South Carolina Workers Compensation Laws

South Carolina workers compensation laws have provided certain legal rights and options to both employees as well as employers in cases of work-related injuries or illnesses. In general, when a worker gets injured or suffers from illnesses because of certain harmful factors that the workplace is exposed to, the employer must provide monetary benefits to the injured worker; this monetary benefit must cover the resulting medical expenses as well as the income loss thus caused. Sometimes, employers refuse to take the responsibility. In such cases, the injured worker has the right to file a lawsuit against the employer and claim for compensation.

Physician Care

As per South Carolina workers compensation laws, it is up to the employer to choose a physician for the treatment of the occupational injuries suffered by a worker. Employees cannot choose their own doctor. If they do, they may eventually be disqualified from any type of compensation benefits in this regard. The injured worker must start receiving medical care within three days from the date of the accident. If the employer does not ensure timely medical care for them, they have the right to choose their own doctor. In fact, if the injuries or illness is very severe one and requires immediate care, but the employer does not take quick action in this regard, the injured worker can go ahead and get the treatment form a doctor of their choice. In such cases, they will not be disqualified from the compensation benefits.

Waiting Period

South Carolina workers compensation laws have also imposed a waiting period of seven days before an injured employee can start receiving the benefits. The benefits include compensation for everything that is needed to treat the injuries, including prescriptions, prosthetic devices, medical supplies, hospitalization, surgery, and other such things. After the first seven days of the accident, the injured worker will also start receiving compensation for lost income, which is usually paid at the rate of 66.67% of the average weekly wages that they were earning prior to the accident. If the employee gets recovered within less than fourteen days, the wage loss benefits will be paid to them from the day 8. But, if the disability caused by occupational injuries or illnesses continues for over fourteen days, the compensation will become retroactive, which means though the payments will be made from the day 8, but it will be calculated from the day 1; the injured employee in this case will receive wage loss benefits for the first seven days also.

Reporting Requirements

As per South Carolina workers compensation laws, in order to qualify for occupational injury benefits, it is mandatory for the injured employees to report about the accident to their supervisor or employer within two years from the date of the accident. But, once an injury is reported to the employer, it is mandatory for the employer to file a report about the same to the concerned state department within ninety days from the date when the injury was initially reported to them.

Disputing Doctor’s Recommendations

Sometimes, the physician may recommend the injured worker to return to work, certifying him or her as medically fit enough, but the worker does not agree to it. In such cases, the benefits will be terminated, but the worker will have an option to file a dispute against the physician’s recommendations.

As per South Carolina workers compensation laws, all employers who have more than four employees in their organizations must carry adequate occupational injury compensation insurance coverage for their employees. Employers with four or less workers are exempted from this insurance requirement.