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Can You Get Workers’ Compensation If Hurt During a Work Break?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Workers’ compensation is a type of benefits program that pays workers for the injuries and related costs they suffer while performing job-related tasks. It is not necessary to prove fault to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia. However, these types of cases can get confusing when there are questions about what constitutes a job-related task. If you get hurt during a lunch or rest break at work, for example, this could impact your course of action.

Covered vs. Not-Covered Work Injuries in Georgia

It is generally a requirement for an employee to be engaged in occupational activities at the time of his or her injury to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia. Unfortunately, this means many insurance companies deny claims for injuries that take place during work breaks or while on vacation. The courts will look at the time and place of the injury, as well as what the employee was doing at the time of the accident, to determine eligibility for benefits.

If the employee was not getting paid while on his or her work break, the employee may not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. If, however, the employee was getting paid, he or she may have technically been on the clock, and will therefore still be eligible for workers’ comp. If the employee was performing a task for an employer, such as getting him or her lunch at the time of a car accident, the employee may also be eligible for workers’ comp benefits.

Whether or not your employer’s insurance provider will pay for your medical bills if you were injured while on a lunch or rest break depends on your particular case. These are complicated issues that may be left to a judge to decide. For the most part, if you were not getting paid or performing job-related duties, you would not receive workers’ compensation benefits for an injury that takes place while on break. This does not mean, however, that you do not have other potential sources of financial recovery.

Is Your Employer Liable?

If something your employer did or didn’t do caused your injury while on a work break, you may be able to hold your employer liable for your losses. You may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer for the careless act that contributed to the accident. An employer in Georgia is liable for an employee’s injuries if the company violated the accepted duties of care and this caused the accident, or if a fellow employee caused the injury.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit could give you financial compensation for your losses even if you do not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits in Georgia. Your employer’s insurer may have to pay you for your past and future medical expenses, losses of income, pain and suffering, property repairs, and other losses if the company caused the accident. It is up to you or a personal injury attorney, however, to prove that your employer is liable.

When to Contact a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

It is common for a workers’ compensation claim based on an injury that occurs during a break to initially be denied by an insurance company. It is important, however, to bring your case to an attorney before accepting defeat. An attorney may be able to appeal the denial and fight for the compensation you need to move forward. An attorney can also go to trial against an insurance company on your behalf, if necessary.

Consult with a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer if you were injured during a work break or while on vacation. It can be difficult to protect your rights on your own. This is a complex type of injury case that can benefit from an attorney’s experience, knowledge and resources.