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Should I Report My Workers Compensation Injury?

Some people worry about whether they should report an injury at work.  They have concerns over whether their employer will treat them differently or try to fire them.

This article will discuss rules for Georgia workers compensation law.  It is important to know that different states have different workers compensation laws, so it is important to understand where your claim is being handled.  If you suffered your injury at work in Georgia, you will almost certainly have a Georgia workers compensation claim.

Repairman knee painWhat are the rules in Georgia about reporting an injury?

The first rule is that you do have to report your injury to someone who is in a supervisory capacity.  This might be your immediate supervisor, the general manager, or anyone else who is in a supervisory capacity over you.  The second rule is that you have to do this within 30 days of your injury.

Georgia workers compensation law refers to this process as giving your employer notice of your injury.  The basic idea is that your employer and their insurance company should have an opportunity to investigate how your injury happened and make a deciison about whether they will agree to pay workers compensation benefits.

What if my employer tells me they have a rule that my injury has to be reported in a week or less?

Your employer may tell you that they are denying your injury sooner.  The employer cannot change Georgia law.  Georgia law gives you 30 days to report your injury.

But, it is almost always best to report your injury as soon as possible.  There are some employers who will say that they are going to deny your claim because you didn’t report your injury immediately.

The reason it is better to report your injury sooner is because the longer you wait before reporting your injury, the more your employer may be able to argue that maybe that injury did not happen at work.  If it is several days or weeks later, they will often try to argue that you may have hurt yourself outside of work and then later claimed that the injury happened at work.

If you report your injury immediately, then your employer and the insurance company may be more likely to accept your claim.  If you waited a week or two before reporting it, they are likely to be more suspicious about whether your injury actually happened at work.

Do I have to report my injury in writing?

No.  Georgia law does not require that you give written notice of a workers compensation injury.  You can actually just go in and tell your supervisor that you have had an injury.

Once you do that, your supervisor should start following the workers compensation process and notify the insurance company.  Once that happens, you can hopefully start getting some medical treatment for your injury.

Although Georgia law does not require you to give notice of your injury in writing, it can be helpful to do so.  If your company disputes that you gave them notice of your injury, having something in writing will likely be helpful to prove that you did give notice.

Is there certain paperwork that I will have to complete when I report my injury?

There are no specific rules for how you have to report a Georgia Worker’s Compensation injury. You don’t have to use a particular form.

Your employer may have particular paperwork that it uses when a workers compensation injury occurs.  They may want you to complete some of this paperwork.  This could include a written statement of what happened.

When your employer reports your injury to the workers compensation insurance company, they should complete part of a document called a Form WC-1.  This document is used as an accident report and also as a document which will be filed by the insurance company to notify you about whether they are accepting your workers compensation claim.

What can happen if I do not report my injury?

If you do not report your injury, you could certainly lose your case.  Giving notice within 30 days is a requirement of Georgia’s workers compensation law.  If you fail to give notice timely, you could lose your case even if you have indisputable evidence that you got hurt at work.

In other words, even if you can prove that you definitely suffered an injury at work, you may still lose. So be sure and report your injury timely.

Man sitting with back painIf I failed to report my workers compensation injury within 30 days, is there anything I can do to receive Georgia workers compensation benefits?

Even if you missed the 30 day deadline for reporting your injury, you should still consider pursuing your claim.  Georgia law does provide some exceptions to the notice requirement.

If you meet one of these exceptions, you could still receive workers compensation benefits for your injury.  You just do not want to take this chance if you do not have to.  The best thing to do is report your injury as soon as possible.

What if I have other questions about workers compensation?

Georgia’s workers compensation system can be very confusing.  You have to worry about getting the treatment you need and paying your bills while also worrying about not missing any deadlines that could cause you to lose your right to receive workers compensation benefits.

If you have questions, I would recommend that you try to get answers.  To find out more about how to schedule a time to talk to me about your workers compensation questions, just read this short article.

Jason Perkins is an attorney who specializes in representing injured workers.  He regularly publishes videos and write blog articles about Georgia’s workers compensation system and issues that are important to injured workers and their families. To be notified of Jason’s new workers compensation videos, subscribe to his Georgia Workers Compensation Video Series channel on YouTube by clicking the subscribe button below.

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Jason Perkins

Workers' Compensation Attorney

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