Many workers have injuries or other medical conditions which are not initially covered by the employer/insurer under the Georgia Workers Compensation Act. You may be told by a supervisor or someone in human resources – or even by an insurance adjuster employed by the workers’ compensation carrier – that your injury or medical condition is not covered. As an injured worker, you must prove that you sustained an accidental injury within the scope and course of your employment. Sometimes, a workers compensation attorney is needed to assist in providing the necessary proof to insure that the claim is accepted and benefits are timely provided.
In many instances, the injury is not in dispute – but not all injuries are the result of a specific incident at work. Your condition could be due to a cumulative trauma resulting from years of performing your work duties. A cumulative trauma may qualify as an accidental injury thus entitling you to benefits under the Georgia Workers Compensation Act.
Sometimes, employers/insurers deny the existence of an employment relationship or they claim the injury did not arise out of your employment. Your claim may be denied despite the fact you are an employee and you were injured at work. At other times, employers/insurers argue that an injury is pre-existing and not directly related to your work activities. With sufficient proof, the State Board of Workers’ Compensation will find that an aggravation of a pre-existing condition caused by your work duties is an accidental injury, which entitles you to benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Many employers/insurers require an injured worker to submit to post-injury drug and alcohol testing. While a positive post-accident drug or alcohol test may provide grounds for a defense of the claim, a positive test is not an absolute defense. An experienced attorney can assist you in obtaining benefits by challenging the timing and method of testing and the final test results. So, it is important for you to understand that a positive post-accident drug or alcohol test does not always prohibit you from obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for your injury.