The vast majority of work related injuries in Anderson, South Carolina are going to be covered by workers’ compensation insurance which your employer is required to carry if they have four or more employees. While there are some exceptions, it is unlikely that you fall into the categories of workers who are not covered by workers’ compensation or whose compensation claims are rightfully denied. Thus, if your claim has been denied, you need legal advice.
Having said that, if you do happen to be a railroad worker, an agricultural worker, one of three or fewer employees, or an independent contractor, then you might not be covered by any workers’ compensation insurance policy at all. We’ll discuss how these exceptions might apply, depending on your industry and role within a company. Further, we’ll address whether or not your injury is actually work related, and what to do if a valid claim is denied. This information will help you to get started in figuring out the variables in your own Anderson, South Carolina worker’s compensation claim, and the attorneys at KMD Lawyers will help you sort out the rest. Call us to schedule a free consultation and get all of your questions answered, today.
Your Designation as an Employee or Independent Contractor is Important
Your designation as an employee or independent contractor is important when it comes to whether or not your employer is required to carry workers’ compensation coverage for you in case an injury occurs. If you are an employee, and are one of at least four employees, in Anderson, South Carolina, then your employer should carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. This is required as long as you are not in an industry that qualifies as an exception to the rule, such as an agriculture or railroad industry.
However, if you are an independent contractor, then you are not technically an employee, and you are not entitled to coverage from your clients. In fact, the word ‘client’ can be an important qualifier, because if you work for yourself, setting your own hours, and providing a product or service to clients, then you are not an employee. There are cases where you might be working for a company when you provide these services and products to clients, and you may be an employee of the company, if not the client.
If you never considered yourself to be an independent contractor, and believed yourself to be an employee, just to find out that you aren’t covered by workers’ compensation because of your designation, then you may want to do some deeper investigation into what designation you really should have. There are many cases where employers avoid the necessity of workers’ compensation coverage by misclassifying their employees, on purpose. There are also cases where an employer might not realize that they are misclassifying you, and it may be up to you and your Anderson, South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney to figure it out.
With all of this in mind, it is helpful to be aware that you do have different rights as an independent contractor. For instance, you can file a personal injury claim against a client if you are injured on the job, whereas you could not if you were covered by workers’ compensation insurance. This is only an option in cases that involve negligence on the part of the client. If you are an independent contractor who goes to a client’s property to perform services or sell products, and if that property has a hazard (ice, broken sidewalk, damaged flooring, etc) that caused an injury, then you may have a premises liability claim.
How and Where the Injury Occurred is Important in Your Claim
Sometimes, when a workers’ compensation claim is denied in Anderson, South Carolina, it is because your employer disputes whether or not your injury is actually work related. This is where it really matters how the injury happened, where it happened, and even when it happened. These details of your injury are going to determine whether or not you can fight the employer’s decision or the insurance company’s decision to deny your claim. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system, so nobody can argue that you don’t get coverage because you caused your own injury. If it happened at work, it doesn’t matter who caused it.
The exception to this is if you caused it through gross negligence or through being intoxicated at work. If you were horsing around, doing dangerous things that you shouldn’t have been, or if you were drunk or on drugs, then in these cases, your own negligence could bar your from receiving workers’ compensation benefits. There are also cases where it can be unclear whether or not you were performing work related tasks, such as if you were not on your employer’s property, if you were running errands, or if you were on a break. If your injury occurred while you were off the clock, but you were still doing something that was work related, then you may need to prove this. If your injury occurred while you were on the clock, but you were not doing something that was work related, then this could make it much more difficult to get workers’ compensation benefits, if not impossible. You’ll want to discuss these details with the Anderson, South Carolina workers’ compensation attorneys at KMD Lawyers to learn more.
Was Your Valid Workers’ Compensation Claim Denied?
If you have a valid workers’ compensation claim in Anderson, South Carolina, and if that claim is denied, then you have a right to appeal the decision and/or request a hearing. If your employer is denying your claim and refuses to report it to the insurance company, then you can start the claim on your own. Even so, things can be very challenging when you don’t have the help of your employer and you are facing the stresses of being out of work, without income, and dealing with medical expenses and recovery at the same time. Contact KMD Lawyers to discuss your workers’ compensation claim with a skilled South Carolina worker’s compensation legal professional who can offer advice and guidance throughout the process. You don’t have to face this alone. Call us today.