As mentioned above, it is important that you take action to notify your employer of your workplace injury and file your claim within the required time frame. If you fail to do either, you may be permanently prevented from recovering compensation, and will therefore have to pay for your medical expenses and other finances losses out of your own pocket.
You have 90 days from the date that your injury occurs to notify your employer of the accident. However, it is highly advised that you do not wait this long, and instead inform your employer of your injury as soon as possible.
Once you have reported your injury to your employer, your employer is responsible for 1) ensuring that you receive medical attention and 2) reporting your injury to their workers’ compensation carrier. From here, the workers’ compensation carrier (insurance company) is responsible for reporting the event to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission.
While reporting the injury is the employer’s duty, you have a responsibility to make sure that it has been done. If your employer does not report your injury or denies that your accident happened, you should report your injury own your own. To do so, you will need to submit a Form 50 or Form 52 to the Workers’ Compensation Commission. While you only have 90 days to inform your employer of an injury, you have two years from the date that your injury occurs to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. The same is true for the surviving family members of a deceased worker.
If you are appealing a denied claim, this too must be completed with a certain amount of time. You must file your appeal within 14 days of the date of receiving notice that your claim has been denied.
If you are filing a third party liability claim in addition to or in place of a workers’ compensation claim for benefits, you must do this three years’ time from the date that your injury occurred, per South Carolina Code Section 15-3-530.
Because of the strict statute of limitations, which governs how long you have to file a workers’ compensation claim or a lawsuit, it is important that you consult with an attorney at Elrod Pope as soon as possible after your injury occurs.
The laws for filing a claim for an occupational disease or illness are slightly different. First of all, no benefits will be paid for an occupational illness unless the illness was contracted within one year to the last exposure to the hazard, or within two years if the disease is a pulmonary disease arising out of the inhalation of dusts. Further, the statute of limitations for filing a claim for an occupational disease is typically considered to start from the date of discovery.