A workers’ compensation lawyer can be a strong ally when it comes to filing a claim. If you suffer injuries on the job or develop a work-related disease or medical condition, you will want to learn about filing for workers’ compensation in Georgia.
By law, most employers must have workers’ compensation insurance coverage so employees receive the medical treatment they need and so they can recover partial compensation for their lost income.
To collect your benefits and receive the employer-funded medical care you need, you will need to report your injury and file a workers’ compensation claim in a timely manner. Note, there are very important deadlines (statutes of limitation) that you must meet in order to qualify for benefits.
If you fail to submit your claim within the specified period, you could thwart your right to benefits.
Below our workers compensation lawyers discuss some of the claim deadlines and basic eligibility guidelines you need to know.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim in Atlanta
In 2014, nearly 32,000 Georgia workers filed a workers’ compensation claim, according to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. Some the most common work injuries were musculoskeletal injuries (sprains, strains, repetitive motion injuries), slip and fall injuries (fractures and head injuries), and injuries from coming into contact with objects (traumatic brain injuries, crushing injuries, etc.).
Once you become injured or develop a workplace-related disease or condition, notify your supervisor as soon as possible. How long you have until you must file a claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation depends on your situation.
In most cases, you have one year from the date of injury to file a claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation:
- If, during the year after your injury occurred, you received remedial treatment from your employer for your work-related injury, you have one year from the date of the last remedial treatment from your employer to file a claim.
- If you continued to work after your injury until forced to stop working due to a gradual worsening in your condition, you may be able to file a claim within one year of the date you were forced to stop working.
- If you received weekly income benefits as a result of your work-related disability, you have one year from the date of the last remedial treatment or two years from the last payment of weekly income benefits to file a claim for additional compensation.
Filing a Claim for an Occupational Disease
Given the progressive, slower-to-manifest nature of many workplace diseases (as opposed to sudden, acute injuries), occupational diseases have slightly different deadline parameters:
- In most cases, if your claim is based on an occupational disease, you have one year from the date you became aware of your disease or, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, should have known of the relationship between your condition and job duties.
- You must file any claim based upon an occupational disease within seven years of the last date you were exposed to the work-related hazards that caused your disease.
- However, if your claim is based upon a diagnosis of asbestosis or mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos, you have one year from the first date of disability following your diagnosis to file a claim.
Get Legal Advice to Preempt Problems
We strongly recommend filing a claim with the help of a workers compensation lawyer as quickly as possible to avoid inadvertently overstepping the time limits.
If you missed the applicable deadline in your case, or if you think you are close to missing it, we strongly recommend that you immediately contact a local workers’ compensation lawyer to help you through the process. For a determined legal advisor in Atlanta, call Bader Law Firm, LLC.
Select a workers compensation lawyer who is fully capable of meeting the claim deadlines, appealing claims, overcoming discrimination, filing third-party claims when appropriate, and handling any other issues that might arise and that might be applicable to your case.
Our team is fully proficient in all of these areas. Contact our workers’ compensation lawyers in Atlanta today at 678-562-5595 for a free consultation.