The great thing about workers’ compensation in Carrollton, Georgia, is that you never have to prove fault. It is not a fault based system. It doesn’t matter if your injury was caused by your own mistake or the mistake of someone else. As long as it happened at work, you’re covered, barring extreme circumstances (such as if you intentionally caused the injury or were intoxicated, for example). Yet, some people find that their workers’ compensation claims are derailed by what is known as an idiopathic condition. While you don’t have to prove fault, you do have to prove that the injury is work related. If you have an idiopathic condition, then you may not be able to prove that one key point. This is because an idiopathic condition is one that arises spontaneously, without cause, or without a cause that is related to work. Common examples of idiopathic conditions and events include:
- Epilepsy and other seizure disorders.
- A seizure not related to a disorder.
- Fainting without work related cause.
- A knee condition or event not related to work.
- A heart attack or other heart condition.
- Cancer not related to work conditions.
- Pulmonary conditions not related to work.
- Arthritis and other joint conditions.
- Circulatory conditions.
Not All Carrollton, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Claims Are Easy to Prove
While all you have to prove to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits in Carrollton, Georgia, is that the injury is work related, this is not always easy. Sometimes, whether or not the condition is idiopathic or work related is a matter of a few key details. For instance, there is the case of the EMT worker whose knee gave out when she stood up from her desk. This is a case where the condition was determined to be idiopathic in nature, but it could have gone either way. The worker argued that she would not have stood up when she did if her supervisor had not asked her to move to allow her to use the computer at the desk. It was a valid argument and could have proven that the issue really was work-related, but in this case, that was not what the courts decided. Rather, they decided that her knee giving out was an idiopathic event and she was not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
Now, if the circumstances had been different, she might have had a better chance of proving a connection from her injury to her work conditions. If an alarm had sounded, causing her to get up quickly to respond, then maybe this would have given her a better chance of proving that the issue was work related. She could have argued that her response to the alarm was a causative factor. This doesn’t mean it would have been a successful argument, but it might have been. Sometimes, it all comes down to the details and the final decision of the court when it comes to potentially idiopathic conditions and events in Carrollton, Georgia, workers’ compensation claims.
Some Idiopathic Conditions and Events Can Result in Injuries that are Also Work Related
While you won’t get workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries and damages caused by an idiopathic condition, there are some cases where your idiopathic condition or event could result in an injury that is also work related. This usually happens when your idiopathic condition causes you have injuries that would not have occurred if the incident happened elsewhere. For instance, you could faint or have a seizure and end up striking your head on a work machine or table. Or, you could be working at a height when you have a heart attack, and fall to a lower level or down the stairs. You wouldn’t get benefits for the treatment associated with your heart attack, seizure, fainting, or other idiopathic event or condition. But you could still get workers’ compensation benefits for the injuries associated with your fall. If you have a head injury from striking your head on a work machine, or if you have broken bones associated with falling from a height, then you could get workers’ compensation benefits from the time spent off of work and for the medical expenses associated with those injuries.
Let’s look at an example that involves fainting at work. Maybe you fainted because you were lightheaded from the heat. Maybe you fainted because you have low blood sugar. Maybe you fainted because you are anemic. You may require treatment for the idiopathic condition. You might need medication for your blood sugar or your iron level. Workers’ compensation wouldn’t cover those treatments. However, you probably wouldn’t miss much work because of it, so you wouldn’t need workers’ compensation wage benefits. However, if you fell from a height and broke bones, then that’s going to cause you to miss some work and require medical treatment for the broken bones. Workers’ compensation should cover this because working at heights is related to your work conditions. In the same way that your Carrollton, Georgia, workers’ compensation coverage would provide for you if you had simply tripped and fallen, it should provide for you if you fell because you fainted.
However, if you hit your head on the floor, then you might not get coverage, because the floor is not specific to your work conditions. Every environment has a floor or a ground where you could strike your head, and the very same injury could have occurred at home.
A Carrollton, Georgia, Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Answer All of Your Questions
If you aren’t sure if your injury at work is related to an idiopathic condition or event or if you don’t know if you can get coverage based on work hazards being present, contact the attorneys at the Law Offices of John B. Jackson. We are happy to answer all of your questions about workers’ compensation in Carrollton, Georgia, and how your idiopathic conditions or events may affect your claim.