If you suffer an injury at work in Georgia, you must tell your employer within 30 days. If you fail to give timely notice, your employer may deny your workers' compensation claim.
Giving Notice of Your Work Injury
If you suffer an injury on the job, one of the first things to do is give notice to your employer.
Giving Notice to the Correct Person
You must give notice to your supervisor. Your employer may give you an employee handbook or a separate document explaining how to give notice if injured on the job.
When to Give Notice of Your Injury
Georgia workers' compensation law requires you to give notice within 30 days of being injured. If you suffer a sudden injury (for example, you hurt your back while lifting a heavy object), the clock to give notice starts counting down immediately.
If you have a repetitive motion injury (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome), the clock to give notice starts upon learning of your diagnosis.
Report the injury promptly. If you delay giving notice, your employer may argue that you hurt yourself at home or somewhere other than at work. You appear more credible when you report the injury immediately.
Your employer may claim its rules require notice within a shorter time than the 30 days required by Georgia law. An employer cannot shorten the time you have to report your injury. If an employer denies your claim for not reporting your injury in less than 30 days, contact a workers' compensation lawyer to protect your interests.
Whether You Must Give Written Notice to Your Employer
Georgia workers' compensation law does not require that you give written notice to your employer. However, if practical, giving written notice may be a good idea. It provides you documentation in case a supervisor denies you gave verbal notice.
What You Should Say When Reporting Your Injury
Georgia workers' compensation law does not specify what you must include in your notice of injury, but the notice should be specific:
- Give the date and time of your injury.
- State the nature of your injury. For example, you can explain that you hurt your back and you felt tingling in your legs.
- Connect your injury to your work. For example, you can report that you were using a heavy tool when you felt a pain in your back.
- Provide names of anyone who saw your accident. Your employer may be less likely to dispute your claim if co-workers witnessed the event.
Completing an Accident Report
Your employer may ask you to fill out an accident report. Keep these things in mind when completing the form:
- Be honest when answering questions.
- Do not exaggerate your injuries.
- Do not answer a question if you do not know the answer.
Consequences of Failing to Give Timely Notice
Failing to give notice within 30 days may defeat your workers' compensation claim, but exceptions may apply:
- You may have a gradual injury. For example, you may suffer hearing loss over time due to the noise in a factory.
- You may not know the severity of your injury for months. You should give notice of minor injuries, so an employer cannot claim you failed to give notice if the injury turns into something major.
- You may not know your injury arose out of your work. You may believe a rash resulted from an exposure at home when it actually came from a chemical you used at work.
If your employer denies your workers' compensation claim on the grounds that you did not give timely notice of your injury, contact a workers' compensation attorney. The circumstances of your injury may excuse your late notice.
Secure Legal Help After an Accident at Work
If you suffered a work injury, contact a workers' compensation attorney at S. Burke Law at 404-842-7838 for a free consultation.