Regardless of all of the precautions and safety measures in place, sometimes work-related accidents can still occur. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total employer compensation costs for civilian workers averaged $42.48 per hour worked in December 2022.
As an employee, you should know that there are structures in place that ensure you are covered if you happen to be injured in a work accident.

If you suffer a burn, fracture or concussion on the job during the ordinary course of work, then you may be entitled to compensation through the workers’ compensation program. Furthermore, if there is evidence that there was no way to avoid the accident and someone else caused the injury, it is possible to still be eligible for benefits. But there are certain injuries that are not covered by the program.

In this blog, we will review a few injuries that are not eligible for workers’ compensation:

  • Commuting to Work
  • Injuries from Intentional Fighting
  • Intentional Injuries
  • Injuries from Drug or Alcohol Use


Commuting to Work

Workers’ compensation payments (which are paid out by your employer) occur when you’ve sustained an injury during the course of your job. Injuries sustained in the workplace are largely covered.

While commuting means you are intending to go to work, you’re still not technically at work. Commuting itself is not a part of your job, which means if you are injured in a car accident during this time, workers’ compensation may not apply to your situation.

It’s important to know that if you leave your job site to go on a break or go get food for lunch and sustain an injury during this time, the injury may not be covered by workers’ compensation protection—even if you were on the clock. However, if an injury occurs in the break room or cafeteria, you may be eligible for benefits.

Car accident injuries sustained while you are trying to get to your workplace do not fall under injuries eligible for workers’ compensation. However, if you use a car or drive as a specific part of your job, you might be eligible. It’s best to get a free consultation from a trusted, experienced legal team like Castan & Lecca so that they can review your case. They’ll be able to tell you exactly what you can expect. 


Injuries from Intentional Fighting

If you engage in a fight while you are at work, any injuries sustained from that altercation may not be covered by workers’ compensation. Since fights occur outside of ordinary work duties, injuries from them are not covered unless it was directly involved with a specific work issue.

However, if ongoing fighting or physical altercations occur and the employer neglects to take responsibility for these issues, you may be eligible to receive compensation. Each case is different, so be sure to review the particulars of your situation with a trusted attorney like those at Castan & Lecca.


Intentional Injuries

While accidents do happen and workers are compensated for their injuries sustained at work, sometimes employees engage in dishonest practices. Workers compensation fraud could include employees intentionally trying to injure themselves so that they can get a pay out.

This dishonorable behavior is not at all eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Every employee should know that each workers’ compensation case is investigated by several different parties–including the state board. If the nature of the case reveals an intentional injury has occurred, the injured employee will most certainly not receive benefits. 


Injuries from Drug or Alcohol Use


If an employee is under the influence of alcohol or drugs while injured at work, the injury that might occur will not be covered by workers’ compensation. The employee will be deemed as engaging in reckless behavior that not only endangers themselves but their fellow coworkers around them.

If you are driving while impaired on drugs or alcohol, you may not be eligible for workers’ compensation. Since DUIs can occur due to the person’s own decisions and out of the scope of your work, your employer will not cover it.

It’s important to stay aware of your own behavior while commuting to work and while at work. This is especially true if the nature of your work includes operation of heavy machinery. Workers owe it to themselves and those around them to stay sober and safe during–and before–work hours.

What to Know About Workers’ Comp

So what can you do if you’ve been injured during the course of your work duties? You may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which will be paid out by your employer. But there are a few things you should know:

  1. Get help immediately. If you’ve been injured on the job, seek medical help immediately so that your injuries can be treated. 
  2. Let your employer know. The sooner you let your employer know of your injury, the sooner you may be able to receive workers’ compensation. 
  3. Document your injury. If you’re able, be sure to document everything about the nature of the accident and injury. This includes getting witness statements and evidence. It also includes keeping track of medical bills and documentation. 
  4. Be aware of filing deadlines. You should file your claim with the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Board as soon as possible so that you do not miss deadlines and delay your benefits.

An experienced legal team can help you ensure that your benefits get to you as quickly as possible. Speak to us today. 


The Takeaway


Workers’ compensation can be a lifeline to those injured on the job. But many times, certain injuries are not eligible for benefits. It’s important for employees to stay informed about their rights and which injuries fall under workers’ compensation. 

If you’ve been injured at work, you should know your options and what is available to you. Speak to us today and get a free consultation. We’re ready to hear your story.

