Do I Need to Use Sick Leave for a Workers’ Compensation Claim in South Carolina? 

workers' comp injury with male walking on crutches while on workers' compensation

Workers’ Compensation can be confusing, with employees often believing myths and misinformation. Some employers use their workers’ ignorance to their advantage, following their misaligned moral compass instead of the law. 

If you have been hurt at work, it is important to know the facts. Hoffman Law Firm’s experienced Workers’ Comp lawyers can help, making sure you receive the benefits you deserve.

Can My Employer Make Me Use Sick Leave For Workers’ Compensation? 

According to federal law, your employer cannot require you to use sick leave while you recover from a workplace accident. While injured workers are legally entitled to medical benefits as well as paid leave, some insurance companies may drag out the claims process or deny the claim so that they are forced to use sick time. 

Trusted legal representation is key in these scenarios. Our Workers’ Compensation lawyers will handle all communications with the insurance company to prevent a delay in benefits – and preserve your sick leave.

Common South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Here in the Palmetto State, injured workers are entitled to compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Vocational rehabilitation 
  • Death benefits

Note: Compensation for lost wages is determined by whether the employee’s disability is partial or total, and temporary or permanent.

6 Common Employee Misconceptions About Workers’ Compensation

With so much confusion surrounding Workers’ Comp benefits, many employees do not know what to believe. Here are some common misconceptions – and the truth behind them!

Misconception #1: You Are Not Entitled To Workers’ Comp If You Are At Fault

Some injured workers mistakenly believe that they are not eligible for benefits if they are responsible for causing the workplace accident. This is completely false! The SC Workers’ Compensation Commission does not take fault into account, meaning that workers can claim benefits even if they are to blame for their accident. There are some exceptions, though. In instances of horseplay, intoxication, and fraud, negligence prevents the employee from receiving Workers’ Comp benefits.

Misconception #2: Your Employer Can Fire You For Filing a Claim

Wrong again. State law prevents employers from firing injured workers in retaliation. In fact, if you were fired for filing a Workers’ Comp claim, you may file a lawsuit against your employer. If you believe you were wrongfully terminated, contact our Workers’ Compensation lawyers for trusted legal advice.

Misconception #3: There is Nothing You Can Do After A Denied Workers’ Comp Claim

This misconception keeps many injured workers from receiving the benefits they deserve. If your accident claim was denied, you may make an appeal to the SC Workers’ Compensation Commission. Our Lowcountry lawyers can help, providing trusted legal representation as you make an appeal.

Here are some valid reasons why your claim may be denied:

  • You are not an official employee and do not receive W-2 tax statements. 
  • It can be proven that you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of your accident.
  • You injured yourself intentionally.
  • You were committing a crime or acting illegally at the time of your injury.
  • Your employer has fewer than four employees and is not required to carry Workers’ Comp insurance.

Misconception #4: You Have Two Years To Report Your Workplace Accident

Injured workers have only 90 days to report their on-the-job accident to their employer. The employer then has 10 days to file the Workers’ Compensation claim. If your employer does not file the claim, you may do it yourself using Form 50, available on the SC Workers’ Comp Commission’s website.

While the accident must be reported within 90 days, you have two years to file a claim. Waiting could negatively impact your case though, giving the insurance company the opportunity to say that your accident was not as severe as you claim. That’s why it is best to file your claim immediately after your workplace accident. Remember, missing the deadline means forfeiting your benefits.

Misconception #5: You Can See Any Doctor You Choose During a Workers Compensation Claim

This is not true. You must see the doctor chosen by your employer’s insurance company. If you believe that you did not receive adequate medical care, you may seek a second opinion – but it will not be covered. 

Misconception #6: You Can’t Receive Workers’ Comp Benefits and File a Lawsuit for Damages

Workers’ Compensation protects your employer from legal action, but you may file a third-party lawsuit against another liable party. For instance, if defective equipment resulted in an injury, you may file a lawsuit against the manufacturer. If another party is to blame for causing your workplace accident, contact our team for trusted legal advice. 

Note: Workers’ Comp benefits cover only your medical expenses and two-thirds of your lost wages, while a third-party lawsuit might also compensate you for pain and suffering and punitive damages. 

Misconception #7: You Have To Be Injured On Site to Qualify For Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation benefits are available to employees injured off-site – depending on the situation. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident while on the clock, you are likely eligible for Workers’ Comp benefits.

Discover A Good Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Near Me, Choose Hoffman Law Firm

If you have been hurt at work, it is crucial to have quality legal representation on your side! Our local Workers’ Compensation lawyers will advocate on your behalf, just as we have for countless injured workers across the Lowcountry. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!

Our personal injury law firm offers trusted legal representation in a wide variety of cases here in the Lowcountry, including: 

Personal injury 

Car Accident

Truck Accident

Motorcycle Accident

Workers’ Comp

Wrongful Death

Longshoreman & Maritime

Medical Malpractice

Dog Bite

Brain Injury

Spinal Cord Injury

Defective Product

Nursing Home Abuse 

When seeking a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer near me, choose Hoffman Law Firm. We are ready with your initial free consultation today!

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