By Elaine Watson,
personal assistant to Attorney Howard Spiva
“My employer will file all necessary forms to protect my claim.”
Untrue. An employer is required to file a WC-1 Employer’s First Report of Injury with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation. This form does not protect your claim. You must file a WC-14 Notice of claim with the State Board of Workers’ Compensation and copy to all parties.
“Workers’ Compensation claims require that I sue my employer.”
Untrue. You file a claim with the State Board of Workers Compensation. Workers’ Compensation is not civil litigation. An injured worker is really filing the claim against the employer’s insurance company most of the time (unless the employer is uninsured or self insured). There is no right to a jury trial in a workers’ compensation claim.
The law created an organization called the Industrial Commission, the forerunner of today's State Board of Workers' Compensation.
“I can collect for pain and suffering.”
Untrue. The purpose of the State Board of Workers Compensation is to compensate the employee for lost wages, medical treatment and diminished future earning capacity. It does not allow for compensation for pain and suffering.
“My employer states that since the accident was my fault I can’t pursue a workers’ compensation claim.”
Untrue. Workers’ compensation is a “no fault system”. The accident can be 100% your fault and you still are entitled to full benefits under Georgia Workers Compensation.