Many hard working people have an accident at work in South Carolina that changes their lives. Maybe the accident involves a back injury from lifting something heavy. Sometimes heavy pushing and pulling causes a shoulder injury. No matter the injury, the same logic applies as to what to do. Being injured at work can cause a lot of stress and worry on a person. No one wants to be injured at work, but once the accident occurs a lot of questions race through a person’s mind. What do I do now? Do I tell my supervisor? Do I not say anything and hope I get better? Do I need to go to the company doctor? Should I give a statement to the insurance company?
How long do I have to report a work accident in South Carolina?
The law in South Carolina requires that an injured worker report the accident, to someone in a supervisory position at the company. Although the law requires that this notice to the employer be made within ninety (90) days of the accident, it should be made as soon as possible after the accident. If a person waits to report an accident, hoping they will get better, the employer and the workers’ compensation insurance carrier will often use this against the worker, claiming that they did not tell someone at work on the day of the accident, thereby calling in to question whether the person was hurt at work. The best advice is to report the accident to your supervisor as soon as it happens. Explain what happened and what body part you injured.
Do I have to go the company doctor, or can I go to my doctor?
This question often comes up because an injured worker in South Carolina wants to go to “their” doctor, but the company makes an appointment with the company doctor. The short answer is that the law requires that employers provide medical care to injured workers, but it also allows the employer to choose the doctor. You can always go to your doctor for a second opinion if you are not happy with the company doctor, but you will have to pay for that appointment, the company will not be required to pay. If you hire an attorney, he or she should also help make sure you get a second opinion if you are not happy with the medical care you are receiving.
Should I give a statement to the workers’ compensation insurance company?
There is no requirement that an injured worker in South Carolina give a statement to a workers’ compensation insurance company. Even if you are told that you have to give the statement in order to receive benefits, this is not a requirement under South Carolina law. Often the insurance company will record the statement and use it against the injured worker if they made a mistake in explaining what happened the day of the accident or forget to mention an injured body part. For these reasons, it is not advisable to give a recorded statement in a workers’ compensation case in South Carolina.
Grady Jordan and Graham Buckner practice in the area of workers’ compensation in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson area of South Carolina. Their office is centrally located in Easley, South Carolina. He is a member of the Injured Workers’ Advocates and has been working to help injured workers in South Carolina for over 25 years. If you have been injured at work and want a free consultation with a South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney you can call Grady or Graham at 864.343.2222 or send an email at Jordan@smithjordan.com.