After a work accident, workers’ compensation benefits could be the difference between a smooth recovery and financial hardship. However, unless you’re a lawyer or someone familiar with workers’ compensation procedure, you will likely need help navigating your workers’ compensation claim. Douglas F. Kaleita P.C. has been serving clients for the better part of 30 years, ensuring that our clients get the medical care, income, and support they need to move forward after an accident.
Today’s blog answers a simple question: “what might disqualify me from a workers’ compensation claim?”
Common Reasons Workers’ Comp Claims Are Denied
There are three fundamental requirements for a successful workers’ compensation claim:
- That you were an employee of the company when you were hurt
- That your employer has workers’ comp insurance
- That your injury was work-related
The inverse of these requirements are common reasons for workers’ comp denials: the claimant was found to be a non-employee at the time of the injury, the employer opted out of workers’ comp insurance, or the injury was not work-related.
What Workers’ Comp Doesn’t Cover
Workers’ comp doesn’t cover freelance workers, gig economy workers (e.g. Uber or Lyft drivers), or independent contractors. In Georgia, virtually every employer is required to have workers’ comp insurance, so long as the business employs three or more people.
A work-related injury includes anything that caused you to fall ill or get hurt while you were doing something for your employer’s benefit, or any injury or illness caused by your work. A work injury doesn’t mean you have to be at work for it to happen; for instance, you could be on a work trip or doing work away from the office, and an injury would count as work-related. Normal commutes are exempt from this rule, however.
Why Independent Contractors Should Call a Lawyer After an Accident
We already established that workers’ compensation law doesn’t apply to independent contractors. However, many employers classify workers as independent contractors when they’re actually employees. If you were injured while working as an independent contractor, speak with an Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer. The courts may find that you are in fact an employee, and thus entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.
Call (888) 665-7699 today to learn your recovery options in a free consultation.