The average work injury is simply the result of someone’s job responsibilities. A factory worker in Georgia might hurt their back or knees on a production line by constantly lifting or moving parts. A warehouse worker could end up struck by a falling box and suffer a traumatic injury.
When a worker gets hurt because of an unexpected incident or a mistake by one of their co-workers, they know that they can count on workers’ compensation benefits. The benefits include health coverage and disability benefits if you require time off of work during your recovery.
Many workers who could file a workers’ compensation claim fail to do so because they believe inaccurate information about benefits and coverage. For example, you may have yet to file a claim because you know you are the one at fault for your injury. If your employer can prove that you are to blame for the incident or you got hurt, does that mean you won’t qualify for workers’ compensation benefits?
No-fault coverage protects you even when you are to blame
Georgia’s workers’ compensation system provides no-fault coverage. An employee with a job-related medical issue does not need to prove that their employer violated safety statutes or was otherwise to blame for the incident. They also do not have to worry about accusations of fault preventing them from getting benefits.
If a factory worker cuts themselves because they heard someone yelling across the room, they could get benefits for their treatment and leave of absence even though they are directly to blame for their own injury. The same would be true of a worker who tripped over untied shoelaces or otherwise unintentionally hurt themselves on the job.
The only scenarios in which someone’s benefits may be at risk due to fault would be when an employer can prove their injuries are the result of intoxication on the job, flagrant rule violations or an intentional attempt to hurt themselves.
Going without benefits could be a mistake
If you try to use your own health insurance and paid time off to cover yourself after a job injury, you could leave yourself in a vulnerable state. You won’t have leave available if anything else were to occur, and you will likely pay quite a bit in personal contributions for health care through your own insurance policy.
When you file a workers’ compensation claim, you can receive disability pay and preserve paid time off or later. You can also receive full medical coverage that does not require co-pays or impose a large deductible.