 

 

 

 

(864)761-4141

MICHAEL BOESCHEN

Attorney

Michael Boeschen (Mike) was born in Wichita, KS and raised in Chattanooga, TN. Mike graduated from The McCallie School and went on to study history, Spanish, and Latin American Studies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. After graduation, he went on to pursue a law degree from the University Of Georgia School Of Law. During law school, Mike participated in the Legal Aid Clinic, assisting in the defense of indigent criminal defendants. Mike has been licensed to practice law in Georgia since 2002 and his main practice area consists of representing injured workers as they navigate through the Georgia workers’ compensation system. Mike is also fluent in Spanish. In his spare time Mike enjoys following soccer, cooking, and spending time with his wife and two young daughters. Mike and his family are parishioners of the Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Sandy Springs, GA

CHRISTIAN PECONE

Attorney

ED DENKER

Attorney

Edward Denker was born in Philadelphia, PA but has made Georgia his home since 1999. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in liberal arts. He then earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Georgia. Edward spent his first years in practice representing clients in personal injury and wrongful death claims. He then spent more than a decade honing his litigation skills representing employers and insurers in workers’ compensation claims, where he gained immense experience and knowledge of how insurers defend those claims. In 2017, Edward returned to his passion of representing people who have been injured at work or through the negligence of others. When he isn’t working, Edward enjoys spending time with his wife and their two children. He is also an avid sports fan, and enjoys cooking and travel

ILIANA DOBREV

Attorney

Iliana Dobrev was born in Bulgaria. After high school, she immigrated to the United States to study law. She graduated magna cum laude from Georgia State University with a Bachelor’s in political science concentrating on pre-law and minoring in Spanish. In 2015, she graduated from Georgia State University College of Law. While in law school, Iliana completed a Graduate Research Assistantship in Labor and Employment Law and Employment Discrimination and two externships in Immigration Law. As an immigrant herself, Iliana is passionate about advocating for and defending immigrants. She is delighted to help families stay together and pursue the American dream. Iliana is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and worked in both a fellowship and a firm specializing in immigration law. Iliana is fluent in Bulgarian and Spanish

KEN THAXTON

Attorney

Ken Thaxton was born and raised in Roberta, GA. When Ken was a child, his father started a trucking business, which Ken ultimately spent over ten years working with through his late teens and twenties. Ken graduated from Houston County High School in Warner Robins, GA in 2001 with a 4.0 GPA. He then studied Business and Information Technology at Macon State College, ultimately graduating with a 4.0 GPA in 2004. After graduation, Ken continued to work with his father’s trucking company, and in late 2005, Ken and his father started an aircraft charter company, Southern Jet, Inc., under Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations. Ken served as President of Southern Jet from 2006 until 2010, when he and his father sold the company. Ken is a Commercially Licensed Instrument, Multi-Engine Pilot. While serving as President of Southern Jet, Ken started Law School at the University of Georgia School of Law in 2009. Ken focused primarily on business and civil law, including Workers’ Compensation, while at UGA. He graduated Cum Laude and in the top 25% of his class from UGA Law in 2012. Ken is a licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia, and he is also a licensed neutral (mediator) in the State of Georgia. Ken represents small businesses in transactional matters and business conflicts, and he also represents injured workers and Plaintiffs injured in cases of negligence. During his spare time, Ken enjoys swimming, cycling, sporting clays, and fishing. He also does charity work with a national scholarship fund

ALEXANDER LECCA

Attorney

Alexander Lecca (Alex) was born in Miami, Florida to immigrant parents from Cuba and Peru. Alex graduated from Coral Gables High School, where he was a recipient of the Elsa Glazer Award (given to students who graduate with a 3.5 GPA and above). He went on to study marketing at the University of Miami School of Business Administration. At the University of Miami he was also a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. After graduation, he went on to pursue a law degree from St. Thomas University School of Law. In law school, Alex received several book awards and graduated Cum Laude. During law school Alex clerked for the Honorable Beth Bloom, had an internship with the Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s office, and clerked for a prestigious litigation law firm. Alex is licensed to practice law in both Georgia and Florida and handles workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. He is also a registered mediator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution. Alex is also fluent in Spanish. During his spare time, Alex enjoys outdoor activities with his wife and four children. He also helps coach his children’s baseball, football, basketball, and soccer teams. Alex and his family are parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church

DANIEL CASTAN 

Attorney

Dan Castan is a senior partner at Castan and Lecca, PC in Buckhead and represents injured workers before the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and plaintiffs in State and Superior Courts of Georgia for injuries suffered in accidents. Dan litigated one of the seminal claims securing the rights of undocumented workers to receive Workers’ Compensation benefits in the state of Georgia when injured in the case of Wet Walls, Inc. vs. Ledesma. Dan has successfully fought and settled multi million dollar cases. He was born and raised in Newark, New Jersey to immigrant parents from Cuba. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and received his Juris Doctor from The Washington College of Law at The American University in Washington D.C.  Dan was admitted to the Georgia Bar in November, 1993.  He is an active member of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Atlanta Bar Association and the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of Georgia. Dan is a founding member and Director of the Latino Victory Fund Georgia and serves on the Board of The Latin American Association. Dan has been dedicated to getting Latinos elected to local, state and Federal offices in Georgia. He has been a Big Brother through Big Brothers and Sisters of Metro Atlanta and a mentor through The Latin American Association’s mentor/mentee program. Dan is married with two children.