What to do when injured at work?

| Jan 14, 2015 | Workers Compensation

fallen worker in a workplace injuryIs my injury covered under workers’ compensation?

Almost everyone who works for an employer with four or more regular employees is covered under the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act.  There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they are rare. Even if it is your first day of work and even if you work part-time, you are covered under the worker’s compensation laws of South Carolina.

What should I do when I’m injured at work?

First and foremost is to report the accident to a supervisor. The sooner you report the accident, the sooner your employer can get you the medical care you need.  An injured worker has 90 days to report the accident from the time it happens. Just because you did not report the accident in compliance with the policy of your employer, does not mean that you will automatically be denied worker’s compensation benefits.

What should your employer do after an accident?

Your employer should send you to the doctor.  Your employer does get to choose which doctor you go to.

What is an injured worker entitled to under South Carolina workers’ compensation laws?

Workers’ Compensation takes care of your medical needs as a result of the accident and  your lost time from work. After the first 8 days of missed work, your employer should begin paying you from the 8th day to the 14th day. If you miss more than 14 days, the payments go all the way back to the first day of lost time. Payment should be two-thirds of your average weekly wage.

Even if you can only come back part-time your employer needs to make up the difference between what you were making before you were hurt and what you make after you are hurt.

Finally, the employer is responsible for any permanent disability that you suffer as a result of that accident. So if you’ve been injured at work, not only is your employer responsible for your medical care and payments when you’re out of work, they also must pay you at the end of the claim for your permanent disability as determined by your work restrictions and your doctor’s impairment rating.

What if I had a pre-existing condition?

If your work injury aggravated a preexisting condition, your employer is responsible for that aggravation.

Can my employer fire me for filing a workers’ compensation claim?

No. In South Carolina, an employer cannot fire you simply for filing a valid workers’ compensation claim. If an employer does fire an employee for filing a workers’ compensation claim, they could be found liable for retaliatory discharge.

Venus Poe, Esquire 218 B South Main Street, Fountain Inn, South Carolina 29644 and 330 East Coffee Street, Greenville, South Carolina 29601. (864) 963-0310. www.venuspoe.com

The information you obtain in this article is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice.You should not read this article to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction in which you may have a case.