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Workers' Comp FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Workplace Injury

Kathryn Williams, P.A. — South Carolina Workers' Compensation Lawyers

Workers' Compensation is a complex and frustrating system. Many injured workers never file a claim because of popular myths or misinformation from employers. We offer the following information not as legal advice, but to help you understand your rights. If you have suffered an on-the-job injury, please follow up with our highly respected attorneys for an honest and accurate assessment of your unique situation. We offer a free initial consultation at 1-888-377-1537.

What qualifies as a "work-related" injury?
Should I file my own claim?
Why was my Workers' Comp claim denied?
What benefits am I entitled to?
Can I sue my employer for causing the accident?
Do I have to see my employer's doctor?
What if I aggravated a pre-existing injury?
Can I be fired for filing a Workers' Comp claim?


What qualifies as a "work-related" injury?

In South Carolina, any injury you suffered while on duty is eligible for Workers' Compensation if it required medical treatment and prevents you from returning to your job (short term, long term, or permanently):

  • A fall, eye injury, laceration, burn, ladder accident, or other mishap
  • A back injury, hernia, heart attack, or other injury caused by exertion
  • An auto accident on duty (your own car or a company vehicle)
  • Occupational disease: workplace exposure to toxins or cumulative injury from normal tasks (such as tendonitis from repetitive movements)

Our lawyers are familiar with all types of work injuries and the appropriate compensation.

Should I file my own claim?

Yes. You are required to timely report any work injury to your supervisor or employer. While you can file your own claim, most claimants will benefit from legal representation. If your legitimate claim has been denied, you should consult a lawyer to appeal a rejected claim immediately. If your claim involves a serious work related injury that could lead to permanent impairment or permanent work restrictions, then you may certainly benefit from legal representation. The insurance company will be represented by their lawyer at any contested hearings. Shouldn't you be represented by an attorney who will look out for your best interests?

Why was my Workers' Comp claim denied?

Some Workers' Compensation insurance carriers look for any reason to reject a claim. The doctor who treated you may say that you can return to work before you are physically able to perform your job. The employer may dispute that the injury was job-related or claim that you never reported it. The insurance adjuster may contest the fact that your injury happened on your job. Our attorneys can review the facts of your case and give you a free assessment. We do not file frivolous claims.


What benefits am I entitled to?

For short-term disability, Workers' Comp pays a portion of your lost wages and reimburses all qualifying medical expenses. Permanent total disability (unable to work any job) provides medical care relating to the injury and weekly benefits or a lump-sum settlement. Other categories include permanent partial disability (loss of a finger, for example), disfigurement (scarring), and death benefits. We work to ensure you receive all rightful benefits.

Can I sue my employer for causing the accident?

No. Workers' Comp pays for any on-the-job injury, even if it was your own fault or an "act of God." The trade-off is that you cannot sue your employer, supervisor, or co-worker for negligence. However, you may have a third party lawsuit ( if a party other than your employer caused your injury.

Do I have to see my employer's doctor?

Most employers have an arrangement with a particular clinic or doctor’s office to treat any work-related injury. If you disagree with their doctor's initial assessment or course of treatment, you have a right to seek a second opinion from an independent doctor. We can help get payment for additional medical treatment under certain circumstances if additional medical treatment would tend to lessen your period of disability.

A doctor will determine when you can go back to your regular job or may release you for "light duty." If there are no light duty tasks, or you feel pressured to go back to work before you are healed, you should get legal advice.

What if I aggravated a pre-existing injury?

In most cases, you are still covered by Workers' Comp for a re-injury occurring in the workplace, even if the original injury was not work-related.

Can I be fired for filing a Workers' Comp claim?

Absolutely not. If you are legitimately injured and have a medical opinion saying so, you are protected by South Carolina law from retaliatory discharge. Contact an attorney.

For further explanation or answers to a question not listed here, contact the law firm of Kathryn Williams, P.A., in Greenville, South Carolina, at 1-888-377-1537. We serve injured workers throughout surrounding Upstate counties and always offer a free case evaluation.

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