Workers’ compensation benefits are a huge help to those who sustain on the job injuries. If your workers’ compensation claim is successful, workers’ compensation can pay for 100% of your medical bills, and even some other expenses.
However, in some situations, your boss of their insurer may seek to avoid paying for benefits you need and deserver. They may even attempt to deny your claim altogether. Fortunately, you may not have to get pushed around, especially if you have a knowledgeable and experienced representative working for you. So, what are some common phrases to watch out for if your boss or their insurance company is trying to push you around and deny your workers’ compensation claim?
“There is No Injury”
Your boss or the insurance company may try to claim that your injury is “pre-existing.” Basically, they may make the claim that you have already hurt that area or body party before, so you don’t have any new injury. However, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits for any aggravation, or worsening, of that previous injury. Often, whether the injury has been worsened or accelerated is going to be a question for a medical professional.
“You Aren’t an Employee”
As workers’ compensation benefits are only available to employees, your boss may claim that your status is that of an “independent contractor,” not an employee. Whether you are in fact an independent contractor and not an employee is going to be a fact specific question and depends on the details of your working relationship with your boss. For instance:
- Who is in “control” of the work you do? Are you or your boss making the decisions?
- Do you or your employer provide the tools or equipment you need?
- How are you paid? Hourly or on a “per job” basis?
“You Were Hurt Off-Site or While Off The Clock”
Your employer or their insurance company may try to make the argument that because you weren’t injured while on the premises or while technically “on the clock,” that you aren’t eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. That argument may not be true, depending on the facts of your particular case and the nature of your work.
“It’s Your Fault You Were Injured”
They also may try to avoid paying the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to by claiming that it is your fault you are injured. They make say that you should have seen that spill, or known better (for instance). However, South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws protect injured workers regardless of fault. Unless you were injured while under the influence of drugs/alcohol or intentionally injured yourself, you likely are eligible for benefits under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws.
“You Are Too Late”
The argument that you either reported your injury to your employer or filed a claim too late is probably one of the best arguments your employer or their insurer may have to avoid paying workers’ compensation benefits. Fortunately for you though, while you should always report an injury to your employer immediately, the law protects workers who file within 90 days. You also have up to two years to file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission.
Contact Us Today!
Don’t let your employer or their insurance provider push you around or give you bad information. Speak with someone today who can advocate for you. Schedule a FREE CASE EVALUATION by calling 843-248-2405 or by filling out the form below.
Rankin and Rankin Law Firm is located in Conway, South Carolina and serves the entire Lowcountry area including Horry County, Myrtle Beach, Georgetown, Charleston, and Hilton Head, SC.