Falling at work can be a frightening experience, especially if you are injured as a result. Fortunately, South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws can often act as a safety net and provide much needed compensation. While the laws of this state often can assist those who have been injured at work, people are often unaware or unsure what rights they have. Particularly when an individual feels responsible, or “at fault,” for their injury they may not realize that they often are still covered and able to file a claim to obtain the benefits workers’ compensation can provide.
One of the only ways to be sure what rights you have under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws is to talk with someone who understands the laws and has experience in the area, such as a legal representative here at Rankin & Rankin. While each case and injury is unique, the following gives a brief overview of when you may or may not have the ability to seek workers’ compensation benefits.
Workers’ Compensation and Fault
Generally, workers’ compensation laws protect workers by providing compensation to those who have sustained an “injury by accident arising out of an in the course of employment.” Basically, this means that workers’ compensation benefits and protection are available to those who are injured while “on-the-job.”
But what if you think that the fall or injury was your fault? Are you still covered? The answer to that question, again, may depend of the unique facts of each situation, but often the answer is YES. According to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (http://www.wcc.sc.gov/welcomeandoverview/Pages/default.aspx), employers are “responsible for medical costs and lost wages of on-the-job injuries regardless of fault.” So, don’t rule out the right to recover worker’s compensation benefits just because you may think that your fall or injury was your fault.
Exclusions, Where Workers’ Compensation May Not Be Available
While the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits may not be affected due to fault, not every worker is entitled to receive those benefits. In what scenarios or situations is workers’ compensation not available?
Type of Job
The vast majority of employees are covered under South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws and are able to file a claim to receive compensation for medical expenses, permanent impairment, lost wages, and other expenses. However, some employees, such as railroad and agricultural employees (among a few others), may be not be covered.
Time can also be a factor which may prevent recovery under this state’s workers’ compensation laws. For instance, the accident must generally be reported to your employer within 90 days and a claim with the workers’ compensation commission must be filed within two years. Always remember to report and document!
Injuries Due to Intoxication or On Purpose
Another reason that compensation may be denied is when the injury is due to intoxication or the “willful intention” on an employee.
Contact Us Today!
Whether or not you are entitled to the protections and benefits of workers’ compensation will depend on the facts of your unique situation, and the only way to know for sure is to speak with someone with knowledge and experience in this area, such as a representative at Rankin & Rankin Law Firm. Let us help you to protect your rights. Schedule a FREE CASE EVALUATION by calling 843-248-2405 or through our contact page.
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.