Workers’ compensation is a vital part of our employment law. These laws and regulations exist specifically to ensure that when a worker becomes sick or injured in the course of work, that their needs are covered and they are able to properly heal and regain control of their lives. Unfortunately, too many people aren’t educated on how workers’ comp works, and it can be costly to not be armed with the proper knowledge. Read an overview of the laws for workers’ comp in South Carolina, and how a qualified attorney can help you get the coverage you need.
How to File
Every state has its own rules, regulations and laws when it comes to covering employees who get hurt or contract an illness while on the job. Laws pertaining to workers’ comp in South Carolina are available in full online at the South Carolina Legislature website. This law covers the situations under which you can file a claim, when and how you have to notify your employer, the timeframe for registering a claim, and other important details.
Workers’ compensation insurance is purchased and maintained by your employer to cover them against injuries that you suffer. When you are injured or get sick as a result of your work, you may be entitled to recover damages for a variety of losses, which can include:
- Lost wages
- Medical treatment
- Disability compensation
- Loss of potential wages
- Legal fees
Who Is Not Covered
Independent contractors, domestic workers, volunteers and certain agricultural workers are generally not covered under workers’ compensation laws. This is because independent contractors work for themselves and not another employer (though they may provide services to another), and volunteers are not paid workers. Domestic, agricultural and certain other workers such as entrepreneurs are not covered under state workers’ compensation law.
South Carolina Timeframe
In South Carolina, as soon as possible after you are injured, you must notify your employer about the accident. Until you provide this notice, you are not entitled to compensation. You have a maximum of 90 days to provide notice, following your discovery of the injury.
Following notification of the injury or diagnosis of the illness, you then have two years to file a claim for workers’ compensation. The exception of this rule is if the victim is deemed mentally incompetent or a minor. Those deemed incompetent or minors without guardians have no time limit.
Medical Treatment and Refusal
Your employer is required to provide any necessary medical treatment and supplies for up to ten weeks from your injury date, plus any time determined necessary in a rendered judgment. This includes such remedies as nursing services, prosthetics and travel for treatment in case of permanent or long-term disability. If you refuse treatment that your employer offers, you may forfeit some or all of your future benefits, depending on the circumstances.
Why You Need an Attorney
When you are injured, many insurance companies will take advantage of your fear and stress to try and pressure you into settling your claim for a lump sum, or to avoid paying out altogether. Since workers’ compensation laws are so complex, you need a friend and ally to help you avoid the many pitfalls you face. Workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in fighting the bullying tactics used by insurance companies—and you have the right to representation. Never bow to pressure or sign anything until you talk to a qualified attorney.
If you have been injured at work, and need advice and guidance, don’t wait. Harris & Graves, P.A. have offices throughout the Columbia, Rock Hill, Greenville, Florence, Conway and Spartanburg areas, and we are the experienced lawyers who care about helping you get the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us for a no-cost, no-obligation consult on your case today!