Tolling the Statute of Limitations by Paying Benefits


Recently, the Ramos Law Firm was asked whether the payment of salary paid due to an occupational injury qualified as income benefits for the purposes of tolling the statute of limitations.  Particularly, an Atlanta employer paid an injured employee two weeks of salary on account of a work injury.  After one year, the injured employee desired to file a workers’ compensation claim.  However, the workers’ compensation insurance adjuster denied the claim as being beyond the statute of limitations under O.C.G.A. 34-9-82.

The adjuster incorrectly denied the case.  Under O.C.G.A. 34-9-82, the employee’s “right to compensation shall be barred unless a claim therefore is filed within one year after the injury, except that if payment of weekly benefits has been made or remedial treatment has been furnished by the employer…” In relation to this particular question, the payment of salary paid “on account of the injury” is considered “weekly benefits” under the Act.  See, Harper v. L&M Granite Co., 197 Ga. App. 157 (1990).

Therefore, the injured employee’s statute of limitations did not run and he was entitled to move forward with his claim with the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation in Atlanta.  If you are approaching one year after your date of injury, please contact the Ramos Law Firm right away so that we can determine if a claim should be filed to protect your statute. If your injury occurred over a year ago, contact us today for a free consultation to determine if you have been barred by the above statute.