“The Path to Better Understanding of Idiopathic Work Injuries”

Daily Report

In an article published in the May 11, 2023 issue of the Daily Report, Ann McElroy discussed the differences between idiopathic and other work-related injuries as it relates to the compensability of a claim under Georgia workers' compensation law. Idiopathic injuries occur when either the cause of the accident is unknown or when it is due to a personal condition of the employee with no relationship to a workplace risk or hazard.

“While idiopathic injuries may occur in the course of employment due to their timing, they are not compensable as they don’t arise out of the employment,” McElroy explains. “It should be noted that claiming an injury is idiopathic is not an affirmative defense for an employer or insurer. Rather, the employee must meet his or her burden of proof with respect to proving injury arose out of the employment.”

McElroy further discussed where the concept of idiopathic injuries originates and the considerations for determining if an employee has an idiopathic injury.

“These cases are all fact specific. First, find out if the employee had a fall or injury with no clear cause and no work-related objects contributing to the injury,” she said. “Investigate if the employee has a personal condition (such as seizures) unrelated to work, causing or contributing to the accident.”

To read the full article, subscribers may click here


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