Hurt a Few Days Ago
If you wish to pursue a claim under Georgia’s workers’ compensation law you must provide notice of your injury to your employer. The law says that you must report your injury within 30 days of the date you were hurt. If you do not report your injury within 30 days you may be barred from pursuing your claim.
This 30 day notice requirement is in the law in order to give employers a reasonable opportunity to investigate your accident. It is likely that your employee handbook encourages you to report your injury even sooner. In my experience, injuries reported more than a few days after an accident will come under increased scrutiny. Thus, the sooner you report your injury, the better.
You should always report your injury to a supervisor or manager. It is not sufficient to report an on-the-job injury to a co-worker or to someone without supervisory duties. Remember that everything you say when you report your injury will become part of your workers’ compensation file, therefore, you should be very specific about your notice of injury and include:
- the specific date, time and location of your injury
- details about exactly what happened
- the specific body parts that were injured
- names of any witnesses who may have seen your accident
Proof of Report of Injury
Whenever possible, ask your supervisor for some form of receipt of acknowledgment of your report of an on-the job injury. If your employer refuses to provide any paperwork confirming your injury, then you may want to follow up your verbal report with a written notice, and possibly with a direct notice to the State Board of Workers’ Compensation using Board Form 14.
Generally, you will hear from your employer’s insurance carrier within a few days in the form of a written acknowledgment of your claim along with a claim number.
If you hear nothing from an insurance company and your employer seems to be giving you the runaround, that should be a signal for you to seek advice from a workers’ compensation lawyer. I rarely see situations where employers try to avoid injury claims by ignoring first reports of injury, but it does happen and you need to be proactive in preserving your rights.