Apr 10, 2023

How Long Do You Have To Report an Injury at Work in Georgia?

If you were hurt on the job in Georgia, you may be confused about what to do next. If you’re not familiar with the time you have to file a workers’ compensation claim, you could miss your opportunity to recover damages. Waiting too long to file a workers’ compensation claim may mean you are barred from receiving the benefits you deserve.

The Georgia workers’ compensation act requires injured workers to notify their employer of an injury within 30 days and file a claim within a year of the injury date. However, injured workers can begin recovering their income benefits sooner if they immediately report their injury. Hansford McDaniel – Workers’ Compensation Attorneys have a statute of limitations professional standing by to assist you. 

How Workers’ Compensation Cases Work 

Workers’ compensation insurance is used to cover employees’ medical treatment and rehabilitation expenses in the event of a work-related injury or illness. Workers’ compensation may also provide income benefits when you suffer wage losses up to certain limits. 

Unfortunately, many employers violate the letter of the law.  We are experts on the workers’ compensation laws that affect your claim and the weekly benefits available to you and will provide a free consultation on how to proceed with your claim. 

GA Workers’ Comp Exclusions

The following may exempt an injured employee from receiving workers’ comp benefits: 

  • The injuries are not work-related
  • The workplace injury was sustained outside of work hours 
  • The injuries were caused by the abuse of controlled substances
  • The injuries were  suffered while performing actions that are not per company standards
  • Farmworkers, railroad workers, longshoremen, federal employees, volunteers, and domestic workers do not usually qualify for workers’ compensation benefits 

Georgia law requires any business with three or more workers, including regular part-time workers, to have workers’ compensation insurance. If your employer provides workers’ compensation, you have access to this coverage from your first day of work. If you suffer a work-related accident, inform your employer and complete Form WC-14 with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC).

Injuries Covered by Georgia’s Workers’ Comp

Workers’ compensation covers any injuries or illnesses that are caused by, suffered during, or aggravated by your everyday work. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.8 million workers sustained work-related injuries and were treated in emergency departments in 2020.

Slip and falls account for 18% of the 1,176,340 nonfatal work injuries resulting in days away from work.  1,038 U.S. workers died in work-related crashes. Some of the most common work-related injuries your experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation attorney will see include:

  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Disc herniations
  • Wrongful death
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Knee and hip ligament tears
  • Electrocutions 
  • Explosions
  • Eye injuries, dental damage, and hearing loss
  • Heavy machinery accidents
  • Inadequate worker training and supervision
  • Nerve, muscle, tissue, and tendon damage
  • Organ damage

The treatment costs for the injuries that occurred, and the financial losses that they can cause, can be substantial. It’s imperative to be aware of the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation in Georgia, so you don’t miss your filing deadlines and have to forfeit your right to coverage.

Georgia’s Workers’ Compensation Law

Georgia law requires injured workers to notify their employers within 30 days of the date of the injury and file claim within a year of the injury. Our workers’ compensation law office recommends reporting your work injury as soon as you can. Not only can this protect your case in the event of trial or settlement, but also ensure your legal team has plenty of time to investigate if need be. 

When To Report a Workplace Injury

Some employers may mislead workers about the timelines with which they need to file an injury report.  Hansford McDaniel Law Firm always recommends notifying your employer as soon as possible. Technically, a worker may report their injury on the 29th day before the 30-day statute of limitations notice period expires, but it’s better to do so as soon as you can.

Informing your employer immediately can help you prepare for any delays that may arise. If you are injured, report the injury to your immediate supervisor, foreman, or your employer’s HR representative in writing.

Reporting A Workplace Injury

If your employer has a specific claims form to begin the workers’ compensation process, use it.  Although Georgia law does not require you to give notice in writing, doing so allows you to protect yourself with copies of the report for your records.

Be sure to include the following details in any accident reporting forms and documents:

  • Date and time the incident took place
  • The location where the injury occurred
  • What you were doing when you were injured
  • Symptoms of the injury
  • Body parts affected by the injury
  • The names of coworkers who witnessed the incident and injury

Our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers recognizes that injured employees require extensive medical treatment. Once treatment begins, it can disrupt your entire life. We understand how life can interfere with reporting an injury, that’s why we provide the necessary legal counsel to keep you in compliance with the statute of limitations. 

Photo of Wrist Injury

Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim

In a Georgia workers’ compensation claim, the statute of limitations states that if the employer has taken no action to provide the injured worker with either medical treatment or indemnity benefits, then the injured worker has one year to file a notice of claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. 

