Trial Notebook : Accident

Accident, arising out of and in the Course (Issues as to Whether Claimant was Working at Time of Incident)
  • An employee who had already clocked out at his job but noticed a loose belt and decided to fix it, even though it was not part of his job. The court of appeals held that it was compensable even though not incident to his job. See Graves v. Builders Steel Supply, 186 Ga. App. 736, 368 S.E.2d 188 (1988).
Aggravation of Injury—New Accident or Change in Condition
  • Claimant fell at work and aggravated an earlier job related injury. The injury was considered a "new accident by injury." Pacific Employers Insurance Company, et al v. Ivey, 118 Ga. App. 299, 163 S.E. 2d 435 (1968).
  • Claimant kicked at some fighting animals to separate them and reinjured his back. The court ruled it was a change in condition. Atkinson v. Home Indemnity Co., et al, 141 Ga. App. 687, 234 S.E. 2d 359 (1977).
  • Claimant picked up a broom at home and reinjured his back. The court ruled it was a change in condition. Employers Insurance of Wausau, et al v. Carnes, 148 Ga. App 767, 252 S.E. 2d 654 (1979).
  • Claimant was making the bed at home and reinjured his back. The court ruled it was a change in condition. Ranger Insurance Co, et al v. Speck, 145 Ga. App. 327, 243 S.E.2d 593 (1978).
  • Claimant was reinjured while descending the steps at home. The court ruled it was a change in condition. International Insurance Co. et al v. Whitfield, 135 Ga. App. 216, 217 S.E.2d 192 (1975).
  • Claimant reinjured his back after falling down an escalator. The court ruled it was a change in condition. Peachtree Plaza Hotel v. Haynes, 163 Ga. App. 831, 296 S.E. 2d 147 (1982).
Gross Negligence
  • If claimant were to undertake an action with the knowledge of the risks involved to the weakened member and thereby reinjured himself, employer could contest the compensability of this reinjury.
New Accident versus Change of Condition
  • Generally, when an employee sustains an injury while one insurance carrier provides coverage "and the condition brought about by the accident because of aggravation over a period of time so that [the] employee is eventually required to terminate [his] employment because of disability at a time when another insurance company has [assumed] coverage," a new injury is held to have occurred on the date the claimant was unable to continue his employment. Hartford Ins. Group v. Stewart, 147 Ga. App. 733, 250 S.E.2d 184, (1978). See also TIG Specialty Insurance Co. v. Dust-Away, Inc., et al., 283 Ga. App. 445, 641 S.E.2d 684 (2007).
  • An employee was involved in an accident while one insurance company was providing workers' compensation insurance. After missing work for a short period of time, the employee returned to work until her condition worsened rendering her totally disabled. By that time, a new insurance had assumed workers' compensation coverage for the employer. Despite the change in insurance, the first insurance company paid temporary total disability benefits for approximately five months. The court held that the 60-day statute of limitations under O.C.G.A. § 34-9-221(h) did not apply and should not reach a controversy between two insurance companies. Columbus Intermediate Care Home v. Johnson, 196 Ga. App. 516, 396 S.E.2d 268 (1990).
  • Where the State Board of Workers' Compensation reverses the administrative law Judge and finds a new injury as opposed to a change of condition. See Royal Globe Ins. Co. v. Hartford Ins. Co., 332 S.E.2d 387, 332 S.E.2d 387 (1985).

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