Georgia Workers' Compensation Claims and the Horseplay Defense
Workers’ compensation provides broad protection to individuals hurt on the job in Georgia. Although most workplace injuries are covered regardless of fault, employers have some defenses they can use to deny benefits. Claiming that the injured worker was engaged in horseplay at the time of injury is one way an employer may try to avoid responsibility for a worker’s comp claim.
If you were hurt at work and your comp claim has been denied because of horseplay, it is important to speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. With offices in Atlanta and Savannah, Parsons & Associates, P.C., can help you make a strong argument against your employer’s horseplay defense and help you get the benefits you deserve.
Call us or contact us online now for a free consultation and answers to questions such as:
- What is the horseplay defense to workers’ compensation claims?
- What should I do if my work injury claim is denied due to horseplay?
- How can a lawyer help me overcome a horseplay defense so I can get benefits?
Horseplay Defense & Workers’ Compensation Claims
For the workers’ comp system to cover an injury, it must have occurred as a result of the injured worker’s job duties.
Georgia laws say that workplace injuries resulting from “willful misconduct” are not covered. This means that an injury that occurred while “goofing around” at work may not entitle you to benefits.
For example, if someone was wrestling with a friend at work or if co-workers were racing wheeled office chairs, these activities are not within the scope of employment. They may be considered “horseplay,” and injuries suffered while engaged in these non-work activities may not be covered under Georgia’s workers’ compensation laws.
What to do if Your Claim is Denied Due to Horseplay
You may be able to overcome the horseplay defense and get the workers’ comp benefits you need and deserve.
The horseplay defense usually results in a denial of workers’ compensation benefits only for employees who actively or intentionally chose to play around at work. Workers not involved in the horseplay but who were still hurt because of it may be covered, especially if the worker was hurt in his or her normal work area.
When a claim is denied due to horseplay, you can appeal and may be able to overcome the denial if you can show that you did not take part in the horseplay or that you did not initiate it and did not mean to deviate from your work duties.
You may also argue that the horseplay was not the true cause of your work injuries, but rather that you were hurt because of job tasks or conditions.
If your actions were only a very minor deviation from your job duties, if your employer was aware of or condoned the behavior, or if your job was the actual cause of your injury, your employer should not be able to deny your claim by alleging horseplay.
A lawyer at Parsons & Associates, P.C., in Atlanta or Savannah can evaluate the circumstances of your accident and determine whether you could successfully overcome a horseplay defense. We can:
- Thoroughly review and research your accident.
- Interview witnesses.
- Review workplace safety requirements and policies.
- Help you to find experts to testify that it was your job duties that hurt you.
The stronger the evidence showing that a deviation from work duties was not the cause of your injuries, the better your chances are for getting workers’ compensation benefits.
Your Employer Claiming Horseplay? Find out how We can Help
Parsons & Associates, P.C., has represented many clients who were unfairly denied workers’ compensation benefits. Let us put our legal experience with these complex claims to work on your case to help you get the benefits you need.
Call or contact us online today to speak directly with attorney Michael Parsons about your legal options. We offer personal service, and we will return your call within 24 hours.