Workers’ compensation benefits are available to injured workers in South Carolina; however, not everyone is eligible. To qualify, you must have been employed at the time of your injury, and it had to have happened on the job. Your employer must also have had a legal obligation to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
The state requires companies with four or more employees to provide them with workers’ compensation insurance. However, certain exceptions apply. For example, casual employees who only work occasionally may not count. Also, business owners with under $3,000 in annual payroll in the previous year are exempt from the insurance requirement.
A South Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer can evaluate your case if you have questions.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for Workers’ Comp Coverage?
Workers’ compensation coverage protects employees who get injured or become ill due to their work. It provides weekly compensation and medical benefits to these workers, allowing them to recover without worrying about financial stability.
However, not all workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, so it’s important to determine whether you qualify.
You may be entitled to benefits if:
- Your employer was legally required to carry workers’ comp insurance.
- You were employed at the time of your work-related injury or illness.
- You experienced your injury or illness while on the job.
- The company has four or more employees.
Eligible employees include part-time and full-time workers, family members working for the company, workers who are not U.S. citizens, and minors. The rules apply even if the injured individual is working illegally. That said, independent contractors do not qualify for workers’ compensation.
If you do, in fact, qualify, the compensation you receive will depend on the following:
- The nature of your injury or illness
- Whether you’re able to return to work
- Your earnings before the injury
- Other factors specific to your situation
Our experienced personal injury lawyers can evaluate your case for free to determine whether you may qualify.
How Does South Carolina Law Protect Injured Workers?
South Carolina workers’ compensation laws help ensure that workers have fair access to compensation, regardless of how their injuries occurred.
Here’s how state laws support workers based on the guidelines outlined in the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act:
- Medical expense coverage: The act allows you to recover the costs of necessary medical expenses resulting from your work-related injury. It ensures you receive proper medical care without the financial burden.
- Temporary disability benefits: If your injury leads to temporary disability, the act compensates for lost wages during this period. This support is crucial to helping you maintain financial stability while recovering.
- Permanent disability benefits: In cases where on-the-job injuries result in long-term impairment, the act offers benefits to address permanent disability. This ensures ongoing financial support for workers facing sustained limitations.
- Choice of physician: While your employer has the right to select the initial treating physician, you can choose your own physician for disability evaluation. Although your employer won’t cover this evaluation, you have the right to seek a second opinion and have it considered.
- Timely reporting: Reporting your injury promptly to your supervisor is paramount. This is your initial step in securing your rights under the act. Timely reporting also helps establish the legitimacy of your claim.
- Responsibility for medical treatment: The act places the responsibility on your employer to provide suitable medical treatment for your work-related injuries. If your employer denies your claim, you can pursue the case independently or seek legal assistance to uphold your rights.
Hiring an attorney who is well-versed in these laws can make it easier to obtain benefits.
What Are the Deadlines for Filing for Workers’ Compensation?
In South Carolina, an employee injured on the job or who becomes ill due to their job has 90 days from the onset of the injury or illness to notify their employer. Filing this paperwork soon after a workplace accident is important, as it can help speed up the process.
However, exceptions apply if the employee had evidence that their employer knew about the event before their report, they were prevented from telling due to a disability or deceit by a third party, or if there was a repetitive trauma injury like carpal tunnel syndrome.
South Carolina’s filing deadline may be extended to two years in such cases, but we advise reaching out to our team as soon after your diagnosis as possible.
Contact a South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
If you’ve encountered any challenges with your workers’ comp claim or need help obtaining medical evidence to support your case, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance. A skilled South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney can be your advocate, ensuring your rights are protected so you can secure the benefits you deserve.
Our South Carolina team is available to discuss your case and explain your rights under state workers’ compensation laws. We handle cases on contingency, so you only pay if you receive benefits. Your path to fair compensation and peace of mind starts by reaching out to the Thumbs Up Guys.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation.