An employer’s duties under workers’ compensation laws generally include having workers’ compensation insurance or an equivalent insurance option. This insurance generally covers lost wages, medical costs, and certain other consequences of workplace injuries.
Having workers’ compensation insurance is the most basic duty of the employer, but is certainly not the only duty your employer has to you.
Employer Obligations Towards Their Workers Under South Carolina Law
Under workers’ compensation laws, employers generally have a duty to:
Inform the Employees of Their Workers’ Compensation Benefits
An employee who does not know the employer has workers’ compensation coverage may not seek the benefits they deserve. Therefore, an employer must generally make it clear—often through signage—that employees have workers’ compensation coverage, and a right to access those benefits.
Employers are also required to offer this coverage. If they do not have workers’ compensation insurance, they open themselves up to lawsuits. An attorney can pursue negligent employers for not offering these benefits.
Report All Workplace Injuries to Appropriate Authorities
In addition to filing an insurance claim with their insurer, employers who become aware of workplace injuries may need to file a report with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC). Depending on the injury, they may also be obligated to report to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
These reports are important, as they can help the state of South Carolina monitor working conditions in specific fields and places of employment. If an employer or industry is routinely engaging in dangerous practices, reports to the SCWCC may bring these practices to light.
Treat You Fairly After Your Injury
Employers must not retaliate against an employee who has suffered a workplace injury. An employer may feel compelled to fire, cut hours, or otherwise punish an employee who suffers an on-the-job injury but must refrain from doing so.
An employer may believe that the employee is exaggerating their injury, or that the employee caused their injuries. However, an employer owes the employee the benefit of the doubt and report the workplace injury to their insurer promptly. Employees are entitled to these benefits regardless of whether they are at fault for the accident.
Employers in South Carolina have several other duties under workers’ compensation laws, but these are some of the most important responsibilities. If an employer fails in their duty to their employees, they may be liable for the harm the employee suffers.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-855-865-4907
What Employees Should Do After a Workplace Injury
If you suffer an injury in a South Carolina workplace, you deserve benefits. Whether you have yet to speak with an insurance company, or your claim has already begun, a workers compensation attorney can assist you.
A lawyer will assist with every step in your claim, including:
- Getting medical treatment: South Carolina law allows employers to choose the doctor who evaluates injured employees. If you choose your own doctor without going to the employer’s doctor, then the insurer may refuse to cover your medical expenses and other losses. Our attorneys can work with your employer to ensure the requirements for your treatment are met.
- Coordinating any additional treatment you will need: If you need care beyond your initial appointment, or you want a second opinion, the insurance company (or your employer) may need to approve these visits. Our attorneys will seek approval for any additional care that you require.
- Documenting your losses: Our firm will organize medical records, documentation of time missed from work, and proof of any other losses you have suffered.
- Gathering evidence: We can investigate to determine what caused your injuries. This can protect your claim for benefits in case your insurer tries to deny you. It can also help determine potentially liable third parties to pursue through a lawsuit.
- Advocating for your benefits: It’s not uncommon for those receiving workers’ compensation benefits to face unpleasant surprises such as having their benefits cut off early. We can fight any unfair decisions.
Doctors have a substantial role in South Carolina workers’ compensation claims. We will work with your doctors to ensure that you are not released back to work too soon.
What Losses do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Cover?
Workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina generally cover:
- A percentage of your lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Certain disability-related losses
Our team can explain whether you have other legal options for seeking compensation, such as filing a lawsuit with a third party.
Call Schiller & Hamilton Today for a Free Consultation
Our team fights for injured workers to get the benefits they deserve. Call Schiller & Hamilton today for your free consultation. We can file your claim, ensure it meets requirements, and manage communication related to your case. If you face a denial, unfair benefits, or untimely decisions about returning to work, we can help you fight them.