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Notice of Gradually Acquired Injuries: Does the Shipman Exception Apply to 34-9-80?

Under O.C.G.A. Sec. 34-9-80, an employee generally has 30 days from the date of injury to notify his supervisor that they have sustained a workers' compensation injury. There are several exceptions to this rule, and the 30 day time limit rarely will bar a Georgia workers' compensation claim. Notice also does not necessarily have to be written; rather, an employee simply telling his supervisor that he sustained a work-related injury will be sufficient to preserve his rights under the Georgia Workers' Compensation Act. As well, in serious cases where the employee is unable to notify his supervisor of the injury, a family member or a representative of the injured worker may notify the employee's supervisor of the injury. Additionally, in some cases, an employee does not have to necessarily state that the injury is a workers' compensation claim. Georgia Courts have been extremely liberal in notice cases. To that end, some cases hold that simply notifying the employer that something is wrong will suffice. However, it is best to go ahead an notify the supervisor of the injury within the 30 day time limit to be safe. 

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