How Long Do I Have to File a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Cases involving personal injury typically require a lawsuit to be filed within two years of the accident or injury. However, cases involving injuries that occur at work are different. The general rule in Georgia is that a claim for workers’ compensation benefits must be filed within one year of the accident date to avoid being denied compensation.
What I need to know
The workers’ compensation system is designed to move more quickly than other personal injury claims so it is important to know what all is involved in the process.
Here are some things you need to know:
With the payment of income or medical benefits: The statute of limitations is tolled (or, postponed until a later date) in cases where income or medical benefits have been paid to or on behalf of the injured worker. In those cases, the employee has one year from the date of last remedial medical treatment furnished by the employer/insurer or two years from the last payment of weekly income benefits to file a claim.
Medical importance: You have a year to file a claim once you discover your work-related disease may be related to your employment.
Cases involving death of the employee: A claim must be filed within one year of the date of death, and will be considered filed on the day it is received by the State Board.
File on time: If your claim is not filed on time, there is no way to prevent it from being barred by the statute of limitations. For that reason, it is highly recommended that a claim be filed with the State Board within one year of the accident date in all cases. (See our blog about timely filing)
Closing a claim: A claim only closes once a settlement agreement is reached and approved by the State Board or when all statutory benefits have been paid.
Workers’ compensation laws are complicated and it is easy to make mistakes if you proceed without legal representation. While anyone injured on the job can file a workers’ compensation claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation, it is highly advisable to do so with the help of an experienced lawyer.