Were you recently injured on the job in Columbia, South Carolina? Or, have you been diagnosed with an occupational disease? Either way, you may be wondering, "Will my workers' compensation claim be denied?" We decided to dedicate a blog post around this topic because the question comes up frequently – a lot of injured workers worry about this.
For starters, almost every employee in South Carolina, with limited exceptions, is covered by workers' compensation insurance, thanks to the Workers' Compensation Act. These "limited exceptions" or workers not covered by workers' compensation, include:
- Railroad employees
- Federal employees
- Agricultural workers
- Real estate agents
- Certain casual employees
- Those who work for businesses with less than four employees
Assuming an employee is covered by the Act, if he or she is injured on the job, the employee is supposed to notify their employer about the accident immediately. If an employee fails to notify their employer, he or she can jeopardize their right to workers' compensation.
According to the South Carolina Workers' Compensation Commission, the employee should NOT wait more than 90 days from the date of the accident to notify their employer. Under South Carolina law, the claims for "compensation" have to be made within two years of the accident or the date of the worker's death.
Reasons why a workers' comp claim may be denied:
- The worker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- The worker was trying to harm someone else
- The worker failed to notify the employer of the accident within 90 days
- The worker's injury was not work-related at all
- The worker was trying to injury themselves
Above are the main reasons why a workers' comp claim may be denied. If a worker's claim is denied, he or she can file an application for a hearing. If the injured employee is not satisfied with the hearing commissioner's decision, the case can be appealed to the Commission.
In the above case, a panel of three or six commissioners (not including the original hearing commissioner), shall review the worker's appeal. From there, the appellate panel's decision can be appealed to the Court of Common Pleas and the State Appellate courts.
Looking for a Columbia, SC workers' compensation lawyer? Contact Masella Law Firm, P.A.to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team!