What Injuries May Not Be Covered By Workers’ Compensation?
In general, cuts, scrapes, small wounds, or even a single headache are insufficient to be covered by workers’ compensation. If you are injured at work, and the contents of a first-aid kit completely remedy your injury, the injury is usually not severe enough to warrant a workers’ compensation claim. If, on the other hand, you are exposed to a chemical that causes routine headaches, this is an occupational disease that amounts to a workers’ compensation claim.
Also, commuting is not considered in the course of your employment. Therefore, injuries suffered while commuting, with rare exceptions, do not give rise to a workers’ compensation claim.
Similarly, when you are out for lunch, you are outside the scope of the workers’ compensation system. Horseplay and fighting also do not fall within the scope of your employment, or injuries caused by alcohol or drug use, so injuries sustained during these activities generally are not workers’ compensation claims.
Are All Employers Required To Carry Worker’s Compensation Insurance?
In South Carolina, the rule of thumb is that any employer who regularly employs four or more workers full-time or part-time is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. There are some exceptions, including agricultural employees, railroads, and railway express companies and their employees, and employers who had a total annual payroll during the previous year of less than $3,000, regardless of the number of workers employed during that period. Also exempt are Textile Hall Corporation and certain commission paid real estate agents. Although most employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance, any employer may purchase coverage.
Who Are All Liable Parties In A Worker’s Compensation Injury?
Your employer and its insurance company are the liable parties in a workers’ compensation injury. Because it is an exclusive remedy, a workers’ comp claim is usually the only way you are allowed to take legal action against your employer for a work-related injury or for an injury that happens on the job.
With very narrow exceptions, you cannot file a personal injury or “tort” lawsuit against an employer or otherwise pursue a claim outside of the workers’ compensation system. However, South Carolina’s workers’ compensation rules do not bar lawsuits against third parties (parties other than the employer or a co-employee) whose negligence contributed to your workplace injury.
Does A Worker Have To Be Injured At Their Physical Place Of Employment To Qualify For Worker’s Compensation?
No, injuries suffered outside of your usual office or building where you work may still be workers’ compensation claims. If you were acting in the “course and scope” of your employment, meaning you were acting within your job duties, carrying out the business you are required to do, you are covered under the South Carolina workers’ compensation system when you are injured. For example, if you are driving to visit a customer and are involved in a motor vehicle accident, with injuries requiring more than simple first aid, you have a workers’ compensation claim. Generally speaking, if you are getting paid for doing what you are doing, and are injured while doing it, you likely have a workers’ compensation claim
What Are The Risks Of Not Hiring An Experienced Attorney And Going It Alone?
The risks are that your claim will be denied all together or that your benefits and settlement will be way lower than we could have achieved for you. With Sahn Law Firm as you workers’ compensation attorneys, you can be confident that you will be getting the best result possible, while being treated professionally and courteously throughout the entire process.
For more information on Injuries Not Covered By Workers Compensation, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (843) 856-2222 today.