In most cases, if you are injured on the job in Greenville, South Carolina, your employer will have workers’ compensation insurance to provide medical and wage benefits. This is true for anyone who works for an employer with at least four employees, though there are some exceptions. Those exceptions include railroad employees and agricultural employees.
There are also exceptions that are based on what sort of designation you have as a worker for the given company. Those who are designated as independent contractors or work in particular environments may not be covered by any workers’ compensation insurance. Then, there are circumstances where it may not be clear whether or not your injury is actually related to your work or where your workers’ compensation claim is not valid for another reason.
Ultimately, if you have any questions about whether or not you are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, you can contact for a FREE consultation Bryan Ramey & Associates to learn more.
What is Your Designation as a Worker in Your Given Position?
When we speak of your designation as a worker in your given position, we refer to whether you are an actual employee or an independent contractor. There are cases where an employer might designate you as an independent contractor to avoid having to cover you with workers’ compensation insurance. If this is the case, then you may be able to take legal action. It is important to be aware, however, that some small businesses may misclassify an employee as a contractor because they aren’t fully aware of how the law applies to such designations or which category you belong in. This matters because an independent contractor is not eligible for workers’ compensation coverage from their clients. Some examples of independent contractors might include a housekeeper who doesn’t work for a company, an independent child care provider, or someone who identifies as a freelance worker.
Yet, independent contractors may also have the benefit of being able to sue a client when a work related injury occurs. For instance, the independent housekeeper could sue a client who had an unaddressed hazard on their property, which resulted in injury, in a premises liability claim. This is only an option if the injured worker can prove negligence.
Because your designation as a worker is so important to whether or not you are eligible for workers’ compensation, you need to know what qualifies you as an independent contractor or an employee. If you work for yourself, set your own hours, and manage your own projects, then you are probably an independent contractor. If none of these things apply to you, then you are probably supposed to be designated as an employee.
Establishing Whether Your Injury Resulted from Work Related Tasks
Once you have ascertained that you are an employee in your line of work, rather than an independent contractor, you need to establish whether your injury resulted from work related tasks. If you work in a traditional position, and your injury occurred while you were at work, then it is probably work related and eligible for workers’ compensation.
Yet, there are many situations where this may not be as clear. If you were driving somewhere, on an errand for an employer, and were in an auto accident, then this would fall under the label of a work-related injury. If you were driving somewhere on a personal errand, then this would not. If you were completing a personal errand and a work-related errand in the same trip, then you may find that your situation is more complicated, and it could go either way, based on the circumstances, and what you were doing at the time of the incident.
Is Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Valid?
One excellent benefit of workers’ compensation law in Greenville, South Carolina is that you don’t have to prove any negligence. Even if you caused your own injury, as long as it was not intentional or a result of intoxication or other illegal behavior, you can still recover workers’ compensation benefits. There may be some challenges concerning evidence, though, depending on how your injury occurred. If you were not at your place of employment, then there may be questions as to whether or not you were engaged in work related tasks. Generally, you will only have to prove that your injury was caused while you were performing duties in the scope of your employment, and negligence or fault will not be a factor.
In any case where your claim is denied, there is a good chance that the issue is whether or not you were completing work related tasks, though it could also be an issue of whether or not you were really injured. In some situations, you may also have a third party personal injury claim, where someone else is negligent, such as in auto accident cases. You can pursue the third party personal injury claim and still be eligible for workers’ compensation.
The Attorneys at Bryan Ramey & Associates Can Help With Your Claim
Any time you file for workers’ compensation and your claim is denied, or if you have questions about your claim or eligibility, it helps to have the advice and representation of a skilled Greenville, South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney. At Bryan Ramey & Associates, we have the experience and legal knowledge to help you sort through the details of your claim, establish what your designation is or ought to be, as a worker, and pursue the compensation benefits that are rightfully owed to you. Contact our experienced workers’ compensation legal team in Greenville today to schedule your FREE consultation.