If you or a loved one suffered a work injury, you must file your claims for compensation within the appropriate deadlines. These depend on the nature of your claim, as outlined below:
- Workers’ compensation claim: within one year of your work injury
- Third-party personal injury claim: within two years of your work injury
These deadlines are not absolute. Certain circumstances may extend your window of eligibility. We recommend speaking to your lawyer about your work injury to determine the deadlines that may be appropriate for your specific situation.
Workers’ Compensation Claims in Georgia
While you cannot sue your employer in Georgia for a work injury, you can make a workers’ compensation claim if you are injured on the job.
In Georgia, employers with at least three staff must have workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees in the event of a work accident or injury. You can claim workers’ compensation regardless of who is to blame for the work accident. However, there are exceptions to this. For instance, if you were intoxicated or roughhousing at the time, you may not be eligible to sue for a work injury and collect workers’ compensation.
You should also know there is a limited period to claim benefits for a work injury. It is important you do not miss these deadlines, or you may lose your right to benefits:
- You must notify your employer of your work injury within one month of the accident
- You must file your workers’ compensation claim within one year of the accident
Workers’ compensation is subject to certain caps and limitations, and it does not cover non-economic damages such as pain and suffering. This is why you may wish to pursue a personal injury claim against a liable third party to pursue compensation for your work injury.
Filing a Third-Party Personal Injury Lawsuit for Your Work Injury
Workers’ compensation may not provide for your current or future losses. Filing a third-party liability claim may enable you to cover costs for damages workers’ compensation does not cover, such as:
- Emotional and psychological stress
- Pain and suffering
- Additional costs that may be applicable in your case
Third Parties Who May Be Liable for Your Work Injury
Depending on the nature of your work injury, there may be more than one party who could be held liable for your losses. While you are not able to sue for a work injury against your employer, third parties whose negligence may have caused or contributed to your work accident include:
- Contractors or subcontractors to whom you are not an employee
- Vendors or suppliers
- Manufacturers of defective products
- Government entities
- The owner of a vehicle or piece of equipment, if it is not owned by your employer
- Or another party
A claim against any of the above or another third party may be applicable in situations such as where:
- A defective product causes injury.
- A contractor working for the employer is responsible for the personal injury.
- A car accident caused by another driver occurred while you were driving for your employer
These are just some of the examples of situations where a third-party personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate. Your lawyer can help you review the circumstances surrounding your work injury and offer advice as to the options that may be available to you.
Proving Liability for Your Work Injury
Proving liability against a third party follows the same criteria as pursuing a personal injury claim. To succeed, we must demonstrate that the third party owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, and thereby caused your accident. We would then show the resulting damages and seek compensation for your losses.
The Statute of Limitations in Georgia
Under the statute of limitations, you have a limited amount of time to file any personal injury case. Private lawsuits against a third party whose negligence caused your work injury fall into the same category, which means you must file your case within two years of your injury. If you miss this deadline, you may lose your right to pursue compensation.
We Can Help Protect Your Interests
If you feel a third party may have been responsible for your work accident, we want to talk to you. We can investigate the circumstances surrounding your injuries, help you to sue for a work injury, and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call the team at S. Burke Law for a free consultation and to learn more about how we may be able to assist you with your legal claim: (404) 842-7838. The sooner you call, the sooner we can get started protecting your rights.