As a personal injury lawyer Dekalb County GA residents trust can attest, accidents happen at work all the time. Whether it be thru no fault of yours or due to the negligence of someone else, you should follow the proper procedures as they are laid out by your employee manual or office policy. There is emphasis of following the company implemented procedures to ensure that there are no issues that introduce it, the event it is not workers compensation.
To get workers’ compensation, you must be able to show that your injury is work related, meaning it was caused by your work duties or the conditions of your workplace.
For example to get workers’ compensation for the flu, you will need to be able to show that the disease was specifically contracted at work. Proving this is very hard, if not impossible, to prove. However, even if you could somehow prove this, most states specifically exclude diseases from workers’ compensation coverage. With worker’s compensation laws varying by state, Georgia law states that a compensable injury as an “injury by accident arising out of and in the course of employment and shall not include a disease in any form,” except for occupational diseases. The statute also says, “No disease shall be considered an occupational disease when it:
- Results from exposure to outside climatic conditions
- Is a contagious disease resulting from exposure to fellow employees or from a hazard to which the workman would have been equally exposed outside of his employment; or
- Is one of the ordinary diseases of life to which the general public is equally exposed.”
Since the flu is an “ordinary disease of life” that you could get anywhere, it is not covered by workers’ compensation, even if you suspect you contracted it from your coughing, sneezing coworker. While you usually can’t get workers’ compensation for the flu, don’t worry about missing work. If you’re lucky enough to be full time employees, you’ll usually get sick leave benefits, and the employer will still pay you.
If you’ve suffered a more serious injury at work, such as a back or knee injury, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney will be able to help evaluate your claim. By contacting an attorney, you give yourself an opportunity to seek and obtain any compensation due to you due to the malfeasance or negligence of an employee or employer for the contraction of any disease you contract at work. Preserving your health should be your priority, let your attorney worry about everything else.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into finding an attorney.