Generally speaking, Georgia workers’ compensation claimants may be entitled to benefits if they are injured while working at an out-of-town job site. However, in a recent case a court rejected a claimant’s request for benefits after he was hit by a drunk driver while working out-of-town.
The claimant had been working as a laborer on a roofing job in another town. The claimant and other employees working on the project were staying at the hotel during the week. Every day, the claimant and the other employees would leave around 6 or 7 am in company trucks and return around 6 or 7 pm. The workers were paid from the time they left the hotel until the time they arrived back. After they arrived back at the hotel, the workers were free to do what they wanted. The workers were allowed to use a company truck to run errands if they obtained permission, but were not allowed to take a company truck to a bar.
The night of the injury, the claimant was walking from a bar across the street to his hotel in the early morning when he was hit by a drunk driver. He suffered serious injuries, including having to have his right leg, a finger, and a toe amputated. He applied for workers’ compensation benefits, claiming that his injuries were the result of a hazard created by the requirement that he travel to the roofing project. The administrative law judge granted him benefits, but the Workers Compensation Board denied the claim.