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Forest Acres, SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
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    Forest Acres, SC Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

    Workers’ Compensation is a system that forces employers to cover injuries at work without the worker needing to prove that the employer was at fault. The goal here is to get workers coverage for their injuries and get their medical bills paid as a benefit of employment, and using this insurance usually costs the injured worker nothing.

    However, getting the compensation you need from this system can mean filing appeals and challenges to the insurance company’s rulings. An uncooperative employer might also put up blockages or deny that your injury was work-related, making it imperative to work with an attorney when making your claim.

    Call our Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers today at (803) 451-4000 for a free case evaluation.

    What Injuries Are Covered Under Workers’ Compensation in Forest Acres, SC?

    For an injury to be covered under Workers’ Compensation, it must be a “work-related” injury. This usually means that it has to happen at work, but the phrase “at work” can be confusing. For example, what if you work as a driver? What location would be considered “at work”? Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers often deal with these kinds of complex issues in these cases.

    Generally, an injury is deemed “work-related” if it happens in the course of your job duties. Whether that means you work at one particular location (e.g., in an office or warehouse) or move from site to site (e.g., as a delivery driver or HVAC repairer), injuries should be covered if they occurred during your work.

    Note that injuries might be “work-related” if they occur after hours, such as at a company retreat that is required for your work. However, injuries during your commute to and from a single worksite or during a lunch break off-site usually would not be considered “work-related.”  Determining where the line is on these cases is an important part of whether your injury is covered or not, and many employers and insurance carriers try to argue injuries are not work-related to get the claim thrown out.

    The term “injuries” here should cover acute injuries from an accident (e.g., a severed thumb) as well as repetitive stress injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel) and health conditions developed because of work conditions and tasks (e.g., cancer).

    What Workers Are Covered Under Workers Compensation in Forest Acres, SC?

    South Carolina law requires coverage for most “employees,” but some exceptions apply. Generally, if a business makes under $3,000 per year or has under four employees, it does not need to provide Workers’ Compensation. Additionally, businesses do not need to cover certain “casual employees” or certain agricultural, railroad, or real estate workers. If you work for a federal employer, such as the Post Office or the federal courthouse down the road in Columbia, you would not be covered.

    One area of coverage that can be complex is with independent contractors. In many cases, workers who are properly deemed “independent contractors” do not need to be covered with Workers’ Compensation insurance, but paying them with a 1099 alone is not sufficient to properly label the worker an independent contractor. There are other factors to look into, such as whether the employer controls the ability to fire them and whether a worker is invoiced as an individual or under a company name (e.g., as an LLC). Things become even more complex if you are a subcontractor because you may be considered an employee of the lead contractor instead. Certain truckers are also excluded from coverage as independent contractors.

    What Benefits Does Workers’ Compensation Cover in Forest Acres, SC?

    Workers’ Compensation covers many of the damages you need after an injury to prevent your family from facing dire financial straits, but it does not cover everything. This insurance should cover all medical expenses as well as a certain percentage of your lost income. This insurance covers only these “economic” damages and does not pay for “non-economic” damages, which means you receive no payments for pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc.

    Getting Additional Benefits Outside of Workers’ Compensation in Forest Acres, SC

    Workers’ Compensation benefits are limited, but there may be ways to get other benefits, either in addition to these benefits or as an alternative. Nothing about Workers’ Compensation prevents you from getting other benefits that your employer or the government might offer, such as benefits under an employer’s short-term or long-term disability plan or SSDI from the federal government.

    You usually cannot file a lawsuit against an employer for injuries at work because of the rules of Workers’ Compensation. However, this does not stop you from suing for intentional injuries or accidents caused by someone other than your employer. This could potentially open up access to pain and suffering damages and the uncovered parts of your lost wages. However, winning a lawsuit requires proving fault, so you cannot sue in any case where you caused the accident entirely through your own negligence or where you suffered a true “freak accident” where no one was at fault.

    Do I Have to Pay for Workers’ Compensation in Forest Acres, SC?

    Workers should never have to pay for Workers’ Compensation coverage. Your employer pays this, and a portion of your paycheck is not supposed to be withheld to cover these benefits. This is separate from any Medical, Social Security, or health insurance coverage premiums and taxes you might have withheld.

    If you are an employee, you should be covered by Workers’ Compensation as part of your standard job benefits. As mentioned, most employers are required to carry this coverage, so even if your employer never explained this coverage alongside your other benefits – like vacation days and hourly rates – they should still provide this coverage.

    Contact Our Forest Acres, SC Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Right Away

    To begin the process of filing your case, contact our Workers’ Compensation attorneys at Burriss Ridgeway Injury Lawyers by dialing (803) 451-4000 right away.