Work related injuries can take various forms, ranging from a simple slip and fall to exposure to hazardous materials. According to the law, all injuries that occur on the job while carrying out employer assigned responsibilities are regarded as work-related injuries.
Almost all injuries that occur in the workplace in Georgia are the jurisdiction of the Georgia Workers’ Compensation System.
What Qualifies Under Workers’ Compensation?
The vast majority of work-related injuries that involve an employee and employer are subject to a Workers’ Compensation claim. In Georgia, Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault system. This means the injured person job is protected without having to prove fault on the part of their employer. However, this also means an employee can’t sue their employer for workplace injuries.
Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Eligibility for compensation is determined by only one factor: you have to be a worker in the firm where the injury occurred. It has nothing to do with citizenship or age. This protection also covers prisoners.
Additionally, longshoremen and harbor workers, may either file in the Federal or Georgia Workers Compensation Insurance systems.
When Do You File?
You have up to 30 days from the date of the accident to inform your employer if he/she did not witness it. After that, you have up to 12 months to process a WC-14 claim with the Georgia Workers’ Compensation System.
If you miss the deadline, you must provide a written notice stating the reason, and part or all of you claim may be forfeited. Further, it’s unlikely that the administration of your firm will authorize compensation payments if the claim filed late.
What Happens After You File?
In the event that compensation payments are delayed or do not come at all, you may ask the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Board for a hearing. At this hearing, you, your employer and his/her insurance representative are to be in attendance. In the event you are unhappy with the board’s decision, you may file appeal in Georgia’s State Court System.
Workplace Injuries Outside of Workers Compensation Jurisdiction.
If your workplace injury was caused by a third party(i.e. not the employer or employee), you may assert a claim against that individual or company outside of the Workers’ Compensation system
In addition, if you employer engages in deliberate acts that put you in harm’s way, the Workers Compensation system will not protect the employer. In such a scenario, the employer is responsible and can be subject to legal action.