Thousands of South Carolina workers put themselves at risk of injury every day while on the job. Some employees work inherently dangerous jobs that involve hazardous materials, dangerous machinery, or other risky working environments while others work seemingly safe jobs but get injured by simply slipping and falling. Whatever the injury that occurs, it is important for workers to know their rights and options when hurt on the job.
Under South Carolina labor laws, most employers are required to obtain workers’ compensation insurance in order to cover or partially cover lost wages and medical expenses resulting from job-related injuries or illnesses. However, there are several ways to risk denial of workers’ compensation coverage.
What To Do if Injury or Illness Occurs
When an injury happens or when an employee falls ill as a result of their job, it is imperative that the employee immediately reports the injury or illness to their employer. Most employers have forms that the employee can fill out, but if not, the report must nevertheless be in writing. It will not fare well in a workers’ compensation case if the report was verbal rather than written. It is also best to have any witnesses provide written reports of the injury. An employee wants to make sure that their injury or illness is documented in order to prove that it occurred as a result of work and not as a result of another unrelated activity.
Employees must also seek treatment from a medical provider that is within the employer’s insurance network. When an employee chooses to see his or her own doctor, the workers’ compensation request is at high risk of denial if that doctor is not within the employer’s network. Once at the doctor’s office, employees should provide as many details as possible. Doctors need to know all the aches and pains, the cause of the injury, and the circumstances leading up to it. Many workers are reluctant to disclose how bad the injury or illness is due to the anxious feeling of needing to get back to work or for fear of racking up medical bills that may not be covered. However, to ensure coverage for the full recovery, it is best to be as honest as possible from the very beginning.
Because insurance companies have little incentive to pay for employees, they will be on the lookout for reasons to deny coverage in addition to the above-mentioned warnings. One additional reason they deny coverage is if the injury was caused by an unrelated occurrence. In other words, the ailment must have arisen out of and in the course of employment, so it is important to show that the injury or illness happened while performing job functions. Another excuse for skimping coverage is if an employee has a preexisting condition. In order to warrant coverage, a worker must prove with medical evidence that the preexisting condition was exacerbated by the work-related injury, or that the preexisting condition aggravated the work-related injury.
South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
Workers are too often improperly denied workers’ compensation coverage. At Solomon Law Group, our workers’ compensation attorneys understand that accidents are inevitable and will fight to make sure that impaired workers are paid all the money that they are legally entitled to. Call our Columbia office today to ensure that your case is properly evaluated and compensated.