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No Workers' Comp for New Injuries from Collision Received Leaving the Doctor Treating the Original Work-related Injury


An injured employee sought workers' compensation benefits for injuries resulting from an automobile collision that occurred while leaving a doctor’s appointment for treatment of a work-related injury. The employee was being driven by a transport service paid for by the employer.

 

In Georgia, workers' compensation benefits are payable for an employee's injuries sustained while en route to or from a physician's appointment for treatment of a work-related injury if the appointment was work-related and not voluntary. Elements the court considers in determining whether an appointment was voluntary include whether the treatment was a prerequisite to returning to work, whether the employer set up the appointment or provided the transportation, and whether the employee was free to use the time for his/her own affairs. In this case, although the employer paid for the ride, it was arranged by the employee. Further, the employee was not going to or from work when the accident occurred and the employer neither required the appointment as a condition to returning to work nor had control over the employee’s appointments.

 

The Workers’ Compensation Board found that the new injuries were work-related and therefore compensable. The trial court reversed, and the appellate court affirmed.

 

See: Flores v. Dependable Tire Co., Inc., 2012 WL 1034467 (Ga.App.  Mar 29, 2012) (not designated for publication).

 

 

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