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Employers May Contest Injured Employees’ Workers’ Compensation Applications

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2017 | Workers' Compensation Case Law |

The Georgia workers’ compensation program is designed to allow for injured workers to obtain temporary benefits while they recover from their injuries. However, in some cases, an injured worker’s employer contests that the injury either occurred at work, was related to the employee’s employment, or fit under the definition of a “compensable” injury. In these cases, an injured worker’s application for workers’ compensation can be significantly delayed and may even be denied.

A skilled workers’ compensation attorney can assist any injured worker in the preparation of their claim in hopes of reducing resistance from an employer. Additionally, a workers’ compensation attorney is prepared to litigate on behalf of their client, and appeal an adverse result if necessary.

Employer Denies Employee’s Workers’ Compensation Claim Based on Slip-and-Fall Accident

Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a workers’ compensation case brought by an employee whose claim was initially denied by his employer and then by an administrative law judge.


The Facts of the Case

The employee was a claims adjuster, and was finished for the day. He clocked out and began to leave the building by taking the stairs. However, as he was descending the stairs, he tripped and fell. The employee was not able to identify any hazard that caused him to fall. After his injury, he filed for workers’ compensation benefits while he recovered from his injuries. However, his employer argued that the injury was not compensable under the workers’ compensation program.

Specifically, the employer argued that the injury occurred while the employee was off the clock and that the injury was not related to the employee’s employment. A hearing was scheduled in front of an administrative law judge, who agreed with the employer. The employee appealed the judge’s decision to a higher court, and again the decision was affirmed. Finally, the employee appealed all the way up to the state’s supreme court.

On appeal to the state supreme court, the case was reversed in favor of the employee. The court explained that the employer owned and operated the building where the employee was injured, and that the employee was required to get to the second floor to clock in and out. While an elevator was available for the employee’s use, the employer had recently encouraged employees to use the stairs as part of a health initiative. Ultimately, the court determined that the injury did occur within the scope of employment and was a compensable injury.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia Workplace Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Georgia workplace accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits while you recover from your injuries. However, as the discussion above indicates, getting a workers’ compensation application approved is not always as straightforward as it seems. The skilled workers’ compensation attorneys at J. Franklin Burns, P.C. have extensive experience assisting injured workers in obtaining the benefits they need and deserve. Call 404-920-4708 to schedule a free consultation with a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your claim today.