34-9-80.  The employee is required to give the Employer or its agents notice of an on-the-job accident so that the Employer can investigate the incident, and most importantly, provide the injured worker medical treatment. The injured employee will not be entitled to medical care or indemnity benefits, such as (more…)

Hippotherapy Determined to be Compensable

At the request of an employee confined to a wheelchair, the Board was asked to determine whether payment for a horse barn where the employee kept his horse was compensable. The employee testified that he benefited both from riding and taking care of his horse.  He not only increased his range of motion and strength, but also received emotional benefit by helping others in similar situations.  The employee requested that the employer cover the costs and expenses related to feeding the horse, replacing the horse’s shoes, mileage, and other related expenses.

In an arrangement between the employer and the employee (more…)

Exceptions to Coverage Under Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Laws

The Georgia Court of Appeals recently handed down a decision in Clarke v. Country Home Bakers, 2008 WL 4603604 (2008), regarding whether a prisoner injured while working in a work release program was eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The Court affirmed the decision of the lower courts in denying benefits.

At issue was whether the claimant was an “employee” under O.C.G.A. 34-9-1. That statute provides (more…)