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What are the laws surrounding workers' compensation in Georgia?

No matter the schedule you work, you will want to know you are protected as an employee of any company from injury on the job. Accidents happen all the time -- some avoidable and some unavoidable -- but employees still need to know they are protected. There's nothing worse than getting injured on the job and having to miss extended time at work because of it. So, what are the laws surrounding workers' compensation in Georgia?

Georgia law, under the statute of limitations, provides injured workers 30 days to report their injury to their employer with some exceptions to the rule. Those exceptions include the following:

-- A claim must be made within one year of being injured or from the date of your last remedial treatment or within two years of the last payment of weekly benefits.

-- A claim must be made within one year from death for claims regarding death of the worker.

For the most part, almost any injury that occurs while on the job is covered by workers' compensation. It doesn't matter if the employer was at fault for the injury suffered or you were at fault. Unless caused by a separate occupational disease, heart, psychiatric, psychological and vascular diseases are not covered under workers' compensation.

The following employees are typically exempt from workers' compensation in Georgia:

-- Farm workers

-- Railroad workers

-- Domestic servants

-- Employees of the United States government

-- Independent contractors

-- Employees who work for a company with less than three employees

It is not uncommon for workers' compensation claims to be denied, especially if they involve the heart, psychological issues or any other issue mentioned earlier. If your claim is denied, you can file an appeal with the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation.

One thing to note is that the state of Georgia does not require companies to hold your job for you to return to once your injury has healed when out on workers' compensation.

Know your rights regarding workers' compensation in Georgia prior to filing a claim so you avoid potential denials.

Source: FindLaw, "Georgia Workers' Compensation Laws," accessed March 15, 2017

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