What is Workers’ Compensation?
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act is a law enacted to protect and compensate workers who suffer from a work-related injury. In South Carolina, the law allows workers to seek monetary awards for an injury or occupational disease that arises out of and in the course of employment.
What Types of Accidents are Covered?
To be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, you must have been injured while working within the scope and course of your employment. All injuries do not require an “accident.” Some are caused by repetitive motion, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
What To Do If An Accident Occurs?
If you are injured on the job, you should report the injury to your supervisor immediately. The workers’ compensation laws require that you report your injury within 90 days from the date of the injury.
When reporting the injury, you should note the time, place of injury, how you were injured, the injuries received, and names of witnesses. You should also keep a copy of this information. To receive benefits, your claim must be filed with the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years from the date of injury.
Is My Employer Solely Responsible?
In some cases, a third party may also be responsible for damages. For instance, if you are injured by a defective piece of equipment of if you are in a car accident while working for your employer, there may be a case against the manufacturer of the equipment or against the other driver.
Before a lawyer can charge a fee on a workers’ compensation case, the fee must be approved by the S.C. Workers’ Compensation Commission. The Commissions rules require that no lawyer’s fee exceed one-third of the amount recovered. The one-third must be based on the amount disputed and may not be calculated on weekly benefits the employer voluntarily pays to the injured worker.
Benefits are provided to you through the insurance carrier for your employer. You may be entitled to the following benefits:
- You should be paid for the time your doctor has you out of work. However, you are not entitled to compensation until you have been out of work for at least 8 days.
- Your medical bills should be paid by your employer or your employer’s insurance carrier.
- You should be reimbursed for mileage to and from your doctor’s appointments. You must travel at least 5 miles each way in order to be reimbursed for mileage.
- Your prescription medications and approved medical supplies should be paid for by the insurance carrier.
- Under the law, you may be entitled to additional compensation if you are permanently injured, even if you can still work.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE A WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM?
There are several things we must know todetermine if you have a worker’s compensationcase:
- You must have been hurt on the job.
- The injury must have occurred while working within the scope and course of your employment.
- Schedule a medical examination. We will work with you and the insurance company to arrange an appointment with a doctor or specialist to evaluate your health and work-related conditions. Exposure to dust, fumes, asbestos, chemicals, etc. may cause conditions that you are not even aware exist. An examination can protect your health and your legal rights.