South Carolina has many employment opportunities. You can get construction work or enter the IT field. You might do food service or sales. Think about your strengths and choose your career with those in mind.
South Carolina employees should also know that workers’ comp insurance exists, and it’s there when you need it. If you hurt yourself while working, your employer should have workers’ comp that covers you.
We’ll discuss South Carolina workers’ comp insurance in detail now.
What is Workers’ Comp Insurance?
Workers’ comp insurance exists in South Carolina, but other states have it too. It’s in place for employees.
Workers’ comp gives workers cash benefits when they injure themselves while on the job. It also gives them medical care in many instances. You can even get death benefits for your family through workers’ comp if you die while at work.
Can Self-Employed Workers Get Workers’ Comp?
Unfortunately, if you employ yourself, you don’t get workers’ comp. For instance, say you’re a freelance website designer. You slip and fall while working at home. If so, you must pay your medical bills. That’s why you should purchase medical insurance if you make money from home.
However, if you work from home as an independent contractor, but a company employs you, you can usually still get workers’ comp if you hurt yourself. You can file a claim if you worked for a company from home, provided they had you on the payroll.
What Jobs Require Workers’ Comp from the Employer?
In almost all cases, the employer must have workers’ comp insurance in South Carolina. They must have coverage in the landscaping industry. Roofing contractors and plumbers must have it. Restaurant workers must have it, and so must clerical workers and retail store workers.
If you look at what workers’ comp insurance costs for each profession in South Carolina, you’ll notice the policies vary per employee. For something like a roofing contractor, for instance, the employer must pay more. For something like a retail worker, they would pay less.
That makes sense because roofing has some serious injury risks, and retail work has much less. As a worker, though, you needn’t concern yourself. Your employer must handle all that.
What Happens if an Employer Doesn’t Have Workers’ Comp Insurance?
When you start working for a South Carolina company, you assume they have a workers’ comp policy that covers you. They must have that policy under the law. That’s true elsewhere as well.
If you hurt yourself, and it turns out the employer doesn’t have workers’ comp, you can sue them, and you should win, provided you get a competent lawyer. The state can also crack down and impose hefty fines that penalize the company. The state requires that insurance policy, and if a company ignores that demand, they face significant legal action.
The state can shut down the company till they get workers’ comp. That’s something they do for employee protection.
What Does Workers’ Comp Cover?
In South Carolina, if you fall and hurt yourself while on the job, that’s an obvious workers’ comp situation. The insurance policy exists for that very reason.
You might also file a claim if you develop an occupational illness. Maybe you’re around chemicals all day, and you breathe them in. If they make you sick, you can file a claim. You must prove the chemicals harmed you, though. To get your money, you might need a doctor’s written note.
Overexertion injuries can trigger workers’ comp claims. You might file a claim if you have a repetitive stress injury. Traumatic injuries can also get you a workers’ comp payout.
What Do These Policies Not Cover?
As a South Carolina employee, you might injure yourself or contract an illness, and maybe workers’ comp doesn’t cover it. For example, maybe you hurt yourself at home on your off day. If you go into work and claim you hurt yourself there, that’s fraud. You can face serious legal trouble if the insurance company suspects you.
If you hurt yourself while committing a crime, you can’t get a workers’ comp payout. Maybe you hurt yourself while taking company property. That’s theft, and even though you injured yourself while at work, you can’t collect any money.
If you come to work while under alcohol or an illegal drug’s influence, the policyholder can deny your claim. If you caused your injury intentionally, they can deny your claim for that reason too.
What Happens if a Company Denies Your Claim?
Your work must let you file a claim if you ask them for their insurance policy’s information. Your boss doesn’t accept or reject your claim, though. The insurance company does that.
If it’s obvious you should get a payout, you can expect one. In some cases, though, the insurance company finds some reason, whether legitimate or otherwise, why they won’t pay you. Maybe they feel unsure you hurt yourself while on the job, or perhaps they think you’re faking the injury.
In that case, you should probably get a lawyer and face the insurance company in court. They always have lawyers on their side as well, and you need an attorney who knows the law.
If you have medical evidence that proves you hurt yourself and you’re not faking the injury, you can present it. You might have a doctor get on the stand and say you have a legitimate injury. You can also get other workers and have them testify. Maybe someone saw you hurt yourself while at work.
If you prove the injury’s legitimacy, a jury should reward you the money you need. You can pay the lawyer, then keep the rest. You’ll need it while you recover.
South Carolina employees have workers’ comp in place, and it protects them. Remember that while you go about your day. If something unexpected happens, you can ask your employer about their policy. The money you get should help you till you’re back on your feet.