When you suffered a work injury because of an accident and have received medical treatment paid for by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, you have one year to file a workers’ compensation claim (WC-14) after the last date of treatment. Keep in mind, your treatment cannot be paid for by your health insurance but must be paid for by the workers’ compensation carrier to toll the statute of limitations

If you’ve received workers’ compensation indemnity benefits, you have two years to further pursue a comp claim. Indemnity benefits are payment benefits for your lost wages directly caused by a workplace injury. This specifically refers to employees who cannot work, have work restrictions that cannot be accomodated by the employer, or are earning less than they were before their injury.

Work Accident Reports For A Workers’ Comp Claim

It’s imperative that workers who have been injured while working give a detailed description of what happened. A workers’ compensation case can be difficult to prove without it. After you provide notice of your injury, your employer or their insurance company can investigate to corroborate the details surrounding the incident. 

Workers’ Compensation in Georgia is a no-fault system. This means you are generally allowed to receive workers’ compensation benefits for your accident regardless of who was at fault. However, if your injuries were the result of the following examples of misconduct, your claim may be contested or denied: 

  • Horseplay
  • Intentional self-inflicted injury
  • Sustaining an injury while attempting to injure someone else
  • Willful failure or refusal to use safety equipment
  • Willful failure or refusal to perform a duty required by the law
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the injury

Our GA injury attorneys can help ensure that your claim is aligned with the statute of limitations and that you’re treated fairly by your employer and their insurers. Read on for more information about reporting your injuries on time and determining who’s at fault. 

Job Injury Fault

Typically, it does not matter who caused your work-related injury accident. Georgia’s workers’ compensation system protects employees who are injured on the job. You are most likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits even if you cause your injury.

Pre-Existing Conditions and A Workers’ Compensation Claim

In Georgia, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits if you aggravate a pre-existing injury on the job. It is common for people to have pre-existing injuries but still be able to work. 

However, if your job aggravates that condition and you become unable to work or need medical treatment, you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as a result of the aggravation. Speak with Hansford McDaniel Law Firm about experienced workers’ comp claim representation today. 

Georgia Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations

Georgia Code 33-9-93 outlines the laws surrounding the most common type of workers’ compensation claims. Your claim could be denied without an immediate appeal within a year of your injury date. It can be a similar case when a family member suffers a fatal accident in the workplace. 

Injury claim timelines vary and could be extended when an employee is covered by the workers’ compensation program. It is beneficial to speak with our workers’ compensation attorneys before accepting any settlement offers. 

Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help

There are several reasons you might need our Georgia workers’ compensation attorney after an injury on the job. An attorney can help you meet the necessary deadlines for filing a claim. They can also notify your employer of your injury. 

Having our knowledgeable attorneys handle your claim can also help to ensure that your rights are protected.  Hansford McDaniel Law Firm has experience helping their clients to receive the maximum recovery benefits allowed under Georgia law.

Workers’ Comp Attorney Costs

There is absolutely no cost for an initial consultation. In this initial consultation, we will discuss the ins and outs of your claim. Most injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning your attorney only receives payment when your case is successfully settled.

Workers’ Comp Claim Denials

Sometimes, at no fault of your own, your case may be denied. Having our experienced attorneys at your side can help maximize the probability of your case being re-assessed by the courts. Since most workers’ compensation lawsuits settle before trial, parties typically resolve their issues without going to court. Your lawyer can protect your rights as an injured worker. 

When your employer or insurance carrier denies any part of your claim, you have a right to a hearing in front of an Administrative Law Judge. An effective attorney will ensure that you file the proper documentation to maximize your chances of prevailing if your case proceeds to trial. 

Before you make any drastic decisions, consider consulting with our Georgia injury attorneys. Read on for more information about how to protect your job during a workers’ compensation case. 

Photo of Hand Injured Man Using Laptop

Quitting My Job While on Workers’ Comp

Before you quit your job, always consult the attorneys at Hansford McDaniel – Workers’ Compensation Attorneys. If you quit your job, your benefits will likely be affected. You will most likely continue to receive coverage for medical care, but you may lose or see a reduction in your income benefits. 

Speak to our attorneys about whether you will continue to see coverage for partial or permanent disability.  If you want to begin a new employment situation but make less money, it may be possible to receive partial wage replacement benefits.

Before You Make a Change to a New Job

Before moving into a new job situation because of your accident injury, be sure to consult with our legal team.

It’s imperative to consider all the factors before leaving your employer. It is in your best interest to discuss this with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Hansford McDaniel Law Firm. They can inform you of the costs and benefits of your decision.

Consult a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Hansford McDaniel Law Firm

When you have questions about your workers’ compensation, our Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers can help you get the assistance you need. A large number of employees are denied workers’ compensation for minor reasons. Our Georgia workers’ compensation lawyers can review your case and make sure you’re protected. Call Hansford McDaniel Law Firm now for a free consultation.