An injured employee is
required to provide the employer with notice of a work-related accident within
30 days. O.C.G.A. §34-9-80 provides, in part,
“no compensation will be payable unless such notice, either oral or written,
is given within 30 days after the occurrence of an accident or within
30 days after death resulting from an accident unless it can be shown
that the employee had been prevented from doing so by reason of physical
or mental incapacity, or by fraud or deceit, or that the employer, his
agent, representative, or foreman, or the immediate superior of the injured
employee had knowledge of the accident, or unless a reasonable excuse
is made to the satisfaction of the board for not giving such notice and
it is reasonably proved to the satisfaction of the board that the employer
had not been prejudiced thereby.”
In other words, if the employee or his representative fails to provide
notice of the injury to the employer within 30 days, the entire claim
can be barred.
(Citations omitted.) The notice must be given to a supervisor or other superior employee, and
mere notice to a co-worker is not sufficient.
(Citations omitted.) The employee does not, however, have to give notice to the employer with
the intent of claiming compensation, nor does the notice have to show
the injury arose out of and in the course of employment or even that it
occurred on the job.
(Citations omitted.) Essentially, the employee does not have to specify how the injury occurred,
that it occurred at work or was otherwise work related. The employee is
merely required to put the employer on notice of an injury sufficient
to allow the employer the opportunity to investigate the injury, commonly
known as “inquiry notice,” and that notice must be given within
30 days of the occurrence.