South Carolina Workers' Compensation FAQ
Q: Who is covered by South Carolina’s workers’ compensation?
A: Employees who suffer job-related injuries and illnesses are covered by
South Carolina’s workers’ compensation. Unpaid volunteers
aren’t subject to the Worker’s Compensation Act and are considered
to be “gratuitous employees.” However, oftentimes insurers
will try to deny workers compensation benefits to injured workers. That’s
why it is so important to contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer.
Q: Will I be able to sue an employer if they are responsible for the accident?
A: The workers’ compensation system was developed to protect workers
injured at the jobsite without taking into account who’s at fault.
Most employers are mandated by law to offer some sort of workers’
compensation benefits for their employees.
Q: If I’m receiving workers’ compensation, what benefits can
I expect to receive?
A: Workers’ compensation law allows you to receive compensation for
lost wages, long term injuries, and medical expenses. You are entitled
to compensation at the rate of 66% of your average weekly wage, which
is based on four quarters prior to your injury. Workers’ compensation
usually pays for surgery, hospitalization, medical supplies, prosthetic
devices, and prescriptions. However, sometimes the insurance companies
responsible for paying workers’ compensation claims make it difficult
for injured workers to get the benefits they deserve. That’s why
it is important to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer about
your work-related injury. Remember that in order to receive benefits,
you must file a claim.
Q: Will I get compensated for missing time from work because of my injury?
A: Before benefits can be paid, there is a seven day waiting period. If you
are out of work for more than seven days, payments come from your employer’s
insurance. If you are out of work for more than 14 days, you can receive
compensation for the first seven days. These payments should continue
until the doctor releases you to go back to work.
Q: What should I do if my injury prohibits me from returning to work?
A: If you’re unable to return to your previous position at work, the
South Carolina Workers Compensation Act allows for the injured employee
to be placed in vocational rehabilitation, which is provided by the workers’
compensation carrier. Vocational rehabilitation is the process of rebuilding
work skills in order to help others recover from a work-related injury
or illness with the aim of gaining employment.
Q: Do I have to see the company’s doctor, or can I choose my own doctor?
A: Under current law, your employer can choose the doctor who will treat you.
If you see your doctor without permission of the employer, your employer
might not be held liable for medical expenses. The doctor’s report
can determine which benefits you will receive, and in some cases, the
doctor will minimize the seriousness of your injury in order to retain
business with the employer or insurance company. If you would like to
see another doctor, you can ask the insurance carrier for a second opinion
or request a hearing by filling out Form 50 where a commissioner will
make a decision on your case. This process can be complicated, and seeking
help from an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help walk
you through this process and protect your rights.
Q: What if my work accident was my fault? Do I still have a case?
A: Yes, you could still have a case. When injured in an accident at work,
it doesn’t matter who’s at fault.
Q: Should I tell my boss that I got hurt at work?
A: Yes. In order to receive worker’s compensation benefits, you must
inform your boss so that he/she can report your accident to their insurance
company, which is reported to the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Q: Will I get fired if I make a workers compensation claim?
A: No, your employer can’t fire you in retaliation for filing a worker’s
compensation claim. If your employer does fire you, you may be able to
seek damages in civil court.
Q: My injury happened over time. Can I still get compensation?
A: Yes, you can still receive compensation, depending on your injury and the
circumstances surrounding it. A worker’s compensation injury may
happen suddenly or over time. Talk to an experienced workers’ compensation
attorney to find out more about your rights under workers’ compensation laws.
*The information contained in this website is provided for informational
purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject
matter. Please contact a South Carolina personal injury lawyer or injury
attorney at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers for consultation on your