In South Carolina, workers’ compensation is a different area of law with its own regulations and statutes that dictate the benefits you may be entitled to if you are injured at work.
The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act is used to determine how you will be compensated for your injury if you’re hurt at work or come down with a work-related illness.
Below are 10 facts you may not realize about workers’ compensation in South Carolina.
1. Workers’ compensation is “no-fault”
2. If you are injured while on the job you could be entitled to benefits under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
In South Carolina, it really doesn’t matter if your injury was caused by your own mistake or carelessness. If you are eligible, you are entitled to receive benefits unless you injured yourself intentionally, while intoxicated, or if you commit fraud, such as lying about being injured at work. It also doesn’t matter if you were injured because of the negligence of your employer and this would not increase the value of your South Carolina workers’ compensation claim.
3. Your boss doesn’t pay for your benefits – your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier does.
4. There are exceptions under the South Carolina worker’s compensation laws that may prevent you from being eligible for worker’s compensation benefits.
- If your employer has less than four employees
- If your employer has a total annual payroll of under $3,000
- Agricultural workers
- If you are an employee of a railroad or railway express company
- Casual and/or temporary employees
- Corporate officers
- Any federal employee working in South Carolina
5. You should report your injury to management immediately
It is in your own best interest to report your injury in writing immediately and also keep a copy for yourself. This way your employer cannot deny they were notified of your injury while at work.
Additionally, in most cases, you cannot receive benefits if you don’t report your work-related injury within 90 days of your injury date.
6. Your employer can’t fire you simply because you filed a South Carolina workers’ compensation claim.
If your employer fires you because you filed a claim, you may be able to sue them for wrongful termination.
7. Your employer’s worker’s compensation insurance company has to pay for all medical expenses regarding your injury from the day it occurred.
- Any surgeries you may require
- Your Hospitalizations
- Doctors’ visits
- Medical supplies
- Prosthetic devices
8. You are entitled to receive travel reimbursement to and from the doctor if the round trip is more than 10 miles.
Many times, workers who are injured while working are not informed of this benefit. Mileage reimbursement could total hundreds and even thousands of dollars in some cases.
9. If you are released to return to work with restrictions and your employer offers you light-duty work, you must take it, or you could lose some of the benefits you would otherwise be entitled to.
If you return to light duty before your doctor fully releases you, and you earn less than you did before your injury took place, you are entitled to two-thirds of the difference between what you earned before and after your injury.
Additionally, if you cannot perform the light-duty work assigned by your employer, or if you believe the employer is asking you to perform work outside of your restrictions, you can request a hearing before the South Carolina Workers Compensation Commission.
10. Work-related illnesses are covered under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
Contact our South Carolina Workers’ Compensation attorneys today.
If you have been injured at work or have a work-related illness, you probably have a lot of questions both after your accident and during your recovery time.
The Rock Hill, South Carolina lawyers at Elrod Pope have the skill and experience necessary to assist you if you were injured on the job. We will work tirelessly to get you maximum the monetary compensation allowed by South Carolina law. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.