Why time is of the essence in workers’ compensation cases
If you are injured on the job, don’t delay! There are several steps you need to take immediately in order to ensure the best outcome after your injury:
First, report the incident to your supervisor. Failure to report the accident within 30 days can jeopardize your benefits. (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-80). Your employer will likely ask you to fill out paperwork detailing the incident, and will conduct an investigation. It’s in your best interest for your company to conduct a thorough and timely investigation, providing all parties with the facts we need to manage your case.
Make sure to inform your employer if anyone witnessed the accident. Ask the witness to provide a written statement if possible.
Secondly, it is also important to hire an attorney in a timely manner, shortly following the accident. This is understandably difficult for most injured workers. In addition to oftentimes painful and debilitating injury, they are dealing with loss of income and perhaps family needs. If necessary, recruit help from a friend, family member or trusted co-worker to ensure you have the information you need to sign paperwork and authorize a client-attorney relationship. Your lawyer can’t help you until you establish an agreement to work together.
The next deadline to be mindful of is filing your claim with the state of Georgia– required within one year of the injury or last injury-related medical treatment. (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-81). Your lawyer can assist you with the WC-14 form, required by the State Board.
If your benefits have been suspended and your condition changes for the worse, there’s another deadline you need to be mindful of: you must file a request for recommencement within two (2) years from the date of last payment of income benefits. (O.C.G.A. § 34-9-104).
Lastly, if you are filing a permanent partial disability claim, you have four years to file the claim from the date of your last payment of income benefits.
If you’re injured on the job: timing is everything! Call the Ramos Law Firm now to stay on top of these essential deadlines.