For a typical work injury to be compensable under the Workers' Compensation Act, the claimant bears the burden of proving that "an injury by accident" arose "out of and in the course of [their] employment," and both of these "independent and distinct criteria" must be satisfied. O.C.G.A. § 34-9-1(4); Mayor and Alderman of the City of Savannah v. Stevens, 278 Ga. 166 (1) (2004). "In the course of the employment" has been defined as relating to the "time, place, and circumstances under which the accident takes place, and an accident arises… ... Continue Reading
As many defense attorneys, claims adjusters, and employers can attest, the current law governing the return to work process when an employee is released to light duty is onerous and subject to manipulation by the employee and his attorney. ... Continue Reading
In Georgia, when an occupational disease claim is compensable under the Act, O.C.G.A §34-9-284 places sole liability on the employer and its' insurance carrier, if any, where the employee was last injuriously exposed to the hazards of the disease. The Act excludes any right of contribution from any prior employer or insurance carrier. ... Continue Reading
Workers' compensation claims and injuries do not exist in a vacuum; they affect real people who often have real problems outside of their work injury. ... Continue Reading
One's Company, Two's A Crowd, and Three's Liability: O.C.G.A. § 34-9-2(a)(2) After Wills v. Clay County
The State of Georgia has made even the smallest of small businesses subject to the Workers' Compensation Act. The general rule dictating whether an employer is subject to the Workers' Compensation Act is outlined in O.C.G.A. § 34-9-2(a)(2). Specifically, this statute reads in relevant part, "[t]his chapter shall not apply to... any person, firm, or private corporation, including any public service corporation, that has regularly in service less than three employees in the same business within this state, unless such employees and employers voluntarily elect to be bound[.]" As a practical matter, this statute is not regularly used as a defense because an employer that has workers' compensation insurance in Georgia elects to be bound by the Workers' Compensation Act. ... Continue Reading
The Journal is a publication for the clients of Drew Eckl & Farnham, LLP. It is written in a general format and is not intended to be legal advice to any specific circumstance. Legal Opinions may vary when based upon subtle factual differences. All rights reserved.
H. Michael Bagley