A statute of limitations is the maximum time you have to begin a legal proceeding after an injury. In most cases, the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation in Georgia is one year from the date of the work accident. However, there are situations where you have additional deadlines to keep track of regarding workers’ comp benefits.
If you do not file your workers’ compensation within the legal timeline, you will lose your chance at benefits. This is very dangerous, as recovering from a work injury without assistance can leave you without income for a potentially long period of time.
Below, we’ll cover what you need to know about the statute of limitations for workers’ compensation cases in Georgia.
Statute of Limitations for Georgia Workers’ Compensation
As mentioned above, you typically have one year from the date of your work accident to file a claim for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation is your right as an injured employee, but if you do not actually file for your benefits, you will not receive them.
Compared to personal injury cases where you have two years from the date of the injury accident, one year is not long at all to file your claim. So, you will need to take action as soon as possible. While there are situations where you actually end up with more than a year to file, it’s best to assume you have less time.
There are also a few statutes of limitations to be aware of in Georgia workers’ compensation claims. Here’s what you need to understand about each.
Main Georgia Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations
Found under Georgia Code § 34-9-92, this statute of limitations is the primary type in workers’ compensation cases. It states that the right to compensation will be barred unless the claim is filed within one year of the date of injury. The same applies to filing for workers’ compensation death benefits (if a loved one dies from a work injury).
There are some exceptions to the one-year timeline. The deadline may be extended if your employer (or the insurance company providing your workers’ compensation):
- Pays for your medical treatment or
- Pays you weekly temporary total, temporary partial, or permanent partial disability benefits
In the above situations, your claim may be filed within one year of the date of the last medical treatment your employer paid for or within two years of the date of the last weekly income benefit payment.
The above being said, it’s really best to shoot for the one-year deadline (from the date of your work injury) to file your claim. Extensions can become complicated, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. We recommend reaching out to a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer right away who can help you keep up with the proper statute of limitations.
Change in Condition Statute of Limitations in Georgia
Another vital statute of limitations in Georgia workers’ comp claims has to do with your disability benefits and when you stop receiving them. The benefits referred to here are temporary total disability or temporary partial disability:
- Under workers’ compensation, you can receive temporary total disability (TTD) benefits if your work injury prevents you from working for at least seven days. TTD benefits are two-thirds of the weekly wage you were making before your injury (capped at $675 per week and for up to 400 weeks).
- Temporary partial disability (TPD) benefits are provided when you can continue working after a work injury—but at a lower capacity making less money. TPD benefits are equal to two-thirds of the difference between your former weekly wage and what you can now earn (capped at $450 per week and up to 350 weeks).
The “change in condition” statute of limitations begins when you stop receiving either TTD or TPD benefits. You have two years from the date your benefits stop to request additional disability benefits. Otherwise, you will not be able to receive further benefits for that work injury.
It’s easy to overlook this statute of limitations because you are busy getting used to working again. However, it’s very important that you not forget about it in case you need further treatment even after returning to work. Having a Georgia workers’ compensation lawyer is the best way to make sure you keep track of this deadline.
Medical and Mileage Reimbursement Statute of Limitations
After you receive medical treatment for your work injury, you must submit the bill to your employer (or their workers’ comp insurance company) within one year of the date you received the services (Georgia Code § 34-9-203). The same goes for mileage reimbursement for traveling to and from medical appointments.
After your employer and the insurance company receives your notice of the medical expense, they have 30 days to pay the charge. For mileage, they have 15 days from the date you submit the expense to provide compensation.
Keeping track of medical bills and mileage can become tedious, especially if you have serious injuries that require a lot of treatment and doctor appointments. However, it is vital that you not miss the deadline to submit them so you don’t miss out on compensation for your costs.
How to Make Sure You Don’t a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Statute of Limitations
To make sure you are meeting all deadlines for workers’ compensation, it’s best to work with a workers’ compensation attorney in your area. They can help you keep track of all statute of limitations and make sure your claim is as strong as possible.
You should also:
- Report your work injury to your supervisor right away (and within 30 days of the date of the accident)
- File your workers’ comp claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC)
- Send a copy of your claim to your employer and the workers’ comp insurance company
- See an authorized doctor as soon as possible, and follow all treatment instructions
- Keep track of all expenses and dates of treatment
Talk to a Georgia Workers’ Compensation Lawyer for Free Today
Time goes quickly in a workers’ compensation case. While you’re focused on recovering and getting back to work, you’ll also need to keep up with the statute of limitations and all steps associated with your claim. Let John Foy & Associates remove a lot of the stress by taking on your case for you.
We have been helping injured workers get the compensation they need for over 20 years, and there is no risk to work with us because we don’t get paid unless we win your case. Call us today at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online for a FREE consultation and case evaluation.