A workers’ compensation claim begins by reporting the injury to the employer. As the worker, you need to know how to correctly report the injury. There are time limits for making a report.
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyers explain how long you have to report an injury at work in Georgia.
Timeline for Reporting a Work Injury in Georgia
How long do you have to report a work injury in Georgia?
You have 30 days to report a work injury in Georgia. If you’re hurt suddenly, the clock starts ticking the second you get hurt. For chronic illness and disease, the 30-day period begins when you learn of your injuries.
What is the law for reporting a work injury in Georgia in 30 days?
O.C.G.A. § 34-9-80 is the Georgia workers’ compensation law for reporting a work injury within 30 days. The law says an injury must be reported “immediately…or as soon thereafter as practicable.” However, it goes on to say that compensation is not payable unless notice is given within 30 days.
The law covers the procedure for giving notice of the accident. The injured worker begins their workers’ compensation case by reporting the injury to the employer or their representative.
What if I’m physically incapacitated, and I can’t give notice?
If you’re physically incapacitated and can’t give notice of your injury, the 30-day limit may not apply. However, you should make every effort to report the injury as soon as possible.
Are there any exceptions to the 30-day notice requirement?
Yes, there are a few exceptions to the 30-day notice requirement for Georgia workers’ compensation. They are:
- The employer engages in fraud or deceit to prevent you from reporting the injury
- An employer or their representative had knowledge of the accident
- The worker has a reasonable excuse for not giving notice, and the employer is not prejudiced by it
- Physical or mental incapacitation prevented the injured worker from giving timely notice
Reporting the injury as soon as possible makes it harder for the employer to contest coverage. You don’t give them any extra reason to deny that the injury resulted from the workplace accident. Not only is it usually required to report the accident within 30 days, but making a report quickly can make the process easier for you.
Can the employer shorten the 30-day time limit for reporting a workplace injury?
No. There is nothing an employer can do to shorten the time frame for reporting a workplace injury.
Making Your Report of an Injury at Work
Who do I report my workplace injury to?
You may report your workplace injury to:
- Your immediate supervisor
- Employer’s representative
- Human Resources
It’s not enough to tell a coworker or someone on the same level of employment. You must report your injury to the company. Usually, your immediate supervisor is the most convenient person to accept the report.
How do I report a workplace injury in Georgia?
To report a workplace injury in Georgia, tell your employer about it. Remember to make the report to a supervisor, employer’s representative, or the human resources department. You must tell the employer that you were injured in an accident that occurred at work.
What should I include in my report of a workplace injury?
When you report a workplace injury, you should include the following:
- Date of the injury
- Time it occurred
- Location within the workplace
- What was happening when you got hurt
- Symptoms you experienced
- Body parts affected
- Names of any witnesses
At the first report of a workplace injury, it’s unlikely that you’ll have all the details. You won’t know the extent of the injury or even have complete information about what happened. Don’t worry about that. You need to give enough information to verify that the injury occurred, but the initial report doesn’t have to include every detail.
Does a workplace injury have to be reported in writing?
Workplace injury reports do not have to be made in writing. Georgia law allows them to be made orally. However, it’s always best to make the report in writing and keep a copy. If 30 days pass without making a report, then the report must be written.
Can someone else make the report for me?
Yes. Your representative can report a workplace injury report for you. This is a good option if you’re unable to make the report yourself.
After You Report a Workplace Injury
What happens after you report an injury at work?
After you report an injury at work, you can expect the employer to gather information. They will complete a report and probably investigate. The employer should complete WC-1, First Report of Injury if the employee seeks medical treatment or misses work.
What if the employer retaliates against you?
It is illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for filing for workers’ compensation. It’s possible to be terminated later if your injuries prevent you from going to work, but if your employer fires you, disciplines you, or treats you in a hostile manner, you can respond with legal action.
What happens if you fail to report the injury on time?
If you fail to make a timely report of your workplace injury, it may jeopardize your right to benefits. The best scenario is that an exception applies, and you’re not penalized. However, you may forfeit medical care and compensation that you would have been entitled to until you provide notice of the injury, or your benefits may be denied completely. (See O.C.G.A. § 34-9-80).
If your benefits have been denied, contact us. We will pursue every option for you to receive benefits.
Lawyers for Reporting a Work Injury in Georgia
We are workers’ compensation lawyers. We help injured workers with all aspects of the claims process. If you need help reporting an injury or an issue in your claim that involves the timeliness of reporting, Moebes Law is here to help.
Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your situation.