If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you may assume that your workers’ compensation benefits will be automatic. Unfortunately, even a legitimate workers’ compensation claim will sometimes be denied. The denial may be issued by your employer and their insurance company, or it might be denied by the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Although you may feel disheartened by the denial or rejection, you shouldn’t give up hope. It’s important to understand some of the reasons your workers’ compensation claim may be denied.
Procedural Errors on Your Claim
Sometimes a workers’ compensation claim can be rejected for a simple procedural error. Maybe there was missing information on your form or you filled something out incorrectly. Re-filing the paperwork correctly may result in benefits being afforded.
Injury Did Not Happen at Work
While it may seem obvious to you that the accident occurred at your workplace, it isn’t necessarily that black and white to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. You need to show that the accident occurred at your workplace while you were on the clock. Otherwise, there is a chance that your claim will be denied.
Injury Was Not Reported in a Timely Manner
It is imperative that you report your injury timely. South Carolina only gives you 90 days to report the claim to your employer. If you fail to report your injury within the timeframe, your employer may have legal grounds to deny you from receiving your benefits.
The Injury Was Not Related to Your Work
Just because the injury happened at work, doesn’t mean it was related to your occupation. If you were on a break and injured yourself on your own time due to no negligence of your employer, the insurance company may deny your claim. You need to show that the accident occurred in conjunction with a work-related task, which may be difficult in some instances.
Legal Reasons Your Employer May Deny Your Claim
There are a number of legitimate reasons your workers’ compensation benefits may be denied. If your employer claims one of the following, you may have a much harder time appealing.
- You were committing a crime at the time your work accident occurred.
- You violated a company policy, which was a direct cause of your injury.
- Your injuries were intentional, or self-inflicted.
- You refused to seek medical treatment, or you refused the insurance company’s request for a medical examination.
- You were intoxicated, and that led to your accident.
- You were not working or conducting a task on behalf of your job.
Retaining a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have a workers’ compensation claim that has been rejected or denied, you need to speak with an experienced South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney right away. Contact the Elrod Pope Law Firm at 803-599-3080 to schedule a 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.