You cannot sue your employer for a slip and fall accident injury if your injury occurred while on the clock and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance. South Carolina’s workers’ compensation laws grant rights to both employers and employees, with some general rights being:
- Employees cannot sue employers after getting injured on worksite premises or while performing work duties if the employer has workers’ compensation insurance.
- Employers cannot fire or discharge employees who have suffered work-related injuries and must report these injuries to their insurers.
However, if another party contributed to your injury besides your employer, you might have grounds to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against that party.
Employers Purchase Workers’ Compensation Insurance to Avoid Lawsuits
The South Carolina Bar (SCB) details further rights employers and employees enjoy regarding work-related injury incidents. These rights establish that employers and employees must follow specific protocols to report injuries and file claims so that victims may recover costs for medical expenses and forego suing their employers.
Workers’ compensation laws establish that:
- If you get injured while working, you must report your injury to your employer within 90 days of the incident. You can also demand compensation for medical treatment.
- Your employer must report your injury to their insurance carrier.
- Your employer has a right to choose which physician you must see for medical care. They are not liable for medical costs you incur for seeing physicians outside of their insurance carrier’s network.
- If your employer denies or contests your workers’ compensation claim, you have 14 days to file an appeal and present your case to the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. Your employer cannot fire you during this time because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or an appeal.
If your claim gets denied or contested, you could hire a lawyer to help you with your case and explain further your rights.
For a free legal consultation, call 864-740-8653
You May Qualify for Workers’ Compensation if You Were Injured While Working
Employees who sustain injuries on the job qualify for workers’ compensation and do not have to prove fault to receive benefits. However, they must be an eligible employee to receive workers’ compensation benefits in South Carolina.
Per S.C. Ann. § 42-1-360, “casual employees” are exempt from workers’ compensation. This statute also excludes the following from workers’ compensation benefits:
- Employees of businesses that employ less than four workers within the state
- Federal employees
- Agricultural workers
- Railroad workers
- Licensed real estate workers
- Independent truck drivers
Part-time employees and sole proprietors may still qualify for workers’ compensation. If you are unsure about your eligibility, a workers’ compensation attorney can review your case and explain your legal options.
What You May Recover After Filing for Workers’ Compensation
If you qualify for workers’ compensation, you may recover the following damages:
- Medical treatment costs
- A portion of your lost income (up to two-thirds of your average weekly wages)
- Vocational rehabilitation
- Disability benefits
Several factors go into determining what your compensation will be:
- The type of injury you suffered in the slip and fall accident
- How long it will take for you to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI)
- Whether you have the ability to return to work, either in your current role or a different position
You Could File Lawsuits Against Other Liable Parties if Applicable
While you cannot sue your employer for a slip and fall accident, there may be other parties who hold liability for your injuries and damages. These parties may include:
- Manufacturing companies for equipment that caused your fall
- Independent contractors who hold responsibility for worksite actions
- A coworker whose negligence led to your fall
- A third-party individual unrelated to your workplace
Your lawyer can investigate to identify potentially liable parties, then guide you through the claims and litigation process if you decide to take legal action against them.
What You May Recover After Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
If you qualify to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against a separate party from your employer, you may be able to recover compensation for these damages:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage costs
- Current and future income loss
- Permanent disability
- Physical disfigurement
- Reduced earning capacity
- Emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of consortium
You may qualify for other types of damages not listed here, which your legal team can discuss with you after reviewing the effects of the slip and fall accident on your life.
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A Lawyer from Hammack Law Firm Can Help You with Your Slip and Fall Case
If you suffered injuries in a slip and fall accident while performing your job duties, you cannot sue your employer for your monetary damages. However, you can file for workers’ compensation, and you may qualify to take legal action against other liable parties if their negligence contributed to your accident.
At Hammack Law Firm, we handle both workers’ compensation and personal injury cases, offering big firm experience with a personal touch. We can review your case to determine your legal options. Call (864) 326-3333 today to get a free case review and start your legal journey.