Worker's compensation under South Carolina law
In most cases, filing for workers’ compensation in South Carolina is the only option for a workplace injury or illness because the law generally does not allow a worker to sue an employer for damages. Filing for workers’ compensation can be daunting and the employer and their insurance carrier can be adept at finding numerous ways to challenge or deny a claim.
It may be argued the injury is not as serious as claimed, was not work-related, that the worker did not follow proper safety procedures or correctly file an injury claim or that the injury was the result of a pre-existing condition.
Almost every worker in South Carolina is entitled to compensation as a result of a workplace injury under the auspices of the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. There are some exceptions to this and they include: certain real estate salespeople, agricultural workers, certain casual workers, railroad/railway express companies and workers, businesses with fewer than four workers, federal employees and corporate officers.
If you have been injured at work and need to file a workers’ compensation claim, you may find the process intimidating and confusing. The most important thing to note is that if you have been injured at work, you must file as quickly as possible. Generally you may have up to two years to file for benefits, but if you do not notify the employer within 90-days, you may lose the right to file a claim.
In the event of an accident, the employer is mandated to report it to the Workers’ Compensation Commission within ten days after you have informed them of the accident/injury. If the employer does not file the claim for you, you may file one by filling out a WCC Form 50 – Employee’s Notice of Claim or/and Request for Hearing.
In terms of compensation for medical benefits, all reasonable and necessary costs should be paid by workers’ compensation. Costs may include, physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, surgeries, prescription drugs and hospitalization. Payments are made directly to medical professionals and not the injured worker.
In South Carolina workers’ compensation law allows the employer and its insurance carrier the right to choose the doctor an injured worker is to see for treatment. If the worker is not in agreement with the treatment received, he or she may request another referral or request a hearing.
If a worker is totally disabled the benefits received vary depending on the severity of the disability. If a worker is to receive Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) the rating is multiplied by the worker’s wages to arrive at a benefit amount. If a worker is permanently totally disabled (PTD) and sustained a complete loss of vision or loss of two limbs they may receive additional benefits for up to 500 weeks.
Each case and situation is different and the only way to ensure fair and equitable compensation it to reach out to connect with an experienced workplace injury attorney.
Common On-the-Job Injuries
If you or a loved one has been injured in a workplace accident in South Carolina, seek knowledgeable legal counsel to find out your legal rights and what to expect moving forward with your claim.