What’s Fact or Fiction About Workers’ Compensation
When an employee is injured on the job, they can apply for workers’ compensation. However, most people have probably heard rumors about workers’ compensation that may or may not be a fact. In the following, we will try and sort that out, so you’ll be prepared if you need to apply.
1. All Employers Provide Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In South Carolina, the employer has to have at least four employees to offer workers’ comp. Although there are a few exceptions, you would be safe to assume your employer carries it if there are at least four workers. If you suffer an injury and are denied benefits, you may want to consult with a workers’ comp lawyer to protect your rights.
2. You Have No Control Over Choosing Your Doctor
The answer to this is yes and no. The insurer or your employer chooses your physician, and this is covered under workers’ comp. However, if you want to pay for it yourself, you can always go to whoever you want, but the program won’t cover it.
3. Your Employer Can Fire You for Filing a Claim
Not a fact, your employer can’t fire you, even though South Carolina is a “right to work” state. Workers’ comp regulations and laws take the place of the right-to-work laws. Workers’ comp states that an employer cannot fire a worker for filing an injury claim.
4. If You Dispute Your Claim Denial, You’ll End Up in Court
No, you probably won’t. Your appeal will go to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission, which will give you a ruling, and cases often end there. If the ruling goes against you, your injury lawyer can take it to the Appeals Court if they think you have a good argument for winning.
5. You Don’t Want to File a Claim Because You Were Partially Responsible for Your Injury
Because workers’ compensation in South Carolina is no-fault, your employer is responsible for covering injured worker claims, which are generally funded by insurance. Workers’ comp usually sides with the employee when the benefit claim is arguable, which keeps lawsuits out of the court system. Since it is a no-fault system, you can still file a claim if your own negligence caused your injury.
6. You Can Only Recover Compensation Through SC Workers’ Comp
Not really. In some cases, the injury to the worker was caused by a third party. For example, you were injured by a machine at work that was supposedly repaired by the company but wasn’t. In these cases, you can file for workers’ compensation and also file against the company for their negligence. A third-party claim allows you to recover what workers’ comp doesn’t such as monetary damages and for your pain and suffering.