Workers Compensation Claim in South Carolina
Over the last twenty years I have interviewed many potential clients who were not sure whether they had a Workers’ Compensation Claim or not. So to help people understand what is considered a Workers’ Compensation injury, I wanted to start out by explaining a work injury. In South Carolina an injury is compensable if it is an injury by accident that arises out of and in the course and scope of one’s employment. Without getting into great detail, it simply means if you are on the job and you suffer an injury doing the things you do as an employee.
First, there must be an employee and employer relationship. If you are an independent contractor or self employed, for instance, you may not have a Comp claim against the person or company for which you are performing work. There are exceptions to this but they are few. Second, there must be an injury by accident. In South Carolina, it is well settled that there does not have to be a specific event that causes the injury in order to be an injury by accident. Rather, the injury must be an unexpected result of the work activity. For instance, in cases involving heavy lifting there may not be an actual event that we expect by the term accident. However, one could pull a muscle or worse a herniated a disk in their back and that would constitute an injury by accident.
Additionally, the injury by accident must be the result of your work activity. The injury must arise out of and in the course and scope of your employment. This is the part of the test that simply means did the injury result from you doing your job. If you are on the clock performing the duties required of you whether they are your normal duties or duties required of you to complete a special assignment when the injury occurs, it is likely to be compensable. Questions involving arising out of and in the course and scope of employment are often the result of deviation from our work assignments. Horseplay is a good example of an injury that would not be compensable. Or, if you are going to the Post Office for your employer and you deviate from the scheduled trip for personal reasons and are involved in a motor vehicle collision, your injury will likely be denied. Every case is different and must be examined carefully. There are numerous other rules and specific exceptions to those rules. This is clearly not a complete review of the law. Hopefully it will provide some insight into what constitutes a workers’ compensation injury.
If you suffer an injury on the job many questions must be answered before benefits will be provided under South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws. If you have been injured on the job, don’t take matters into your own hands. We are here to help. Let me put my 20 years of experience to work for you. Call today for a A Complimentary Strategy Session. At Schiller & Hamilton we’ve got your back.