blog home Workers Compensation Hurt at Work: Why You Need to Immediately Notify Your Employer

Hurt at Work: Why You Need to Immediately Notify Your Employer

By Butler Prather LLP on November 13, 2022

Individuals who sustain any type of work-related injury or illness need to notify their employer as soon as they become aware of the injury or illness. This is imperative because Georgia law has very specific deadlines in place pertaining to the reporting of a workplace injury and actually filing a workers’ compensation claim. Here, we want to examine these deadlines and discuss what could happen if you fail to report an injury on time.

notifying an employer after a workplace injury

What the Law Says About Reporting Workplace Injuries

Each state sets a timeline for how long workers have to report and on the job incident to their supervisor or the employer. In Georgia, the law requires that injured workers notify their employer within 30 days from the date the injury occurs or from the date the injury or illness is diagnosed.

It is important to point out that the diagnosis of an injury or illness may not be on the same day that the injury or illness actually began. Sometimes, the signs and symptoms of injuries or illnesses may not appear for some time after an initial incident or the onset of hazardous conditions. However, it is imperative to report a suspected workplace injury or illness as soon as possible in order to avoid the claim being denied by the employer or the workers’ compensation insurance carrier.

Do not take the entire 30 days to notify your employer if you know you have sustained a workplace injury or illness in Atlanta. Any delay in reporting the injury after you know about it could give the insurance carrier or their legal team a reason to delay or deny the claim.

Overall Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations

The 30-day reporting deadline is not the only deadline that workplace injury victims need to be aware of in Georgia. There is an overall statute of limitations for actually filing the workers’ compensation claim. This matters because individuals do not have to file the actual claim after reporting their injury to their employer. Workplace injury or illness victims will have an entire year from the date the injury or illness occurs or from when it was diagnosed to file the claim.

In the event a Georgia workplace injury victim fails to file their workers’ compensation claim within this one-year time frame, it is very likely that they will be unable to receive compensation for their losses.

What if There is a Third-Party Claim?

In some cases, individuals may be able to file third-party civil personal injury lawsuits against and negligent individual or entity. Typically, the workers’ compensation system prevents injured workers from filing lawsuits against their employer or other parties involved. However, if a third party caused the injury or illness, individuals typically have the right to file a third-party claim. The deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Georgia is two years from the date an injury occurs.

If a third-party personal injury claim is successful, the workplace injury will likely be able to recover more compensation than they would otherwise have received workers’ comp, including coverage of their medical expenses, complete recovery of lost wages, and the possibility of recovering pain and suffering damages. Pain and suffering damages are not available through a workers’ compensation claim.

I was in a complex premises liability case involving a multinational corporations. Mr. Butler & his associates were always three steps ahead of these defendants. When they say they are "exceptional trial lawyers," this is not just a slogan but it is a way of life.”
- Zack Hendon