O.C.G.A. § 34-9-8 states that a principal, intermediate, or subcontractor shall be liable for compensation to any employee injured while in the employment of any of his/her subcontractors engaged upon the subject matter of the contract to the same extent as the immediate employer. Any principal, intermediate, or subcontractor who shall pay compensation may recover the amount paid from any person who would have been liable to pay compensation to the injured employee or from any intermediate contractor.
Every claim for compensation shall be instituted against the immediate employer. However, such proceedings shall not constitute a waiver of the employee’s right to recover compensation from the principal or intermediate contractor. If such immediate employer is not subject to the statute by reason of having less than the required number of employees as prescribed, then such claim may be directly instituted against the intermediate or principal contractor. The collection of full compensation from one employer shall bar recovery by the employee against any others. Moreover, the employee shall not collect a total compensation in excess of the amount for which any of the contractors is liable. The statute shall apply only in cases where the injury occurred on, in, or about the premises on which the principal contractor has undertaken to execute work or which are otherwise under his/her control.