I recently had a new client who after further investigation was determined to be covered for his injury under an Occupational Accident Policy, and not a Workers Compensation policy. In my client’s claim, he was being paid weekly checks, receiving medical treatment and the insurance company requested an independent medical examination. In all respects it appears to be a workers compensation claim. Unfortunately after obtaining the policy, it is clearly worded to avoid workers compensation laws of just about every state but especially Georgia.
So how can they get a way without being held accountable by the Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation? Good question. Under the laws of Georgia in order to fall under the jurisdiction of the Workers Compensation Act, you must have three or more employees or have workers compensation insurance obligating yourself to coverage regardless of the amount of employees you have.
In my example, the direct employer was an owner/operator of a truck, my client his employee was injured while loading up a vehicle to be transported to another location. The direct employer was a clear independent contractor severing the statutory employer from any liability. In this matter we were not able to file a hearing like we can in standard workers compensation claims. The alternative unfortunately is no coverage and that is against public policy of helping injured workers.
I expect there will be a lot more questions regarding these “Occupational Accident Policies”.
Be informed. Be aware. Be prepared.
Ty Wilson is a Georgia workers compensation attorney, with offices in Savannah and Atlanta, who provides free information to the injured and the families of the injured. Visit tywilsonlaw.com to order his FREE Georgia workers compensation “Special Reports” and to read his many articles and to watch his videos.
If you have specific questions for a workers compensation attorney in Georgia, give Ty at call 912-508-4711 in Savannah or 770-948-5454 in Atlanta.