South Carolina Workers Comp Laws: What You Should Know

No one goes to work expecting to suffer injuries from a workplace accident. Yet many American employees get injured daily. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, 102 people lost their lives because of workplace injuries in South Carolina in 2020. The agency also reports thousands of workplace illnesses and injuries annually in South Carolina.

Employers and business owners are legally obliged to protect their organization and employees. However, most workplaces have a wide range of hazards that can cause devastating injuries. Close to half of the reported workplace accidents in South Carolina require days off from work, restricted work duties, or transfers.

South Carolina’s workers’ compensation system offers workers who sustain injuries while on the job paid medical care and financial aid to facilitate a speedy recovery. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the intricate legal process of filing a workers’ compensation claim in South Carolina before beginning such a claim. If you or a loved one are victims of a workplace injury, consult our personal injury lawyers in Greenville, SC, for legal counsel.

Although workplace injuries are common, many South Carolinians don’t know they have legal protections under state law. Keep reading to learn crucial aspects of workers’ compensation laws in South Carolina.

South Carolina’s No-Fault Workers’ Compensation System 

When deciding whether you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for an injury sustained on the job in South Carolina, the workers’ compensation commissioners do not consider negligence or assign fault.

Your negligence won’t keep you from receiving compensation if you sustained injuries on the job. Also, your employer’s carelessness won’t help your case.

Workers’ compensation in South Carolina is a simple guarantee that you will be compensated for your financial losses due to a work-related injury. You are likely eligible for compensation unless you hurt yourself deliberately, were injured because of your intoxication, or committed fraud. A Greenville workers’ compensation attorney in South Carolina can help you pursue the compensation you deserve.

The Law Protects You from Workplace Retaliation

Employer retaliation acts such as wrongful termination are illegal in South Carolina. Local state law allows you to file a lawsuit against an employer who fires you for seeking workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been the target of a retaliatory firing, consult a seasoned attorney for legal counsel.

Employer’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Carrier Should Compensate You for Work Injuries

Many workers in South Carolina avoid pursuing workers’ compensation claims out of concern that doing so will result in significant financial losses for their employers. However, the insurance company for your employer, not your boss, is usually the one writing checks and ensuring you get the care you need.

Even if your claim causes your employer’s premiums to rise, the increase is usually much smaller than the loss you’d incur if you didn’t make a claim.

South Carolina’s Workers’ Compensation Laws Cover Various Types of Damages

If you get hurt on the job, you should inform your employer or supervisor immediately. You should request to be sent to a doctor if you feel you need medical attention. The insurance company that handles workers’ compensation claims for your employer is responsible for paying for any treatment that will improve your condition.

It is essential to remember only treatment approved by the carrier will be covered by the insurance company, except in some emergency cases. Call a seasoned workers’ compensation lawyer in South Carolina for help negotiating with insurance companies.

Although getting insurance approval for medical care can be frustrating, our dedicated legal team will work with the insurance company to ensure you get the care you need as soon as possible.

According to local workers’ compensation laws, you deserve weekly compensation if medical professionals place you out of work or your employer can’t accommodate your restrictions. The weekly compensation amounts to two-thirds of your average pre-tax wages or salary before the injury.

After a doctor determines that you have reached the maximum medical improvement, they will give you an impairment rating. Because of your level of impairment, you may be entitled to additional compensation. However, it may take years from the time of injury until the client reaches the point of maximum medical improvement. It’s also crucial to note that the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission does not factor any additional compensation for pain and suffering into the final settlement amount.

If an employee dies from a workplace accident, the decedent’s surviving family members may be eligible to receive death benefits.

Can You File a Civil Lawsuit in Addition to the Worker’s Compensation Claim?

Most workplace injury cases involve victims who sustained injuries because of the negligence or malice of a third party. For example, your attorney would likely pursue two claims if you suffered injuries from a slip and fall injury at work because of a hazard created by a janitorial company; one suit against the insurance company your employer uses and the other against the cleaning service.

Civil proceedings allow you to recover monetary damages that workers’ compensation does not. These include economic and non-economic damages like:

  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional distress
  • Physical pain
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

These additional benefits help restore your life to the pre-injury status.

Time Is of the Essence

You have 90 days to file a report if you suffer a workplace injury in South Carolina. However, you should report immediately. The sooner you disclose the injury ensures, that the process begins soonest possible, increasing the chance of receiving compensation quickly. If you report the injury to your company later, they may try to downplay it or even say it happened elsewhere.

Local state laws allow employees to file a claim for workers’ compensation two years from the date of injury. Failing to file a claim within the deadline may hinder you from receiving compensation.

Contact an Experienced Greenwood Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

Don’t let anyone mislead you if you have any questions, especially an insurance agent. Instead, contact us right away for a free consultation and case evaluation. Our team of passionate attorneys at Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis PC has extensive experience handling workers’ compensation cases in South Carolina. Insurance providers are notorious for pressuring workers’ compensation victims into accepting lowball settlements. We’ll help you get the compensation you deserve so you can focus on complete recovery.

You can reach us at (855) 213 -4405 or use the chat window in the bottom right corner of this page.

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