Many folks would not correlate a professional football player with a workers’ compensation claimant, but they certainly can be one in the same. For example, in the case of Tom Tupa, a veteran NFL punter who suffered a career-ending back injury during a pre-season game in 2005. Mr. Tupa played for, or more accurately, worked for the Washington Redskins at the time. It was argued that Mr. Tupa’s injuries should not be covered under the workers’ compensation law. The Court rejected this assertion and awarded Mr. Tupa benefits.
Although this court was in Maryland, I believe the same ruling would have applied in Georgia. In our state, an employee is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if the accident or injury “arose out of and in the course of” the workers’ employment. In general terms, if you were doing your job and you were injured while doing it, you would be eligible for medical treatment (at the Employer’s expense) and potentially income benefits if you are unable to return work because of the work injury. Additionally, the Georgia workers’ compensation scheme is considered a “no-fault” system. However, under some circumstances if the employee neglected to wear required safety equipment or intentionally caused the injury, then benefits under workers’ compensation may be denied.
If you have any questions about Georgia workers’ compensation, please contact my office a free consultation.