Is My Injury Covered by Workers’ Comp?
If you were injured on the job, you may be wondering if your injuries are eligible for a workers’ comp claim in South Carolina. Here are some questions to ask.
1. Are You Eligible for Workers’ Compensation?
Workers’ compensation is typically the exclusive remedy for employees who are covered, meaning they cannot sue in Civil Court for damages for their workplace injury. (There are some exceptions.)
But not all workers are covered. If you’re a freelancer or independent contractor that receives a 1099 rather than a W-2, you may not be covered by workers’ compensation. However, you can sue if the injury was the result of another party’s action or negligence.
What if you discover that you’re not covered by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance, but you think you should be? Sometimes employers intentionally mis-categorize their employees, even though it’s up to the law determine an employee’s coverage status, not the employer. If this is your situation, you should definitely speak to a lawyer, because you may be wrongfully denied coverage.
2. Does Your Employer Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Most employers with 4 or more employees in South Carolina are required to take part in workers’ compensation, but there are some exceptions according to South Carolina code. These include some employers in agriculture and railroads, federal employees, and employers with a total annual payroll of less than $3,000, among others.
If your employer isn’t legally required to have workers’ comp, then you cannot make a claim under it. But again, depending on the nature of your case, you may want to bring a civil suit.
3. Did the Injury Occur at Work and In the Course of Employment?
For an injury to be covered under workers’ compensation, the injury must have occurred while you were on the job, whether you were at the workplace or away from it. For example, if you were injured in an auto accident while driving for your job, that would be covered.
4. Was the Injury a Result of Misbehavior?
One of the big benefits of the workers’ comp system is that it’s a no-fault system. As long as your injury occurred in the course of work, it will be covered, whether it was caused by unsafe work conditions, the actions or negligence of another party, or your own carelessness.
However, there are some exceptions. For instance, if you were roughhousing, or you were intentionally trying to hurt yourself or another person, or you were breaking the law at the time, then your injury is not necessarily covered under workers’ comp. This is a situation in which you should speak with a lawyer to discuss your options.
Contact the Workers’ Comp Attorneys at The Carolina Law Group
If you were injured on the job, talk to the experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at The Carolina Law Group. We offer a complimentary, no-obligation consultation so you have nothing to lose; give us a call today at one of the numbers below.
The Carolina Law Group has three offices in upstate South Carolina for your convenience: Greenville (principal office; call 864.312.4444), Greer (principal office; call 864.757.5555), and Spartanburg (principal office; call 864.757.5555). Call today.