Under the current laws in South Carolina, if you are hurt at work you must file a claim with workers’ compensation. The reason that the ruling is done this way is that in a personal injury lawsuit against an employer, the plaintiff would have to prove negligence on the behalf of the employer.
With workers’ compensation, negligence doesn’t matter (unless you did something like come to work drunk or impaired). You will receive the benefits from workers’ compensation instead of worrying about proving fault.
You Cannot Sue Your Employer if You’re Hurt at Work
Under the workers’ compensation act in South Carolina, you are not allowed to sue your employer. You must submit all injury claims to the workers’ compensation commission and their insurance carriers.
There is one caveat to this process though, that can possibly allow you to file a personal injury lawsuit in conjunction with your workers’ compensation claim. Looking at the accident and all of the components, was there a third party involved in this injury?
If you believe that you could be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit against a third party, make sure that you are hiring an experienced Greenville personal injury lawyer. They can make sure that your benefits will not be terminated due to a violation of the third party lawsuit.
Potential Third-Party Components
If you are injured due to the negligence of someone else (not your employer), it is possible for you to sue them for the injuries you sustained at their negligence. This could be an engineer overseeing a project who was negligent, and it caused injury.
The manufacturers of machinery that caused your injury if the machinery was deemed defective. If the defect in the machinery was not prior knowledge, then injury sustained by it could be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit.
Outside contractors and venders are often people that come into our work on a regular basis. If these people are in your workplace and did something that could be considered negligent that caused an injury, you could sue them for their negligence.
The Workers’ Compensation Process
The moment that you are hurt at work, you need to tell your manager. Make sure to verbally tell them that they should be responsible for your medical care.
The manager will direct you to the doctor of their choosing, generally, workers’ compensation works with specific doctors. Make sure you obtain a mileage form so that you are being compensated for the mileage used to drive to and from the doctor.
If you go to a doctor of your choosing, you need to understand that it may not be covered under the benefits of the workers’ compensation claim. The only exception to this would be if you were seriously injured and it was an imminent medical emergency requiring you to go to the nearest emergency room.
In South Carolina you have 90 days to officially file a workers’ compensation claim, however, this is not recommended if you are seeking out benefits. The inability to work can cause a major strain on finances and home situations.
For convenience purposes, claims can be filled out online through the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission’s website. There you will also find the up to date benefits information as well as all of the forms that will be necessary during your claim.
Make sure that you and your employer are working together on this claim. The state of South Carolina is extremely diligent about the forms that need to be filled out and how long you have to fill them out once the claim has been filed.
The claim will involve the deposition of the doctor who treated the injury. The doctor’s testimony and calculations on the disability that the injury has caused you will more than likely be a huge factor in the amount of benefits you receive.
Your sworn statement accounting the injury and how it occurred.
If these forms are not returned in a timely fashion before the due date, the state imposes some hefty fines and fees regarding the continuance of the claim.
If you find that your claim has been denied, you can then try to take on the carrier used for your place of employment’s workers’ compensation benefits, however, obtaining a lawyer can help the process go a lot smoother.
Getting a consultation with an experienced personal injury law office in Greenville is a great option when you want to know what you are entitled to with your workers’ compensation claim and the possibility of suing a third party.