South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws originally were passed by the South Carolina Assembly in the mid-1930’s. These laws, commonly referred to as the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) were designed to provide workers injured in the course of their employment ready access to medical care, as well as monetary benefits paid in the event the injured worker was not able to work due to his or her injuries.
Prior to the passage of the Act, workers injured on their jobs were forced to file a civil claim against their employer, but only if the employer’s negligence caused their injuries. If the injured worker was even 1% responsible for his or her injury, however, there could be no recovery at all. Also, pursuing a civil action would take years – years during which the injured worker would receive no relief.
South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws are a compromise between the interests of injured workers and employers. We now have in South Carolina a “no-fault” system in which injured workers do not have to prove that their employers, or some other party, were at fault in causing their accident in order to receive medical treatment and reimbursement for lost wages. In fact, in South Carolina’s “no-fault” system, even employees whose own negligence caused their injuries are eligible for benefits.
With few exceptions, all employees in South Carolina are covered by our state’s workers’ comp laws. With few exceptions, all employers in South Carolina are required to carry workers’ comp insurance. Injured workers are eligible for workers’ comp benefits if they are injured arising out of and within the course and scope of their employment.
How can an injured worker take advantage of the benefits available under South Carolina’s workers’ comp laws? First, REPORT ANY ACCIDENT, no matter how minor and REPORT ALL INJURIES, no matter how slight. Small, nagging injuries could worsen with time. Second, INSIST ON SEEING A DOCTOR. It is extremely important to document any and all injuries to any and all body parts. Third, CALL THE LAWYERS AT MICKLE & BASS. Having the experienced representation provided by the lawyers at Mickle & Bass will level the playing field and will prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of your unfamiliarity with workers’ comp law.
So, benefits are available under the law to workers injured on the job. Those benefits mean nothing if you don’t know what they are and if you don’t know what to do to get them. The workers’ comp lawyers at Mickle & Bass know. Contact us today.