Most people do not know where they can file a workers’ compensation claim when they are injured. They just start receiving medical treatment. If their injuries keep them from returning to work, they should start receiving temporary total disability benefits. However, each state has different workers’ compensation laws. These differences can drastically affect the benefits you receive. So, what determines which state’s law will apply to your workers’ compensation case?
What determines where a workers’ compensation claim is filed?
If your employer and their insurance company agree you got hurt on the job, they usually choose the state where your claim is initially handled. However, you may be able to file your claim in a different state from the one they have chosen. You can file your claim in a particular state or change the state where your claim was filed if the courts in that state have jurisdiction over your claim. Jurisdiction basically means that the courts have been granted the power to hear and decide your case. It usually requires that there is a certain connection between that state and your case.
When can I file a workers compensation claim in Georgia?
In Georgia, workers’ compensation claims are decided by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This state agency has been given jurisdiction in certain workers’ compensation cases. The most common situation where the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation has jurisdiction is when your injury occurs in Georgia. If your injury at work occurs in Georgia, there is almost never a problem with you having the ability to file a workers’ compensation claim in Georgia because the injury is your connection to Georgia.
What if my work injury happened in another state?
The Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation also has jurisdiction in some situations when you are injured in another state. In this situation, your workers’ compensation claim can still be filed in Georgia if
- Your employment contract was made in Georgia;
- You live in Georgia or your employer’s place of business is in Georgia; and
- You were not hired to do work exclusively outside of Georgia.
So, if you were hired in Georgia, live in Georgia, and did some work in Georgia, then you can file your claim in Georgia regardless of where you were actually injured. It is important to remember that you must be able to prove all three of these things for there to be Georgia jurisdiction in an out of state accident. Living in Georgia and being hired in Georgia are not enough. You also have to show that you were not working exclusively outside of Georgia.
Even if you were not hired in Georgia, you may still be able to file a claim in Georgia if the principle locality of your employment was in Georgia. Basically, this phrase means that you primarily worked in Georgia. Like other laws about jurisdiction, the particular details of your employment will be very important in deciding where the principle locality of your employment was.
If I have a choice about where to file my claim, how do I decide where to file?
If you do have the ability to file your claim in Georgia and some other state, you need to figure out what the best option for you is. You will certainly want to understand how the laws in the different states would probably affect your case. The specific facts of your case will matter a lot in determining which state’s workers’ compensation laws will be best for your case. We recommend that you talk to attorneys who specialize in workers’ compensation to determine what state will be best for your case. We have three attorneys at our law firm that specialize in Georgia workers’ compensation cases. If you would like a free consultation with one of them, you can simply complete the “Need Help” form or call the phone number on the right side of this page.